As a weekly series, we'll be profiling interesting or significant places to help explain the advantage of location in our everyday lives. Today the focus is Old Town North in Alexandria, Virginia, where (To) is located. It’s helpful for anyone who follows us to understand not only who we are and where we come from but also why our current office location is so critical to where we go next. Our business location has as much to with our ability to access opportunities—from meetings to airline travel—as it does with convenience and our quality of life goals.
We’re located in Alexandria, but that doesn't tell you enough. Specifically, we’re in Old Town North, about 8 blocks north of iconic King Street, which is frequented by both residents and tourists for food and activities on a daily basis. We’re also only 6 blocks east of the Braddock Road Metro stop, which is very convenient for meetings or getting to a flight. We were intentional in our location because we believe it makes us better as a company and is the right fit, right now. Perhaps most important is that our office isn’t lavish by any stretch and we can afford the rent. After those considerations, where we're located provides necessary convenience for the consultants we work with both in and out of town, the ability to make a flight out of Reagan without having to think too much about logistics or traffic, and improved opportunities for activities that are so important to the healthy work-life balance I believe we all seek. From this location, we can easily walk to one of many excellent restaurants for lunch, dinner or drinks after work. The Mount Vernon Trail (a top-rated, must-visit multi-use trail) is only a few blocks east for those who like to bike to work or go for a quick run during or after the work day.
Knowing that some of the people working or meeting with us come from out of town, we chose a location that has advantages for drivers. Whether you’re coming from Maryland or Virginia, you can easily get to our office on the George Washington Memorial Parkway (a wonderfully scenic drive), or you can take advantage of our proximity to I-495. Like it or not, there will always be traffic. After all, this is a city. That said, Old Town has a more relaxed and less congested nature than downtown D.C.
We're surrounded by hotels, businesses, gas stations, coffee shops and grocery stores. Packing a lunch isn't a requirement. We can visit Harris Teeter or Trader Joe’s any day of the week, and stop for coffee at Extra Perks or Starbucks and be ready to rock. To relieve stress we can step outside our office and watch planes land at DCA or take an enjoyable walk down to Tide Lock or Rivergate City Park and feel refreshed. Your bike gets a flat tire on your way to work? Don’t worry about it—Wheel Nuts Bike Shop is right around the corner, convenient to the Mountain Vernon Trail.
Food is easy to find, making dinner or lunch an easy decision, whether we're ordering in, going out or taking home. Some of the best and most well-known restaurants in Old Town North are within a stone’s throw of our office: the recently opened Hank’s Pasta Bar (affiliated with the even more well-known Hank’s Oyster Bar); Haute Dog, which redefines the hot dog and has some amazing hand-spun milkshakes; Perfect Pita, perfect any time of day; and of course Royal Restaurant, which has a long-established reputation for being affordable and amazing for any meal. Finally, a little further but a REALLY convenient and pleasant walk away, Vaso’s Kitchen is located in the historic former “Dixie Pig” restaurant and boasts some of the most amazing Greek food in the area, served by an incredibly friendly staff.
Beyond satisfying our appetite, we love where we are because it's so convenient to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA)—we’re only one Metro stop away! For anyone planning business or weekend flights, I don’t have to explain why DCA is so much more convenient than Dulles. It's smaller, flights are frequent to all parts of the country and airport Metro access is a cinch. When consultants arrive from out of town, or we need to fly for work ourselves, we never lose critical time because of travel. We can walk to the Metro and head to our plane without having to consider traffic. And if we're running really short on time, there’s always Uber or Lyft to the rescue, which are easy and convenient because of our location. Affordable hotels are close to our office. Our current favorite is the Holiday Inn, where rates are always low and continental breakfast is included! It’s only a block from our office—guests meeting with us easily see what our location offers.
Parking in Old Town North is also much better than in D.C. We rent parking spaces for employees at nearby hotels for a reasonable rate, and free parking is an option if you’re willing to walk a few blocks. When parking isn't free, it’s exactly where folks need it when they're focused on getting to our office for a meeting. Parking is easy in this part of Alexandria because so many residents commute to The District.
Where we are is also very walkable, providing us the option to live a vehicle-free life. We think this is important, even if not everyone takes advantage of it. If you're coming to our office to work or meet with us, we think you should be able to access the area's amenities without having to worry about transportation beyond your own two feet. Walkability at our office makes life better and makes commuting by car (or train for that matter) more bearable, especially over the long term.
We find the "flavor" of Old Town North to be just what we need to be better in our work and daily lives. We don’t believe in excuses at (To)—we believe in action. Where we are makes it easier for those who work with us to ACT in ways that better align with their short- and long-term goals. If you’re dedicated to achieving your best day every day, we can help simply by being where we are. We know that we're unproductive when we feel stuck or “off-track,” so we work in an atmosphere where our geographic location makes us better. So much of who we are is determined by where we are, which is why it’s so important that we be in a place that encourages work-life balance. The result is a clearer mind, better you and perhaps a better future than you know! This is why where matters, and why Old Town North makes us—and (To)—better!