American Geophysical Union, Headquarters
Washington, DC, United States
Westlake, Ohio, United States
After 60 years in their Brooklyn, OH campus, the owners of American Greetings Corporation decided it was time to find a new home for their 1,800 employees. The company sought a new creative studio and world headquarters that celebrated and harnessed its unique culture while supporting and attracting the next generation of talent. With the move, American Greetings would also become Westlake’s largest employer, providing a major economic boost to the area.
Under the guidance of a previous owner’s rep, the project encountered numerous challenges and stalled out for eight months. American Greetings approached MGAC to take over project management responsibilities for the design and construction of the nearly $200 million investment in its people and future. MGAC additionally provided cost management services; oversaw the $13 million contract for procurement of all furniture, audiovisual, security, and IT systems; and provided relocation management for all 1,800 employees.
They say the only constant is change. Months after being hired—well into the design phase—we realized we needed to reset the project and manage a competitive bidding process. Then, midway through construction, it became clear the inherited program of requirements was insufficient. We incorporated an additional 90,000 SF into the program while ensuring best value.
As the team roster, floor plans, and layouts changed, we responded quickly in the field with solutions. Monitoring and communicating every decision through BIM, we managed the changes—and their ripple effects—across the project and budget. Move planning efforts required consistent coordination, communication, and strategy sessions with many parties.
On the heels of construction completion came the relocation. Our seamless six-weekend movement of documents, equipment, and people vital to this company’s operations—without missing a beat in production—was the ultimate measure of project success. In addition to relocating over 1,800 employees, our team helped install or relocate 1,678 workstations, 6,036 pieces of furniture, 367 pieces of specialized equipment, and 49 offices. Today, the 600,000 SF build-to-suit headquarters is a perpetual source of pride for all involved.