What do you get yourself for your 125th anniversary? Well, a new headquarters building of course!
Hopefully all of you have seen the news that in the first quarter of 2018, the Chamber will be moving into a new headquarters, building #5 on the Conagra campus. This announcement was the culmination of more than a year of work by the Building Committee and staff. Surveying several options before coming to this exciting decision.
First, we looked at modifying our current space, our home for the past thirty years, but the building needed some major system improvements and significant repurposing just to bring it up to modern standards and to accommodate for our current staff. Without expansion, the building could not sustain the growth we are experiencing now and over the decades to come. In the end, we would have had to put several million dollars into the building that still had parking challenges to address and didn’t meet our current and future needs.
With the conclusion that we really could not afford to stay in our current location, we began to search for leased space in the central business district. We wanted to be part of something big and we wanted to be able to spur redevelopment in our current building and south parking lot. We also needed sufficient parking for our staff and volunteers, with easy building access for visitors. The goal was to find a long-term deal that reflected who we are – a driver of economic development – and provide a space we could stay for a long time. First floor access to greet our visitors effectively, was also a must-have.
After months of searching and negotiating we are proud to say that we found our new home.
Our current site will be sold and redeveloped, ushering in even more development in the Old Market neighborhood. Right now, we are working diligently to design the new space to meet our current and future needs. We want an exciting place for our staff to work and a place that our members will be proud of. A bid for the construction of the space will be sent out in the very near future.
This is an exciting time for us for a lot of reasons, not the least of which because we found an early anniversary gift!
Hope all is going well with you and your business. Let me know if I can be helpful!
David G. Brown
President & CEO