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Monday, April 24, 2017



Latest renovated historic downtown space

Wieland, the Michigan-based construction company, recently moved from its Youree Drive location into the first floor of the historic two-story building at 528 Commerce, near the riverfront in downtown Shreveport.

In his history of the building, local historian Lane Callaway dated the building to 1879, a period in which Shreveport was rapidly becoming an important port city.

“This accurate dating of 528 Commerce contributes to the significance of this commercial property as being present during the heyday of steamship-transport commerce in Shreveport. The primary area to off-load and load visiting steamships was essentially in front of the 600 and 500 blocks of Commerce Street,” wrote Callaway in his history of the property.

“This historic building retains a great deal of its historic integrity. Mr. H. M. Weil, the wholesale merchant who owned the building from 1907 to 1933, would readily recognize it if he could see it today,” Callaway wrote.

The building is currently owned by the Monty Glorioso family, according to Charley Kingery, senior business development manager and economic development specialist for Wieland.

“My grandfather operated his produce company (Santa Maria Produce) out of that building from 1945 to 1981,” Jodie Glorioso said. It was important to everyone interested in the building to retain its historical features.

“The architectural features we kept are the gears of the old freight elevator from Santa Maria Produce. It is now our conference room chandelier. We have utilized the old garage doors used for loading and unloading as space separators. The old hand trucks have been converted to work tables, and the old coolers are used for refrigeration and others have been converted to office sinks. The old banana racks are now our coat racks,” Kingery said.

“We used the picture of the front of the building in the 1950s as wallpaper for the front entrance. Lastly, we used the antique glass block to replace cinder block that filled in one of the original garage door openings,” he said.

“We have designed the space to have places for visitors and traveling personnel to have their own work stations. We have no doors so as to promote open and easy communication. We incorporated a sound system and sound panels to mask general office noise, and we have built two soundproof rooms for our teams to work in a private setting when necessary,” Kingery said. “The end result is a hybrid office, which incorporates a range of spaces and gives employees the autonomy to move between them throughout the day.” The 5,000-square-foot space also includes a Ping Pong table and coffee bar.

“We wanted to be back downtown. Ryan Roberts, vice president and regional director, and I were always interested in this building,” Kingery said. “Our first intent was to finish out the second floor, and we budgeted it out to incorporate the renovations into the lease arrangement (with the Glorioso family). Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pursue it further so we moved to the Youree Drive location.” The Gloriosos called again at a time Wieland’s was rethinking the building.

Kevin Bryan Architect helped design an open work theme. “We have found that this really promotes collaboration and efficiencies in our workflow while serving and exceeding the needs of our customers,” Kingery said. The interior design and furniture was successfully used by the company in Orlando and Lansing, and will soon be in the company’s offices in San Diego and Raleigh.

Wieland prides itself on building and renovating LEED-certified buildings. Their impressive client list includes Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center, Kellogg Corporation, Bridgestone America, Cessna Aircraft and General Mills.

“Wieland just completed the new YMCA on Clyde Fant Parkway and the AFS Logistics Building on Ellerbe Road. Currently, Wieland is working on the downtown aquarium, which we will have tours of after the ribboncutting ceremony (from the Wieland offices) at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 28, in groups of 15 at a time,” Kingery said.

Other Wieland projects include Fern Avenue Marketplace’s new La Madeleine Bakery Café and a “number of large industrial projects in the area for Rio Ammunition, Pratt Industries Recycling Mill, Ternium and Graphic Packaging,” he said.

“Currently, 10 office-based employees work in the building with more personnel to be added soon,” including project managers, assistant project managers, marketing personnel and a director of operations, Kingery said.

For more information about Wieland, visit www.wielandbuilds.com.

– Kathleen Ward


The Forum News