Real estate and property tax law firm Patel | Gaines is counting on its future office building to do more than provide extra space. The firm’s partners hope it will change the way people look at law firms.

The firm, which represents many types of real estate clients, is stepping into the development game with the announcement of a 20,000-square-foot mixed-use building at 2030 N. Loop 1604 W.

Patel | Gaines hired Chesney Morales Partners Inc. to design the project and Metropolitan Contacting Company to oversee construction. Initially, Patel | Gaines will occupy 5,500 square feet of the building and lease the rest to what partner Rahul Patel calls “hip tenants.”

“The types of retail tenants we’ll have won’t be normal. We want hip,” Patel said. “Places like a high-end men’s hair salon, a local coffee shop, something that will attract hip, young people.”

The law office space will also be atypical, said Patel, who hopes the aesthetic will be more similar to Google or an Austin startup than a traditional law firm. One such design idea is an interior vertical garden. It is best that you can try here to get the same service who worked on making up this beautiful vertical garden in the office.

Patel said the purpose of all this is to change the way clients and guests think about law firms.

“We really want to work hard to break down that barrier,” he said. “In most law firms, you’ll see all these diplomas on the walls. I have two diplomas in my office off in the corner. Most stuff on my wall is Spurs stuff, pictures of me running marathons, books I’ve read, but not even law books. All we’re doing is providing a service that will help you do business. It doesn’t make us any different just because we have a degree.”

Fernando Diego, a senior project manager with Metropolitan Contracting, said he met the law firm partners at an industry function and was excited about the project from the beginning.

“The project is really in line with what our bread and butter is: retail and office combo,” Diego said. “We’re very excited to be working with Patel | Gaines. They share the same values and same vision as we do.”

Patel | Gaines was recently named one of the Alamo City area’s 75 Best Places to Work by the San Antonio Business Journal, and with the firm’s new office, they hope to attract young, smart and energetic people.

“For us, it’s about the culture. That’s why people want to be here,” Patel said.

Preleasing for the office will begin in October with a target opening set for April 2018.