Photo by Hoch Associates
Engineering News-Record recently awarded the Skyline Plaza Garage the Midwest's Best Project award for a government or public building. The editors cited the precast construction project in their award, as well as other challenges.
The job began with a coordinated effort to save time, during which the project team determined that using precast engineering and structural elements would help shave 12 weeks off the schedule. Some precast pieces were constructed in a plant nearly two hours away in Indianapolis and staged at a facility two miles from downtown. Nearly 1,300 precast members were then erected at the site after crews had to navigate them into downtown via a busy transportation grid.
The article also highlights the volume of piles supporting the building, which we appreciate considering the garage had to hold our headquarters!
To support the structure, crews installed 1,000 auger cast piles that ranged between 20 ft long and 35 ft long. The auger cast piles support 25 pile caps; the largest of which is supported by 124 auger cast piles and 370 cu yd of concrete. This work was completed quickly and efficiently, allowing construction on the precast portion of the garage to commence during the winter months, saving time and money, according to the project team.
Congratulations to the engineering teams! Read the full article here.
Today, we officially opened our new home!
Ash employees, invited guests and media joined us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the beautiful, three-story atrium at our new headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. The occasion happened to mark the four-year anniversary of the date CEO Tim Ash originally shared his vision for a new headquarters with employees at a Friday Morning Meeting.
Our team now occupies the top three levels of the Ash Skyline Plaza, a collaborative project that includes a city-owned parking garage, street-level retail space and a level of leased commercial space.
In his remarks, Tim thanked the many people who contributed to the project’s success, including Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Larry Weigand, CEO of Weigand Construction, who also spoke at the ceremony.
“There’s no ‘I’ in this company. It’s a ‘we’ thing,” Tim said. He explained the Skyline Plaza was built first and foremost for the employees of Ash Brokerage, many of whom watched the ceremony from the railings of the atrium’s top floors. It was also for the community, building on the city’s vision of making downtown Fort Wayne a place to live, work and play.
“There’s no city in America that’s considered great that doesn’t have a great downtown,” Tim said.
Mayor Henry echoed his sentiments, noting Ash Brokerage could have gone anywhere else in the city, the county or even the country. “It had been decades since a headquarters, much less a national headquarters, had made the decision to call downtown Fort Wayne home,” he said.
He called Ash Skyline Plaza a “tremendous asset,” that would be a catalyst for future investments downtown and in the entire community, noting the city has already seen snowball effects from the project.
Larry Weigand called the building “iconic,” and said it set the stage for future growth in the area. “This is no ordinary building … Every detail, every feature exudes quality, innovation and creativity,” he said.
Attendees had the chance to see those details firsthand during guided tours of our headquarters following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. With approximately 260 employees currently working here, our space was designed to allow everyone to sit within 50 feet of a window.
In addition to the atrium, the space features a dining and recreation area, coffee bars, lounge areas and a myriad of meeting spaces that can accommodate everything from quick conversations to conferences. Following three waves of moves, all of the company’s Fort Wayne employees are now working in the building, located at 888 S. Harrison St.
All of Skyline Plaza’s street-level retail spaces are filled:
Two companies, Barnes and Thornburg, and DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, are leasing the commercial space on the sixth level. The firms will move in later this summer.
Also slated for completion this summer is Skyline Park, our one-acre, rooftop green space – the largest in the state of Indiana! The building and park will not be open to the public; however, community members will have a chance to see both during a public open house planned for later this summer. Hope to see you there!
Our move has been years in the making … but after two weeks of packing, unpacking, cleaning and organizing, our Fort Wayne employees are all under the same roof again! As of yesterday (Thursday, May 26), everyone has been officially relocated to our new headquarters in the Ash Skyline Plaza.
Even though construction crews are still putting the finishing touches on the building, it feels good to be home, and we’re thrilled to be a part of downtown Fort Wayne. Fittingly enough, last night Tim Ash was honored with the Maclyn Park Swagger Award from Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Recipients of the award are recognized for helping the city get its “swagger” back.
We may be biased, but we think this building – and Tim’s other efforts downtown – are definitely bringing some swagger! Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself – later this summer, we’re planning a public event so you can see the swagger in person. Until then, take a look at our latest photos.
On our seventh floor, we have a coffee bar, as well as our employee dining and recreation space. In the food serving area, we'll eventually be offering soups, salads and sandwiches for employees to purchase. Yum!
Just around the corner, you can relax in the atrium, which goes up three levels. There's lots of cool, comfortable furniture here so you can work, have a meeting or just relax with an incredible view of the Fort Wayne skyline.
Our workspaces aren't all the same, but they all offer plenty of sunlight! The office was designed so every employee is within 50 feet of a window, allowing for more inspiration, creativity and collaboration to flow through our work. You'll also notice different sizes and types of meeting spaces, so we can have a quick chat OR a serious brainstorming session.
The Skyline Conference Center can be separated into three separate spaces for meetings, trainings and other special events. This is where we'll gather for our famous all-company Friday Morning Meetings - our first one in this building will be Friday, June 3!
Outside, crews are still working on Skyline Park, our rooftop green space which is scheduled for completion at the end of June. However, our north and south terraces got a boost of green this week with planters that have beautiful flowers and trees.
To top things off, all our exterior signs are in place. Just this morning, crews put up the Big Ash Tree - no joke, that thing weighs approximately 1,500 pounds! You can view it from Wayne Street ... or possibly from outer space. Our logo is also proudly mounted on the south terrace - it's not as big, but we think it's just as pretty.
With the Ash Skyline Plaza nearing completion, we're counting the days until we're in our new home! Ash Brokerage employees will begin moving in mid-May, with groups moving in three different waves. Once we're all together, we'll make things official with a ribbon cutting. Then later on this summer, we'll have a community event for the public to see our space. More details on those events will be coming soon.
Speaking of details, check out the photos our photographer Dean Oyer captured on a site tour Friday. First, take a glimpse at the DeBrand Fine Chocolates space - it looks so good you could eat it up!
Here's a look at The Golden restaurant, which is also coming together beautifully.
Heading upstairs, you can see the paths are in place at Skyline Park.
Need a break? Step out on to one of our seventh-floor terraces.
Inside on the seventh floor, our desks are in place and look nearly ready to go!
Tables and chairs have arrived in our training room, which can be divided into three separate spaces for meetings and other events, thanks to moveable walls.
Our three-story atrium is impressive, but so is our dining/recreation space, which is open to the floors above.
OK, even the restrooms look inviting!
More furniture and office spaces are coming together on the eighth floor (blue walls/carpet) and ninth floor (green walls/carpet).
These shiny white walls on the outside of our conference rooms and offices are more than just dividers - they're whiteboards we can use to share our great ideas! Convenient, right? We can't wait to try them out.
Details are what make a house a home, right? In that case, our new headquarters is looking more like home every day.
Check out these photos from our tour Friday, April 8. As you can see, the littlest touches are making the biggest impact!
Below, fitness equipment is already being installed at the Skyline YMCA.
Soon, Y members will be greeted at the front desk.
It's been too cold and wet for a trip to the park ... but soon, we'll enjoy walking the paths of Skyline Park, which is really taking shape.
Each level of our office (7, 8 and 9) has a distinct color. As you can see, level 7 is set off by a nice burnt orange.
We LOVE the wood accents that can be found throughout the building. What a great touch!
Is it weird to be excited over a water-bottle fountain? No? Good.
Check out the lovely shade of turquoise featured on level 8. Also, noticed how the access floors are finished, including carpet!
The top floor, level 9, looks great in green - can't wait to see more of our favorite color!