315 Franklin: A Fresh Take On Office Space In Downtown Huntsville

Creating a dynamic office space that’s inventive, flexible, and practical is a challenge, but it’s a project that Will Brannon and his brother Curt Brannon were willing to undertake. As Co-owners of 315 Franklin Street, they had a vision for Downtown Huntsville that included the addition of a space that would not only be unique, but also serve a purpose that would benefit the city.

Larger cities like San Diego and New York have long embraced the concept of shared office spaces, but the trend has made its way to Huntsville and has already attracted several dynamic businesses.

“Companies are becoming more open to the concept of less traditional methods when expanding,” Will explained. “The purpose of 315 Franklin was to create an experience. When you walk inside these doors, we want you to feel a certain way and reap the benefits that the space can offer.”

When faced with the mission of redeveloping one of downtown’s spaces on Franklin Street, Will and Curt seized the opportunity to “invest in Huntsville’s growth.”

Building A Community

What does a shared office space look like and how does it function? At 315 Franklin, you’ll find several amenities that point tenants to one goal—building a community. Collaborative office spaces are growing in popularity, according to Will. But 315 takes it a step further by offering desks to employees of different companies who can use the space, its conference room, and rooftop terrace all without the expense of renting a dedicated office.

“For instance, if you had a business that recently signed a 5-year lease on a new office space to meet their current needs but grew rapidly, our concept provides flexible, dynamic space and bandwidth,” assured Will. “It not only gives them a space to do their job, but ideally, they will be working elbow-to-elbow with people from complementary companies. We’ve created an ecosystem that’s conducive to networking, building relationships, and referring business to each other.”

“Imagine you are an architect with a vision,” he went on. “You will be in the same office with subcontractors and developers that will offer insight into your project that you may otherwise have missed out on. That’s just one benefit of the space.”

With the addition of new businesses and an increased focus on the “live, work, play,” lifestyle, Downtown Huntsville is leading the way in new, experiential ideas. 315 Franklin is a progressive space that shows the city has a lot of growth on the horizon.

Huntsville’s Investment In Growth

“If you quit seeing change in Huntsville, check your pulse,” joked Will. “The city’s growth as a whole makes projects like this possible. Thanks to Downtown Huntsville, Inc., and the leaders who want to see Huntsville grow and change, we are enjoying the benefits of larger cities.”

The bottom floor of 315 is already fully leased to Haufe, a next-generation Talent Management/HR company that “enables companies to attract, engage, and retain the top talent they need to be leaders in their industries.” The company’s previous headquarters was in San Francisco, but they recently made their move to Huntsville.

“Haufe was coming to Huntsville regardless, which says a lot about our city,” said Will. “But they were attracted to 315 Franklin because of the concept—the availability of shared space upstairs pacified any concerns they had of outgrowing their new office. If they grow, they can simply rent a desk upstairs and expand as needed. They were a great candidate for the space and we are glad to have them.”

Will went on to share that much of the success with the project is due to relationships with trusted commercial real estate agents, developers, and leaders that believed in the idea. But it’s a project with no end in sight.

A Vision Evolving Daily

“First of all, this is not what I thought I’d be doing in my career,” clarified Will. “My intention was always to go to medical school and become a doctor. After working in a hospital for a while I discovered that it wasn’t for me, so I started from square one. I began working for an experiential marketing company and it became my new passion.”

Thanks to the background in marketing, Will said he and his team were able to research trends in larger cities and envision what Huntsville will become.

“The thing about this space that’s so great is that there’s always room to change the vision—it’s always growing,” he said.  “We always have the option of making a version two. We want to hear from people on what else would make this space even better. We have the rooftop terrace, that’s something people have come to appreciate in a work environment.”

At the end of the day, a space needs to have value. Will says that making the space work with your story is where you can find that value.

Telling Your Story With A Space

Many of the amenities in 315 Franklin are designed to be flexible and, at the same time, easily controlled. When considering the value of the space, Will and Curt wanted to ensure that it was beneficial for all age groups and working styles.

“We made sure there is room for both isolation and collaboration,” assured Will. “Some people here like to have quiet—and we have space for that—while others prefer a more collaborative environment. Making the space work with both is a necessity in order to create the most positive workplace.”

All of the desks in 315 Franklin were custom made by SCSWORX in Huntsville, the company where Will currently serves as President. In fact, members of Will’s sales and creative teams have desks on the top floor. As an experiential marketing company, SCSWORX helps companies build better tangible brand experiences. In the case of 315 Franklin, the brand is the space itself.

“We designed all of the desks with wheels on them, because we never know what the next day will hold,” said Will. “Tomorrow may be a day that we want to collaborate, but today we may need our space. Simple things like the addition of those wheels make the space flexible and controllable.”

Thankful For Recognition

Recently, 315 Franklin was on a list of possible Downtown Huntsville projects that were nominated for Project of the Year. While the award went to the deserving Preservation Company, Will said 315 Franklin was honored to be on the same list.

“Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as the other nominees was incredible,” beamed Will. “I held those projects on a pedestal, and the fact that people acknowledged what we were doing here as deserving of a nomination—well, we are overwhelmed. We have so many people to thank—Peter Lowe, the Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission, Downtown Huntsville, Inc., and many more—for believing in projects like this. We love to see the city grow and change, and it’s even better to know we were a small part of it.”

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_squareHALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Advertisements

The Garage Adds Outdoor Speaker System By Mozaic Audio Video

If you visited The Garage at Clinton Row this holiday season, you may have noticed the cheerful Christmas music filling the air while shoppers hopped from store to store.

Crunkleton is happy to share that a new permanent speaker system was recently installed to the exterior of the retail center and will continue to enhance the shopping experience year-round through a sleek, stylish system designed by Mozaic Audio Video Integration.

Michael Johnson, CEO of Mozaic, led the installation and said the new system will give retailers the ability to control music from a variety of sources.

“It’s nice to have the added ambiance while visiting the boutiques,” stated Michael. “Downtown Huntsville has been good to us and being part of The Garage is very rewarding. We hope everyone enjoys the music as they browse the shops.”

Now that the holidays are over, the speakers will tune in to a variety of modern playlists that will help set the tone for a leisurely shopping experience.

“The addition of the new speaker system will help us build the right atmosphere when shopping at The Garage,” explained Wesley Crunkleton, developer of the property. “Music can set the pace for an enjoyable retail experience, and that’s what we strive to deliver.”

Be sure to visit The Garage at Clinton Row in Downtown Huntsville. You can also follow The Garage on Facebook and Instagram!

Mozaic AV—An eye for design

With 13 years of AV experience already under his belt, Michael envisioned a new way to improve the quality and design of audio/visual installations. After much planning and preparation, he opened Mozaic Audio Video Integration. His background in graphic design allowed him to create one-of-a-kind systems—both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.

Photo courtesy Mozaic AV.

“Mozaic is made up of specialists from a variety of backgrounds,” explained Michael. “We are a team of artists, craftsmen, and designers that look at projects with a different set of eyes. Our various skillsets help us deliver systems and setups that are simple, elegant, and clean. Don’t get me wrong; we are definitely AV nerds. But we put a different spin on things.”

Overcoming aesthetic challenges

A three-year-old business, Mozaic has had its hands on several major projects downtown, as well as many commercial, residential, and personal assignments. After designing AV systems for Elitaire Boutique and Roosevelt & Company: Gentleman’s Supply, the next step was setting up a sound system for the development as a whole.

Photo courtesy Mozaic AV.

“There are always challenges to overcome when designing a new audio video system,” said Michael. “It’s important for us to expand our definition of a job well done. You can’t narrow your focus to only sound or image quality; you have to consider how it works and how people will interact with it. If a system is unreliable or hard to use, whether it sounds or looks good is of little use. Design is not just how something looks and sounds—to quote Steve Jobs, ‘design is how it works.’”

Mozaic creates customized systems that can be completely hidden from view—something that interior designers have expressed thanks for in past projects.

Photo courtesy Mozaic AV.

“One of our more recent assignments was the audio/video design for Crunkleton’s office,” said Michael. “In regards to that project, we had several specific parameters we had to work within. The Crunkleton office has a glass panel wall, and the challenge was hiding all of the electronics. In the end, we delivered an impressive setup that works very well with the space.”

Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate conference room.

Adapting to changing technology

Michael stressed that in order to be successful in the audio/video industry, you have to have knowledge beyond standard equipment. Experts need to understand network solutions, climate control, lighting control, and energy efficiency—all areas that Mozaic has tackled.

“These days, everyone wants to be able to control systems via iPhones, iPads, and Android devices,” assured Michael. “We create systems that connect with those electronics while tailoring the look to each client’s needs.”

Because technology is constantly evolving, the team at Mozaic is always busy learning new methods to stay ahead.

“Changing electronics and tech make things more difficult, yes,” said Michael. “But we love doing the hard work and delivering on the promises we make to our clients. Seeing the customer’s face when we exceed their expectations is why we do what we do.”

To learn more about Mozaic Audio Video Integration, visit www.mozaicav.com. Or, follow the company on Facebook.

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

 

The 2017 Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide

It’s that time of year again! We are excited to share our third annual Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide!

From local art and paper goods to men’s clothing and antiques, Downtown Huntsville has your Christmas list needs covered.

Each year, we release a lookbook of Downtown retailers so you can see the types of gifts and goodies you will find in each store, along with their hours of operation and locations. We’ve included stocking stuffers, gifts for dad, children’s toys, locally made items, gift cards, and much more. There’s plenty to be found in the heart of the Rocket City!

This year’s website was updated with some of the newest shops to join the Downtown family, like Scout & Molly’s Boutique and Asylum Comics. We also added some old favorites like Lewter Hardware Company and Greene Street Market Store—just to name a few.

2017 Downtown Christmas Shopping Guide

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can find in this year’s guide. Happy shopping, everyone!

Greene Street Market Store

Boutique Station

Lewter Hardware Company

Huntsville Museum of Art Store

Click here to view the official guide and get a look at the other amazing shops Downtown!

Help spread the word and support local shops by sharing this guide on social media!

Did we leave out one of your favorite Downtown stores? Send us an email at info@crunkletonassociates.com so we can add them to the list!

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

The Evolution of 104 Jefferson

When searching for his next renovation project, Wesley Crunkleton, Principal at Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate, ended up finding a space that surprised him.

“When I was initially told about this property being a potential opportunity, I had a hard time identifying which property they were referring to,” he said. “When I walked over to Jefferson Street to check it out, I remember saying to myself that I didn’t think I’d ever realized the building was there. However, once I started walking through the space I saw a ton of potential.”

After finishing The Garage at Clinton Row, the 11,000 square foot mid-block building would soon become the site of Wesley’s next downtown real estate redevelopment.

The exterior of 104 Jefferson before renovations began.

The Plan

During the past few months, anyone walking downtown near Jefferson Street noticed the changes taking place at one of the block’s historic buildings. Although hidden behind a construction tent at times, the property was quickly becoming one of the city’s next modern office spaces.

“We had been looking at other opportunities for renovations downtown that didn’t work out at the time,” said Wesley. “The contractor I used for The Garage at Clinton Row put me in touch with the owners of 104 Jefferson and that’s when the project really took off.”

After a few months of deliberation and patience from all parties involved, everyone agreed to terms of the building’s purchase. A schedule of events was quickly put together.

“Our first order of business, after we had devised a plan for the property, was to make sure that the City of Huntsville Inspection and Fire Department were on board, as well,” he said.

“These older properties can be tricky because they were built during a period of time that either did not involve the inspection process or the process was vastly different from today. Both the Inspection and Fire Department can really be helpful on the front end with a project like this, and I would always recommend that anyone planning to undertake a downtown renovation get them involved early in the process.”

(Below are images of the property BEFORE the renovation.)

From January to July of this year, the look and feel of the property changed dramatically.

The Design: Modern Industrial

Although the building’s construction was completed in 1915, its interior design was frozen in time somewhere between the late 80s and early 90s.

“When I came across the space, everything was very retro,” explained Wesley. “Funky shapes, bold reds, and other dated elements were interspersed throughout the property. We knew there needed to be a significant amount of work done to uncover its true potential.”

104 Jefferson’s facelift was not a simple undertaking. Work began to expose brick walls and incorporate sleek glass, clean lines, and aesthetically pleasing paint colors. In fact, only two colors were used throughout the final product. The wooden doors you see today are made from the wooden rafters taken out of the second-floor ceiling.

“The goal was to make everything clean as possible,” he said. “We ended up using a dark tile with a dark grout that gives the lobby a slate or concrete finish look. The seamless glass entry doors in each suite are a hint to the modern, while the exposed brick gives it the industrial feel.”

(Here are images of 104 Jefferson AFTER the renovation.)

The character of the property began to take shape with the addition of exposed sprinkler pipes and artistic lighting fixtures. But its crowning jewel was something that received much attention from the community—a hidden mural that made its debut during the fourth day of chipping away at the lobby’s plaster.

The Discovery: A Message From The Past

 “Without a doubt, you need to remove the plaster. Take it off.”

This was the advice given to Wesley on a business trip to Chattanooga while visiting a contractor acquaintance who had tackled similar projects. Not wanting to begin a project that he couldn’t execute 100 percent, the encouragement was the push he needed to make the final design decision to uncover the wall beneath the old plaster.

“I already knew it was something that I wanted to do—expose the brick,” said Wesley. “And sure enough, we started chipping away and found yellows, greens, and blues. The old sign started to show itself. It was a welcomed surprise.”

After doing research, Wesley determined that the sign was for Bull Durham Tobacco. Co. and had been hidden for decades.

“It’s the same tobacco company whose factory was operational in the mid-1900s but burned down in North Carolina where the company was based,” he said. “We thought the connection to the past would be a wonderful feature to the building that would add personality and interest its visitors.”

The Modern Office Space: Where Is It Headed?

It’s impossible to ignore the changes in the look, feel, and function of 104 Jefferson. In an effort to keep pace with the transformations in today’s office settings, the space was built to encourage collaboration, creative team building, and successful project execution.

“Simply put, offices are headed to less of an office feel,” clarified Wesley. “Offices are becoming a place that you not only work but hang out, as well. The days of squeezing into a tiny conference room and exhausting yourself over a whiteboard are gone. Now, business might be done over a game of pool in the back lounge where people brainstorm.”

The Environment: Downtown Huntsville

Businesses are flocking to the downtown area in order to take advantage of the off-site meeting spaces, like coffee shops and bars, in order to recruit new hires and take a mental break from the daily grind.

Exterior of 104 Jefferson after the renovations.

Current tenants at 104 Jefferson include KPS Group and Prime Lending, which moved in after the renovations were completed to the ground floor.

“It really is more about your office dynamic rather than what downtown provides as an office setting,” he said. “For instance, Prime Lending moved its business from South Parkway. The ability to walk out the door and go have a drink or shop at The Garage at Clinton Row helps them utilize downtown as a built-in recruiting tool.”

The Reward: A Completed Project

“One of the most gratifying parts of any project is when people are pleased with what you’ve done to their property,” beamed Wesley. “The seller of the site found me after the renovation was complete and said they were very happy with the way it turned out. It’s a great feeling, and we are very thankful at how patient and supportive they have been throughout the process. It was truly a team effort. Everyone involved has been incredible.”

Next time you are exploring Downtown Huntsville, take a moment to stop and look at one of Huntsville’s newest office spaces that combines the present with the past. It very well could be the perfect spot for your business.

 To learn more about 104 Jefferson, click here.

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_clemons_signature
haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM