Ad agency grows into Innovation District
The ad agency Allen & Gerritsen was growing, but its Watertown location, on the outskirts of Boston’s media market, was an obstacle when it came to attracting talent.
So the agency is moving into South Boston, bringing 120 employees to the Seaport District, and planning to add 50 more staff members after it gets there.
“We had great space and we were in a great location,’’ said Andrew Graff, chief executive of Allen & Gerritsen, but “our business is all about talent and our ability to attract additional talent from all over the country.’’
And Boston, he said, is the draw.
The agency will move next year to the Seaport District, the waterfront area between Fort Point Channel, Summer Street, and the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Allen & Gerritsen will join a growing number of businesses moving into or near the area, which has been dubbed the Innovation District by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
“They want to be part of the creativity of this part of the city and all the new products being generated there,’’ Menino said of Allen & Gerritsen. “The area has really taken off.’’
Two weeks ago, the developer of Pier 4 in the Seaport District said that after years of delay, it will build a $170 million apartment and retail complex there, including a 21-story tower and 357 apartments.
Others businesses moving to the area include Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is bringing 1,350 employees from its Cambridge location and adding another 500 workers, and the law firm Fish & Richardson, which is moving out of downtown Boston.
Graff said the advertising agency’s move to the district will allow it to be closer to Boston’s business community and more visible.
Other agencies that have moved into the city include the advertising firm Mullen, which relocated from Wenham to downtown Boston two years ago, and social media software company Communispace, which plans to move in October from Watertown to a spot near the Seaport District.
Allen & Gerritsen will move into 34,000 square feet of office space at 2 Seaport Lane, next to the Seaport Boston Hotel, with the option of expanding to 40,000 square feet.
“We have room to grow,’’ said Graff, who is also the president of The Ad Club of Boston, an industry group.
The agency’s other clients include local brands such as the
Last year, the agency developed a popular television, radio, and online campaign for National Public Radio affiliate WBUR-FM 90.9 to help the station differentiate it from WGBH-FM 89.7, Boston’s other major NPR affiliate.
National industry magazine Advertising Age yesterday named Allen & Gerritsen as the best place to work among ad agencies across the country.
Johnny Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.