CHARLOTTE – After a while of writing about renovation or upfit projects in the city, many of them start to sound the same.
Every once in a while, a project will jump out that breaks the mold; but often upfit projects involve adding simple office space, not gutting renovations.
When AREVA, a Paris-based energy giant, announced in March that it had chosen Innovation Park in north Charlotte as the location for the company’s North American headquarters, it figured to be larger than most renovation projects.
So far the $3 million project has proven to be just that.
Choate Construction, based in Charlotte, has been working on the AREVA expansion, at 7207 IBM Drive, since May 20.
The renovation project includes a new customer conference center, executive offices, training facilities, and additional exterior branding, said Dan Jennings, the director of corporate real estate and facilities at AREVA. In addition, BECO South, which owns the massive Innovation Park, has expanded the visitor parking lot for AREVA and other tenants near the company’s entrances off IBM Drive.
The exterior work, executive offices and customer conference center are set to wrap up at the end of this month, but the new training facilities and additional office space won’t be finished until later in October, according to Jennings.
Once completed, AREVA will occupy about 200,000 square feet in the 1 million-plus-square-foot business park in University City.
Jennings said AREVA chose Charlotte for the North American headquarters for a number of reasons, including the city’s emergence as a new energy hub; the business infrastructure, such as Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Innovation Park; the state’s friendly atmosphere for business; and a deep and emerging talent pool from which AREVA can hire.
In the soon-to-be completed North American headquarters, AREVA will have a full-time and support staff of around 600 people, Jennings said.
According to AREVA, construction project partners include BECO South Construction, SFI Electronics, Unified A/V Systems, Black Box, Alfred Williams and OfficeEnvironments, in addition to Choate. CBRE is managing the project.
Project description: AREVA is renovating its space at Innovation Park to expand and update, in order to establish the company’s North American headquarters.
Address: 7207 IBM Drive
Square footage: Once finished, AREVA will occupy about 200,000 square feet.
Project cost: More than $3 million; AREVA wouldn’t disclose the exact cost
General contractor: Choate Construction
Project started: May 20
Expected completion: Mid-October