After five years in the Enterprise Building at 1517 State St., The Observer Group made a move to Main Street while closed for the holidays from Dec. 27 to Dec. 31. Employees started off the New Year Jan. 3 at their new digs on the third and fourth floors of the Crisp Building, 1970 Main St. The Observer Group’s neighbors in the Crisp Building include Italian restaurant Mediterraneo and First Step of Sarasota.
The Observer still maintains offices on Longboat Key and in Lakewood Ranch, but the downtown office space is The Observer’s flagship, which houses its administrative offices, sales and production staffs and The Sarasota Observer’s editorial staff. The Observer staff resides on the fourth floor, while the Gulf Coast Business Review staff is located on the third. In total, approximately 50 people work out of the office.
Demolition on the new space began in December 2009 after The Observer Group contracted with architect Barron Schimberg, of The Schimberg Group Inc., and contractors Youbar Builders.
Schimberg’s goal was to create an urban space.
“We wanted to keep it industrial, but give a feeling of home in an urban industrial setting,” says Schimberg. “The glass walls function to get as much natural light into the middle of the office, and we tried to keep things exposed and as industrial as possible but not cold.”
The new office space now has a mix of old and new: The original hardwood floors are restored, and exposed clay brick walls combine with sleek, contemporary, glass-walled offices and conference rooms that feature state-of-the-art technology.
“It was definitely a challenging project,” said Knickole Barger Curtis, vice president of Youbar Builders. “We had to be creative as far as conforming the old building to the needs of new technology and energy-efficient products. “
To visit The Observer and Gulf Coast Business Review during office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can access each office via the Crisp Building elevator on Main Street. Parking is available on Main Street, or visitors can park in the Courthouse Centre – Synovus Bank parking garage on the second, third or fourth floors in parking spaces marked for visitors.
Call 366-3468 for information.
Not only were hundreds of boxes taped up for The Observer’s big move, but Barron Schimberg and his staff were busy taping up the new entrances to both The Observer and Gulf Coast Business Review. Taping, you ask? Schimberg created dramatic entrance walls using a form of tape art. Watch a video of Schimberg in action below.