From Design to Build with Christianson Companies

Written by: Brady Drake

How We Found Success Through Collaboration

At Spotlight, we try to use our Fargo INC! publications to bring you the very best content, advice and recommendations. In doing this, we rely heavily on the area’s expertise. After all, the opinions of those we trust are crucial to bringing you the full breadth of content for everything our booming business community has to offer. However, there are times when we are lucky enough to speak from firsthand experience. And, wow, were we lucky to have firsthand experience with Christianson Companies when it came to developing Spotlight’s new office space.

1. How It Works

As a client of Christianson Companies, which handles the construction management side of things, you get an all-in-one solution including real estate with PRG and design with DRG.

Design Resources Group handles the interior, site design and architecture.

Property Resources Group helps find the space you need and navigate the best terms for leasing the space.

2. The Process

Don’t get us wrong, we loved our old space, it was awesome! Downtown Fargo welcomed us with open arms, and so many memories and firsts were made in our old office. However, as time went on and our team grew, and grew, and grew, our founder Mike Dragosavich realized that we needed a larger space, better suited for our team’s creative and collaborative needs—one that was less segmented and more inviting to the creation of company culture across departments than what we were currently in.

Enter Property Resources Group

Once Mike began to realize that a new office space would be advantageous for the company, like most entrepreneurs, he quickly took action by shopping around for the best fit until he found it with the Christianson Companies family.

“I had never done this before, building out an office space from scratch,” Dragosavich said. “I basically came to them and said, ‘Can I tell you my vision of how I want my business to operate, what type of culture I want to create and what outcome I want out of the space and have you help me engineer that and visually orchestrate it so I can make decisions?’ They said, ‘absolutely’ and I thought that was really cool. They took a lot of time learning about what I wanted and how I wanted the business to operate.”

According to Senior Project Designer Kristy Van Beek, that’s how Christianson Companies works with every client.

“We really want to help businesses by understanding their needs and helping them address those needs,” Kristy said. “Obviously, for every client that looks a little different, but we don’t see that as a bad thing at all. Each business is unique and requires unique solutions.”

Spotlight’s ‘Unique’ Needs

As a content creation company, Spotlight’s needs are definitely unique. What’s more, each sector of the company has its own needs, processes and goals as well. The sales team is working to find clients that we can assist in growing their brand, while the editorial team is trying to find and write the best content possible. The design team is working to bring that content to the readers in a fun and easy-to-consume way, while the video team is working to deliver powerful and impactful content to our clients and on, and on. That’s all without even mentioning the fact that our space needed a photo studio, conference room, break area and places of solitude for everyone. Pretty hard to fit into an open concept, right?

Maybe, but not impossible.

The Wishlist

  • A beautiful entrance area
  • Open space
  • A flex space
  • A lot of natural light
  • A conference room
  • A photo studio space
  • Breakout rooms

Before building out the space, the Christianson Companies team took an extra step in ensuring our leadership was comfortable with the space that they would be putting together by providing a 3D walkthrough for us to look at.

“That was unbelievable and helped us with the aesthetic aspect of things,” Dragosavich said. “That was so cool and helpful for me to have as someone who doesn’t have experience with blueprints. Without experience, it can be really hard to understand the scale and it can be hard to visualize what you’re ultimately going to be walking into. So, I thought that was a nice touch. And ultimately, it saved us a lot of time and money by allowing us to know how to make decisions around decor.”

Coming To Fruition

Once the 3D walkthrough was approved, things really began to come to fruition and Christianson Companies helped guide us through their very well-stepped-out general contractor process. However, they also allowed us, and do allow clients, the opportunity to work with other vendors we had relationships with as well. Even in this, they were not passive, but instead gave us flexible, yet firm advice on whether or not some of these vendors would fit within our build.

3. The Finishing

Christianson Companies is truly a full-service company.

“They made it very clear how the space financially works when it comes to the lease, and they were very flexible on different ways that we can structure a lease so that it works well with how our business operates,” Dragosavich said. “They treat you like a partner as opposed to a tenant. The other benefit, I think, for us was that we don’t really know where we’re going. We don’t know how fast we’re going to grow. It’s hard to say, but we could bring on a couple of clients and immediately add 10 to 20 people. That’s a benefit of working with Christianson Companies, they have plenty of properties in different places that we can pivot to or move to. That was a really big advantage of moving within their network. They made it clear that they would work with us to get us more space or to find new space immediately if those things happened.”

In addition to the flexible financing, Christianson Companies has also provided us with great security, technology, HVAC and communication to help ensure that we are making the most out of our new home.

Not to mention, a beautiful new office.

“It has been a lot of fun to see the completed space,” Kristy said. “Spotlight has added a lot of fun artwork and things like that to the space as well and I’m really happy with the results.”

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.