Duluth, MN — maurices unveiled the design of its new headquarters building. The new maurices Headquarters, located at 425 West Superior Street, will be approximately 200,000 square feet, stand 11 stories in height and span an entire city block. It’s the largest downtown commercial development in Duluth’s history.
“We are so proud to be building our new headquarters in downtown Duluth, where we have been for 80 years, and to be part of the exciting growth and development in Duluth,” says George Goldfarb, President of maurices.
The new building clad in brick and precast concrete with substantial glass on the upper floors fits with the architecture of downtown Duluth. And, with its prominent glass corners, custom night lighting and a dramatic two-story lobby grand entrance, it will be an iconic gateway to Duluth. Large glass windows on the office levels will provide views of the harbor and city and allow natural light to enter the space.
“A design goal for maurices is to provide a contemporary headquarters building that fits into the fabric of downtown, extends the pedestrian vitality of Superior Street, and adds an icon of economic growth to the city’s skyline,” says Ted Davis, Design Principal of RSP Architects. “The bold forms, the use of brick, a vertical expression to the overall building, and the attention to detail will enliven the experience for maurices’ associates and the citizens of Duluth.”
The new headquarters also will include a fitness center, outdoor plaza on the seventh floor overlooking Lake Superior, an auditorium, access to daylight throughout the building, and plenty of meeting spaces fostering collaboration, a long time-time tenant of maurices culture. Design of the interior spaces, which is in the beginning phase, will foster a culture of collaboration, continued learning and wellness.
Demolition of the existing buildings, 425 West Superior Street (former KDLH Building) and 401 West Superior Street (Palladio Building), is scheduled for April 2014. The targeted completion date is December 2015.
maurices currently occupies approximately 150,000 square feet of usable space in three buildings in downtown Duluth. An announcement will be made in the near future about plans for its current buildings. maurices is committed to filling the space and supporting a thriving downtown community. New Headquarters Needed to Accommodate maurices Growth
The new maurices Headquarters building will accommodate 600 associates to meet the growth demands in future years. maurices currently has 425 associates spread among three buildings in downtown Duluth. “We’ve simply outgrown our space because of our rapid growth,” says Goldfarb.
This year, maurices will top over 900 stores in the U.S. and Canada, employ 8,000 associates, and reach a major milestone of $1 billion in sales. The new maurices headquarters building will provide the space needed for maurices and Duluth-based ascena shared service associates.
maurices credits its talent and culture as the reason for its growth and success. “We have amazing people who truly care about one another, our company and customers,” says Sue Ross, EVP, Human Resources, at maurices. “We invest significantly in our associates’ growth through training and development, wellness programs and giving back to our communities through our charitable giving programs – all which are very important to our associates. Our new building will allow us to continue to build on our collaborative culture and provide programs that are important to our associates.”
Building Budget and Ownership
The total project cost is in excess of $70 million. maurices significantly stepped up its initial investment of $30 million to more than $50 million to make this project happen. maurices now owns the land after purchasing it from the AtWater Group in December 2013. In October, AtWater decided not to develop and lease tower space on two additional floors to meet the accelerated timeline required by all parties. “With the significant investment maurices is making, we thought it was prudent for us to own the land and building,” says Brian Thun, SVP, Chief Financial Officer at maurices.
The City of Duluth will own and operate the public parking ramp.
Along with maurices’ $50-plus million investment, the City of Duluth and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development are committing $20 million for the public parking ramp and skywalk infrastructure through a matching grant program.
The 401 Building and 425 Building will be razed to make way for the new maurices headquarters building. All current tenants of the 401 Building have found new locations and are supportive of this exciting economic development and reinvestment in downtown Duluth.
The first floor, Superior Street level, will serve as maurices’ main lobby with a stunning, two-story lobby entrance. AtWater Group is planning to develop and lease 15,000-20,000 of commercial and retail space on Superior Street, and is seeking a restaurant, coffee shop and other commercial and retail tenants.
maurices recently completed extensive investments and renovations of its Duluth and Cloquet stores and determined those locations are best suited to meet regional customer needs; the company is not planning a retail store in downtown Duluth.
The second floor will house maurices functions as well as skywalk connections.
Floors three through six will accommodate the public parking ramp, which will provide approximately 500 parking spots. The four-level parking ramp, owned and operated by the City of Duluth, meets a need for parking on the west end of downtown Duluth, with access primarily off of First Street.
Floors seven through eleven will be for maurices and ascena shared services. In addition to being the headquarters for maurices, Duluth also benefits from jobs that support many back office functions for Ascena Retail Group (Catherines, dressbarn, Justice, Lane Bryant).
The construction of the new building will provide about 250 construction jobs over two years. In addition to providing space for new job growth at maurices, it also will serve as a catalyst for development in the western end of downtown Duluth.
The construction manager, McGough Construction, has built towers and ramps similar in size and scope to maurices Headquarters and employs a Local First approach, which ensures utilization whenever possible of local labor, materials suppliers, and other local vendors and consultants. “McGough’s experience with similar size projects and their local first approach were key factors in why we selected them,” says Goldfarb.
The TEGRA Group is the owner’s representative for maurices. McGough Construction, headquartered in Roseville, MN, is the construction manager. They will coordinate activities among partners, oversee the budget and schedule for the project. RSP Architects, headquartered in Minneapolis, is responsible for the overall design of the building and the interior design of public spaces. They are supported by DSGW Architects and Scalzo Architects of Duluth. HGA Architects, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the lead interior design firm for the maurices’ office spaces, in partnership with DSGW Architects.