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Cool Offices: Prime Therapeutics Debuts Colorful Headquarters

When companies take the step of building a new headquarters from the ground up, it’s usually because they’re replacing an older space. When Prime Therapeutics broke ground on a new campus in Eagan, Minnesota, it was replacing four locations.

Prime had been decentralized, with offices across the southern metro: Eagan, Edina and Mendota Heights. It would be an inefficient way for any company to work, let alone one with over 2,000 employees.

The decision was made to build a new, consolidated headquarters; the project broke ground in June 2017, with the deadline for completion set for October 2018. That was the day the lease on Prime’s old headquarters, also in Eagan, would expire.

“It was an experience for the whole team to come together,” Jennifer McMaster said, putting a positive spin on the tight timeline. McMaster is an architect at HGA who worked on the project. “We spent a lot of time together in the planning stage.”

Brian Holmes, vice president of real estate and strategic partnerships for Prime, was a little more blunt: “It was aggressive, but successful.”

The project was broken up into two phases. The first phase, with 225,000 square feet, would include office amenities and enough space for employees from the old headquarters. The second phase, with 385,000 square feet, would create working space for employees from the other offices, as well as some extra room to grow.

Phase 1 is already operating at capacity, about 900 people, while phase 2 is on schedule to finish later this year.

The office is very colorful, which is aesthetically pleasing, but also serves a functional purpose. McMaster explained that teal features are for collaborative spaces, while green features indicate “refill rooms,” or break areas. The rec room is magenta, while training rooms use orange.

There’s also a fitness center and an indoor walking path. Some employees have even taken to holding walking meetings with their colleagues.

Holmes’ favorite amenity is the massive new cafeteria.

“It’s really kind of become that central hub of the building,” he said. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the room bright and welcoming, while the diversity of seating options allows for a variety of experiences.

“It was meant to be a big gathering space,” McMaster said.

The food service provider is Aramark, which operates a variety of food stations. There also is a Caribou Coffee and a space permanently reserved for bringing in outside vendors.

There’s also an outdoor patio section.

“[It] obviously hasn’t been leveraged yet,” Holmes said, adding that he was looking forward to eating outside when winter eventually ends.

View the slideshow in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.