The Charlotte marketing communications firm Wray Ward is moving its corporate offices to a 1950s-era industrial building in the fast-changing FreeMoreWest neighborhood.
The move will include more than 100 employees, in addition to the agency’s collaboration spaces and production studios, Wray Ward said in a statement. The new office is slated to open summer 2020.
The roughly 20,000-square-foot original building is being renovated, and a new, two-story 18,000-square-foot building is being added, Wray Ward said. The new office is at 2317 Thrift Road, walkable to a number of businesses that will be moving to the area, including breweries such as Traust, coffee shops like Not Just Coffee and Noble Smoke, Jim Noble’s new restaurant.
In scouting the new location, the agency considered a number of factors, including walkability and proximity to major highways, the airport and uptown, Wray Ward said.
The new 38,000-square-foot space “gives us plenty of room for growth,” spokeswoman Heather Tamol said in an email. The move also enables Wray Ward to bring all of its resources under one roof: The agency’s studios are currently at the Foundry uptown, nearly 2 miles away from its office at 900 Baxter St.
Businesses all over Charlotte are moving their offices into rehabilitated old buildings — from old textile mills to former car factories.
This year, Duke Energy opened an innovation center at Optimist Hall, a former pantyhose mill. Last week, Charlotte developer Boulevard Real Estate Advisors announced plans to turn a site once home to Carolina Foundry into 15,000 square feet of office space for smaller tenants.
“Choosing a space that requires both renovation and new construction gives us a unique opportunity to incorporate our clients’ brands throughout the building and tell their stories during the build. It’s an incredible experience for us as a marketing agency, and we’re thrilled to start building our new home,” said Jennifer Appleby, the agency’s president and chief creative officer.