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MailTribune.com
  • One West Main project nears completion downtown

    Businesses prepare to move into One West Main as offices take shape downtown
  • On a pleasant June afternoon, Procare Software owner Jeff Blum invited his employees and their families over for a barbecue.
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  • On a pleasant June afternoon, Procare Software owner Jeff Blum invited his employees and their families over for a barbecue.
    The occasion was the Medford Cruise, but it was the venue — One West Main — that packed in the curious that day.
    Like the thousands of drivers passing by on Main and Eighth streets each day, the employees at Procare Software wanted to see what was going on behind the chain-link fences in the building that will soon be their work home.
    "I'm excited about the whole company being in one place, but so are PRS and Rogue Disposal," Blum said Monday. "We're all in multiple office buildings with some employees here and some employees there. You don't feel like a cohesive unit."
    Soon, however, his staff, along those at Pacific Retirement Services and Rogue Disposal, will all be under one roof.
    Work on One West Main has rounded the final corner, with occupancy close enough for some workers to begin packing.
    "The furniture is ordered and we're ready to move," said Brian McLemore, chief executive officer of PRS. "Everyone is packing their stuff, and the reality is that we'll be in a new home in 60 to 90 days."
    The outer shell of the downtown building was essentially completed by the Fourth of July on the $8.3 million, 116,600-square-foot project. PRS is now scheduled to move in Sept. 8, followed by Procare Software on Sept. 22 and Rogue Disposal Oct. 1. Rogue Disposal will occupy much of the 15,000-square-foot top floor, PRS will move into the 30,000-square-foot third floor, while Procare Software will take up half of the 30,000-square-foot second floor. The firms employ about 400 people.
    The trickiest part in keeping budgets in line and both interior and exterior schedules intact has been working around potential physical bottlenecks created by the need for 40 sub-contractors, including 20 to 25 at any given time, said Mike Jardine, a field superintendent and project foreman for Adroit Construction, the general contractor.
    To deal with the lack of a staging area and the tight confines, crews working on the exterior shell moved in clockwise fashion, starting on Eighth Street, then working along Fir Street before wrapping around to West Main, said Victoria Suppo, an operations engineer with Adroit.
    The collaborating companies spared few expenses when it came to heating, ventilation and cooling or back-up power.
    "The good news for all three of us is that everyone is in it for the long term," McLemore said. "We all weathered the recession and we're taking on some up-front costs that will have a lasting impact; hopefully we'll be here for the next 50 years."
    Those costs include a pair of $100,000 chilling machines designed to keep lines delivering cold water throughout the building, and a natural gas back-up generator — not to mention two-hour fire walls — protecting computer servers.
    "If the electricity goes out," Blum said. "We're not going to lose natural gas pressure."
    There were other quality commitments, ranging from big break rooms to decks and shower rooms.
    "We want an exciting environment for our staff to work in," McLemore said. "It made it easy to make those decisions."
    Flexible meeting rooms are major components for both the PRS and Procare build-outs.
    PRS has a lengthy meeting space along the west wall, capable of seating 100 or providing an eating area for 75 to 80 people. It can be divided into four smaller meeting rooms.
    "We have a monthly staff meeting and try to have everyone in for lunch and our board meetings are held here," McLemore said.
    "Sometimes we have big groups with people coming in from our communities across the country for accounting and (human resources) or executive training. We don't want to go out and rent hotel space."
    PRS operates nine large retirement communities and 25 affordable senior housing facilities in five states: Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, and Wisconsin.
    McLemore's office is in the southwest corner of the new building, but he said the location had more to do with wanting to be close to both the accounting — the largest department — and IT staffs.
    Procare Software's second-floor digs feature 4-by-4 acoustical clouds that give a far more open feeling. It also has a break room with a balcony overlooking Main Street. Off of the lunch room is the game room, which features Xbox gaming during breaks. The roll-up overhead door separating the two rooms will be raised, creating a conference room, when Blum's staff assembles for meetings.
    "We all had different needs we were trying to accomplish, so we used different architects," Blum said. Procare provides management software for daycare centers and other organizations involving children.
    Procare used OgdenRoemerWilkerson Architects, Rogue Disposal enlisted with Bruce Richey, and PRS worked with Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects of Portland, which created the exterior shell as well.
    "PRS is used to 40-story buildings," Blum said. "So a four-story project was no big deal."
    Rogue Disposal, located on the fourth floor, has the most commanding views. However, the parking garage mechanical rooms and cooling tower block some of scenery. A patio surrounded with bushes and shrubs juts off to the south.
    Given its later arrival date, Rogue Disposal has additional options on some of its space.
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.
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