The New Shape of Office Space in Ankeny
It is pretty easy to see development and community shifts from the outside. New roads open. New buildings go up and progress is marked by dirt being moved, walls and roofs framed and signs posted.
Like judging a book by its cover, you can’t really understand it until you look inside. The most impressive and transforming shifts usually happen inside those buildings. After all, the reason for the roof and walls is to provide a space for work to be done or services to be provided. For most businesses that’s where the magic happens. It is where employees will spend much of their workday. To get the most out of that time, firms get creative and invest in making their space comfortable and productive.
Here is a peek into a few recent office transformations in the Ankeny area.
Marketing firms like MJ & Associates can reach “lofty” goals by embracing a true open and collaborative workspace. Clients feel at home discussing their projects with MJ and her staff when they visit their beautiful office in The District at Prairie Trail. The space is so comfortable and inviting the term “office” doesn’t seem fitting.
As in all markets, offices, and restaurants work best when they are near each other – helping each other thrive. JEO Consulting Group enjoys a variety of restaurants, retail and fitness options within a two-block radius in The District. It also benefits from ample parking for employees and visiting clients.
The open and airy employee gathering space at Kinzler Construction Services on SE Oralabor feels more like a family rec room than an employee breakroom. It provides relaxed comfort for the day-to-day needs of employees as well as functional space for large companywide meetings and events.
Carlos Rojas, owner of the new Blue Bean café and co-working space at 110 North Ankeny Blvd., has been pleasantly surprised with the interest in the collaborative workspace. Many who have been in the habit of working in their home office are finding new productivity in this co-working space.
If you think relocating staff is hard while renovating an office, imagine what it was like to accommodate toddlers during a massive renovation. Casey’s Child Care Center staff had to get creative while they went through a $1 million renovation and expansion. The new space allows the center to care for up to 130 Casey’s Kids (children or grandchildren of Casey’s corporate office employees in Metro-North Business Park).
“The great part of all these new spaces is that it isn’t happening in one particular area,” said Joey Beech, executive director of Ankeny Economic Development Corporation. “It is spread out all over town, from brand new buildings to renovated old warehouses.”
Tech Firm Bucks Converted Warehouse Trend
Many have mistaken this tech firm’s new office building for a large luxury home. It is an easy mistake. The grand two-story brick structure with Pella windows, patio backing to a walking path, and massive second-floor deck overlooking a pond does have a homey feel. Maybe that is because the family-like culture of this rapidly growing cybersecurity firm was a driving force in the design?
Having grown over 400% in the past five years, Pratum owner Dave Nelson not only needed more square footage but he needed space that would attract and inspire the best talent available. That is why finding a new location was a team effort. The Pratum leadership team considered many options, including incorporating a swimming pool into the new building. They wanted a unique place employees and their families would enjoy.
What Pratum found was with the right location they could focus on their office needs while taking advantage of great local amenities like walking paths, restaurants, shops, and, yes, pools in the area. Within a few blocks employees can also access multiple health care clinics, fitness centers, and growing nightlife in The District at Prairie Trail.
Pratum is not the only firm that sees the value in locating where its employees want to be. Justin Vogel, Branch Manager at JEO Consulting Group, Inc., sees the value of being in the growing business center in southwest Ankeny. Having seven restaurants within a block of their front door makes business lunches and meetings a breeze for his busy staff and visiting clients. “This isn’t a cookie-cutter office park. It truly combines the best of class A office space with trendy and unique eateries, shops, and services,” said Vogel. JEO recently moved a few miles from their previous location so it’s not surprising they are comfortable in the area but they have been surprised with just how productive they feel in their new location. Vogel is looking forward to having a view of the town square once it is complete.
Josh Cowart, the managing partner of New York Life, moved his office here because “It has all the amenities our staff and agents want with less congestion and competition than other locations we considered.”
With one of the tightest job markets in history, these employers are finding having a great workspace is good. Having a great workspace located where employees want to be is even better.
New Tech Solving Old Problems
PowerPollen is applying innovation to one of the oldest problems. Learn more about this exciting local startup by listening to a podcast featuring the founders or by checking out the presentation they recently provided.