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‘Second headquarters’: WaFd bulks up with remodel of BodyBuilding location

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WaFd Bank did a heavy lift on the BodyBuilding.com location in Boise this year. As BoiseDev first reported, the Seattle-based bank purchased the building on Meeker Place in West Boise for a new back office space. Now, a large-scale remodel is complete.

[Bank with growing Boise HQ changes name, branding]

“We plan on making this the second headquarters,” Construction Manager Dylan Cooper said of the new WaFd space. “A lot of back office operations, information technology and more will move here, bringing more jobs to Boise.”

Cooper said his team built out about 40,000 square feet of space on the building’s first level. Crews removed a large gym on the first floor and built a new facility in the basement of the building for use both by BBcom employees and WaFd workers.

A collaboration breakout space. Photo courtesy WaFd Bank

BodyBuilding will remain in the building for now, in a smaller space. The ecommerce and content company laid off dozens of employees this summer after a private equity firm purchased it earlier this year.

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For WaFd, the space will accomodate a larger staff.

“We went from an existing space that could fit about 130 people to a new space that fits 240,” Cooper said. “It’s a lot more open concept with collaborative and working pods and working spaces.  It gives it an open feel with pockets and pods on the interior. You can stand in the middle of the floor and see windows on all four sides – you get a lot of natural light.”

He said despite the open concept, they worked to keep it from feeling like one giant room.

A large classroom-style conference room space with natural light coming in from the outside. Photo courtesy WaFd Bank

“The pods allow you to break up different teams,” he said. “People don’t feel on top of each other but are separated from other teams.”

Some impacts from COVID-19

The pandemic slowed the project slightly. A short work stoppage in March and April delayed work. But as WaFd transitioned to employees working from home, it allowed Cooper’s team to eliminate a phased approach and do the work all at once with employees out of the building.

“Shipping and logistics were challenging,” Cooper said. “We saw delays of items coming out of different countries or manufacturers closing plants due to state regulations. States like California are big players in furniture and lighting.”

Disclosure: Cooper’s wife Cathie is a member of BoiseDev’s informal board of advisors.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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