Out of the Box
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|Next time you're in the freezer aisle, ask yourself if it'd be a good spot for a corner office. Englewood Construction (which specializes in retail build-outs), has turned a family owned grocery store into its new HQ in downtown Lemont.|
|The 12-year-old company purchased the 14k SF store for less in mortgage payment than it would have paid in rent at its former Schiller Park industrial office building. Englewood's Kim Sawyer,Bill Di Santo, and Chuck Taylor showed us around their new digs on Monday. Each employee picked their office wall colors from a palette based on a painting of a Mandarin duck that Chuck hung in the reception area, giving the space a Prairie style color and feel. Englewood is trying to earn LEED cert for the space; it reused all the office furniture from its former space and is a two-minute walk from the Metra to downtown Chicago. They even cut the old conference table into two smaller tables, one for their war room where proposals are pitched and one for a small conference room.|
|Here's Bill in his new office. Englewood employees did all of the carpentry themselves from locally sourced materials. While Englewood has built many stores on Michigan Ave, including the new American Girl at WaterTower Place and Zara, about 65% of its business is out-of-state, so being downtown wasn't essential for the company's 18 office employees. Right now, it's working on stores for Michael Hill and American Girl throughout the country.|
|This bar proved to be the most popular new addition at the company holiday party two weeks ago. An in-house gym complete with shower, and a kitchen with stovetop, oven, and full-sized dishwasher round out the building's amenities. Chuck says he can hardly believe the office had check-out lines in it just four months ago, when Englewood bought the property from a family owner who had closed the store more than two years ago.|