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Monday, December 09, 2013

Campbell Mithun signs lease to move

In a decision prioritizing employee needs and progressive workspace planning, Minneapolis ad agency Campbell Mithun announced it has signed a lease to be anchor tenant in the 510 Marquette building and will work with Julie Snow Architects to design the new space.  Campbell Mithun will occupy approximately 65,000 square feet on the 10th-13th floors of the building, as well as the rooftop and penthouse. Targeted completion date: fourth quarter 2014.
“A move like this accelerates transformation and invites reappraisal of what Campbell Mithun is capable of,” said Rob Buchner, CEO of the agency. “Our aim is to design a workspace that sets a new bar in the creative community — locally, for sure, but for the industry as a whole. This is our ambition.”
Campbell Mithun employees gathered for a sneak peek of their future home on a demolished-for-build-out floor of the building; leaders from the agency spoke about the agency’s vision for its design.  Video highlights:
·         Rob Buchner, CEO, comments re strategic importance of move (:30):
·         Steve Arndt, CFO, comments re approach to design priorities (:30):
·         B-roll footage of staff viewing the space (1:00):
Julie Snow added: “Physical space has the power to transform daily work life. We will approach this project to empower how Campbell Mithun works as an agency -- facilitating modern collaboration, creativity and flexibility – while creating a space that enlivens the building’s compelling historic aesthetic. We’re honored to help bring it to life.” 
“This space just happens to be ‘due North’ of our present offices,” continued Buchner, “and we’ll be occupying the 13th floor, which would make Ray Mithun smile.”  Founder Ray Mithun often challenged employees to help clients find “which way is North?” and embraced the number 13 to inspire personal risk taking by his employees.
Downtown development mojo
Originally constructed in 1921 for the Federal Reserve, the 510 Marquette building sits on the burgeoning end of downtown Minneapolis on the light-rail line at the convergence of residential and business districts experiencing substantial development. 
“We were looking for space in the center of commerce, within the city’s transportation infrastructure, to build out with our employees in mind,” said agency CFO Steve Arndt. “We found all that – and discovered an urban corridor, from the center of the city to the river, that’s infused with development energy. That’s energy that’s good for people and good for business.”
Among the development projects happening in Campbell Mithun’s new neighborhood: the planned redesign of Nicollet Mall -- which will be led by New York-based James Corner Field Operations with a design team that includes Julie Snow Architects. Other development projects nearby include Excel Energy’s new headquarters; the Nic on 5th and Soo Line Building residential towers; and the recently renovated 5th Street Towers.
“Not only are Julie and her team keenly aware of all that’s happening in this part of downtown,” continued Arndt, “but they demonstrated their understanding of how Campbell Mithun’s new home must, first and foremost, functionally support the way we now produce our best work.  We’re eager to get started.”
Progressive planning for historic space
Julie Snow Architects will collaborate with Campbell Mithun to bring a modern, urban feel to the historic building by using progressive space-planning strategies, a future-oriented architectural design and locally sourced materials. Functionally, the space will be designed to enable multidisciplinary collaboration and offer flexibility via a balance of individual workspaces and common areas that support collaboration and creativity.
The agency will retain some of the building’s original character – exposed brick and open ceiling architecture – and develop an open, creative feel not typical for space in the central business district and with connecting skyways.
Also atypical is the whitish, silvery brick discovered under layers of plaster; the brick is original, uncommon for Minneapolis, and will become a key interior feature. The building also has an unusual amount of natural light for a downtown office space due to it having windows on three sides (all to be enlarged).
Campbell Mithun: At home on the 13th floor
Occupying the 13th floor of a building will be a homecoming of sorts for the agency, which has been located downtown for 80 years. Ray Mithun founded the agency on the 13th floor of the Northwestern Bank building in 1933 because, due to superstition, renting the 13th floor was less expensive. “If 13 is unlucky for someone, it must be lucky for someone else,” Mithun said. “We decided, at the start, to be ‘someone else.’”
Since its founding, the agency has embraced the number 13 as an important part of its culture. Ralph Campbell and Raymond Mithun had 13 letters in their names, “courage” remains an agency tenet symbolized by the number 13 and Campbell Mithun’s current internship is called Lucky 13.

“Were we looking for a 13th floor? Of course not,” said Buchner. “Time has certainly been kind to Campbell Mithun as we’ve opted for courageous thinking over superstition for the past 80 years.”