Two years ago, it wasn’t like Luke Kahng was running out of space, or that his laboratory—LSK121 Oral Prosthetics—was particularly outdated. But when the office condo space right next to his 10,000-sq-ft facility in Naperville, IL went into foreclosure, he quickly bought it. This was his opportunity, he thought, to expand and build the laboratory of his dreams.
His vision: wide, open spaces…a striking entrance…an inviting employee lounge…top-of-the-line operatory and seminar space…a place technicians would love to work and dental professionals would want to visit.
But after working up potential designs, he realized that even the additional 6,000 square feet of space wasn’t enough to create his vision. “I wanted more space. Did I really need it? No, but without it, the new laboratory wouldn’t have been the one I imagined,” says Kahng. So last year, he went to the other tenant in the building and negotiated to purchase his 6,000-sq-ft space, too.
Then—with a total of 22,000 square feet—he spent months designing the lab and consulting with architects, focusing on optimal workflow and open communication. After four chaotic months of construction and a total $2.7-million-dollar investment, his vision became a reality last Fall.
Kahng has no dollar-to-dollar calculation of how long it will take for his substantial investment to pay off. But that’s fine with him, because he remains focused on the real goals of the expansion. “I wanted this beautiful work environment for my employees and for myself, too. I plan to be working for many more years…I have kind of a ridiculous passion for what I do and I’ll always prefer to be here than on a golf course somewhere,” he says.
He also knows that there’s inherent value in having such a modern, sophisticated lab facility. “I wanted dentists to be proud to be associated with LSK121, and for patients to feel good when they come here,” he says. “I wanted to create the kind of lab that would get people talking.” Mission accomplished.