SuperValu East View Innovation Center
In March 2007, Knutson began work with SuperValu, the country’s largest food wholesaler, to transform 180,000 square feet of the former Best Buy headquarters into their new marketing and innovation center. The “heart and soul” of SuperValu, the facility includes a center of excellence for marketing and merchandising featuring test kitchens, a vendor conference center, and lab store.
Despite the lack of final design plans, Knutson initiated demolition and construction to ensure the space was ready for new personnel who would be moving in within six weeks. This was a massive building that required major demolition and build back. We worked strategically and prepared for significant challenges and changes along the way. The situation required Knutson and the architects, HGA, to work closely with the owner and have a lot of faith in each other.
As the scope of the project grew, Knutson added work on the vendor conference and store mock-up areas, and the final portion of the building, for a total of 350,000 square feet of finished space.
Key factors that contributed to the success of this uniquely challenging project include:
Team Approach. The project changed and evolved throughout the construction phase requiring exceptional teamwork. Change happened at the owner level, and every team member—contractor, designer, inspector, subcontractor, partner—collaborated to keep the project moving forward.
Flexibility. Knutson had to proceed with demolition and construction despite the lack of final designs, so changing design specifications became one of the givens for this project. Literally, we were building out portions of the project while design was still in progress.
Solutions. This project contained extreme time and budget constraints with a rock-hard deadline for completion. A critical mass of people was moving into the space from Idaho, and we simply had to get it done. By focusing on solutions, instead of constraints, we were able to keep the project on track.
Communication. This project required effective communication on many levels. People moved into this facility while construction continued in other parts of the building. “Knutson did a great job of working with office managers and employees to let them know what would be happening on a daily basis. For me, that mitigated 90% of the angst,” explained Timn Jacobs, SuperValu’s Director of Project Development.
Fun. Everyone involved in the construction project brought a positive attitude that kept us moving forward. We literally were able to laugh about the challenges facing the project.