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August 23, 2017

A New Office and An Invitation

Next month, we’ll be relocating to our new building in downtown Olathe. Before our open house on October 12, 2017, we wanted to give you a preview of the space. Here, the president of Landworks Studio, Carisa McMullen shares her plans for the building. 

Why did you select this building?
Besides being right around the corner from our current location, this building has history and is located at the most prominent intersection in downtown Olathe. We have views of the current courthouse, fountain and park space. With the positive vote for the new courthouse, we will have front-row seats to what new development occurs on the county property, as well.

What was your vision for the space?
I am excited to provide a permanent home for Landworks Studio, while becoming a stakeholder and active participant in the rebirth of downtown Olathe. Employees are encouraged to participate and volunteer in many ways as well, including Fourth Friday events and Old Settlers Days. We are seeing progress in our efforts, and that contributes to a positive office culture.

Tell me a little about your office space. 
Our office space will be on the second floor of the building, so we can have three tenants on the first floor. Two of these are retail, which is something we need more of in downtown Olathe; the other is a law office. We are located above the coolest coffee shop that provides the ultimate “Friends” experience!

On our floor, we have opted for a combination of open concept and office spaces, after conducting significant research. We have work stations, quiet spaces, a small conference setting and a large conference room, along with a studio table for small office charrettes. We are also adding outdoor furniture for the many days where working or meeting outside is more desirable than staying in. This variety supports the wide range of ways we work.

I am also considering the possibility of offering some maker space for start-ups or community meeting space in the future. If this comes to fruition, we will be adding energy and activity around us that can only be viewed as synergistic and positive.

What are some things you’ve added or implemented with your team in mind?
We now have a second bathroom! We also have an employee lounge space that is new for us. I see it becoming a place that employees will adapt for their needs, making for a better work day experience.
 
What are some of the unique details that will be going into your office?
We have an interesting combination of restored space combined with contemporary finishes. We have punched through an existing wall with steel plates to combine both styles. Lighting was something I was passionate about, and I am also looking forward to being able to showcase artists, both local, regional and national, as resources allow.

What have you learned about the building’s history?
The county lists the building’s date as 1920. From the layers of wall, floor and varied construction materials used, parts of the building are much older, and some are newer. The building has had many lives, and I have heard countless stories of when retail was a key component in downtown Olathe. Originally, the building was built as a bank. I understand the building on the adjacent corner was also a bank. One was for democrats, and one for republicans.  I don’t know which was which, but neither space has been a bank for years. However, the adjacent building, now home to Peeps Babies and Bears, a 4D ultrasound and baby store, still has the beautiful teller windows, which are worth seeing. 

Olathe Donut once occupied what is now becoming Park Street Pastry in our building, and that is bringing memories back to many who are still working downtown. “My dad used to take me to get a haircut and grab a donut when I was a kid,” is something I have heard more than once.  

As we’ve renovated, we found that the electric meters in the basement have handwritten notes that include donut shop, deli, shoe store, barbershop and antique store to name a few.  

As an owner, what are your plans for the building?
My goal for the building is to support the sale of goods and services that are in demand for visitors, businesses and residents. Everyone knows we need more retail to be vibrant, and I am hoping this building offers a chance to bring that to downtown. I also appreciate that the current tenants, and not just my office, share the same vision.  

Tell us a little about the project team. 
We have utilized some of our trusted partners to accomplish our goals with a lot of support from the design community. Odimo Architecture was the lead design firm, along with Stand Structural Engineering, Inc. Our contractor has been fabulous. If you don’t know Mark Spears with 3 Square Contracting, you need to!  

Kate Wimer with Mercer-Zimmerman assisted with our lighting design and ordering. Stacy Ernst with Landscape Forms and Michael Allen with Forms + Surfaces have graciously assisted us with our outdoor space.

You’re Invited! Be sure to mark your calendars for the Landworks Studio open house: 
•    October 12, 2017 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM
•    102 S. Cherry Olathe, KS 66061