Schreiber Foods Home Office and Global Technology Center
Location: Green Bay
Project size: 260,000 square feet
Project cost: $85 million
Start date: July 17, 2012
Completion date: May 30, 2014
Submitting company: HGA Architects and Engineers
General contractor: Gilbane Building Company
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Engineer: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Schreiber Foods, Inc.
Putting a global dairy-company headquarters in the footprint of an old shopping mall isn’t exactly a traditional building model.
“It certainly would have been an easier choice to pick an 80-acre or 70-acre exurban or suburban site, put surface parking and retention ponds and just start from scratch on the outside of the city,” said Paula Verboomen, design architect with HGA Architects and Engineers, which oversaw the project. “But I think Schreiber, at its core, had a dedication to Green Bay.”
After all, since 1945, the hometown start-up has grown from a dairy company with just one production facility into a global supplier of store-brand and foodservice industry cheeses, with 7,000 employees in 10 countries.
And, yet, with limited brand recognition and six facilities scattered throughout Green Bay, HGA project manager Peter Balistrieri said, “You really wouldn’t have known they existed.”
That changed with the company’s new headquarters, which not only combined the previous properties into a single 250,000-square-foot space, but also rehabilitated a blighted suburban-style shopping mall a block from the Fox River.
“Now they’ve become an anchor in the city,” Balistrieri said.
To do that, project designers incorporated about 60 percent of the mall’s original foundation into the new Schreiber facility. They also recreated a street grid, frontage and green spaces, all elements eaten up by the sprawling mall.
The effort led to a 90-foot office space; most offices span 120 feet. And nearby childcare facilities, a convention center, even the local library, which Schreiber employees use for local meeting space, meant the company didn’t have to provide additional daycare, cafeteria space and meetings rooms for its nearly 900 on-site employees.
“They didn’t just go downtown because they’re nice,” Verboomen said. “They actually built less because they built in the city.”
Which meant they could put dollars where they really mattered, such as in the facility’s new R&D labs, pilot plant and appliance kitchens, where clients can step into kitchens that mimic those used by their customers, from the commercial kitchen of a fast-food restaurant to a more traditional home set-up with a stovetop and range.
And it all came together with help from nearly 200 employees, who met with project leaders through the design process.
“It’s really unusual, but it’s really part of Schreiber’s culture — they’re very participatory,” Verboomen said. “It took a lot of time preparing for a lot of meetings, but in the end so many people owned parts of that building. It felt very natural when they moved in.”