There’s No Place Like (Wray Ward’s Future) Home

  • Categories:

    Agency News, Inspiration

  • Date:

    May 20, 2019

There’s No Place Like (Wray Ward’s Future) Home



Agency News, Inspiration

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said the only thing that is constant is change. About 2,500 years later, I’m convinced he was onto something. Because change is a constant everywhere I turn — from technology to marketing to the home and building category we serve to our agency’s future home.

In case you haven’t heard, Wray Ward will move to a brand-new office in August 2020, bringing our employees, collaboration spaces and in-house production studios under one roof within Charlotte’s emerging FreeMoreWest neighborhood. It’s a transformative opportunity for us to create a purpose-built headquarters, and I’m excited to share more as the story unfolds over the next 15 months.

In the meantime, here are details to feed your wonder and whet your appetite for more.

Why we’re moving

In a word? Growth. After 13 years, we’ve simply outgrown 900 Baxter Street. Our staff is larger (with 100-plus employees to 2007’s 61). But we also have more services, from insights to motion. 

We’ll always have fond memories of our current home. It’s served us well thanks to a fantastic location, great signage and an open, flexible floor plan with an inspirational design that’s stood the test of time. After all, first-time visitors to Wray Ward still think this is a new space. Our longtime partners at Redline Design Group deserve all the credit, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. 

But the new office will deliver more than square footage. Housing all of our services under a single roof has always been our vision. This move makes way for on-site photography and video production, currently accommodated by our amazing yet off-site Studio.  

What we love about our future home

The location. Only 2.3 miles from our current office, FreeMoreWest is the latest in a string of energetic Charlotte neighborhoods with a compelling past and a bright future. Distinct, diverse and dynamic, FreeMoreWest sits adjacent to Charlotte’s Uptown area. Already home to businesses like Walker Zanger (marble and stone) and A. Hoke Ltd. (a top interior design showroom for architects and designers), it’s clearly attracting innovative thinkers and doers. In fact, I believe our future corner of Charlotte could develop into a mini-design district.

Of course, I can’t gush about FreeMoreWest without mentioning the breweries, coffee shops, doggy daycares, coworking spaces, fitness centers and restaurants. And, with quick access to I-85, I-77 and the airport, it will be easy to reach for our many out-of-town clients as well as staff whose homes are scattered across the region.  

We’re lucky to be plugged into the FreeMoreWest movement, and I’m grateful for the vision of two critical partners: Mark Miller of property owner LPA Urban and John Christenbury of Cushman and Wakefield U.S., who went above and beyond in the search for our new home. You’ll hear from each of them down the road. 

The design possibilities. I became even more excited when I realized this would be a renovation AND a new build, giving us an opportunity to honor Charlotte’s vibrant history and incorporate our clients’ brands into a custom, modern workspace. The old-new blend is a perfect fit for Wray Ward.

How do you design a space that serves a diverse staff? Some people crave quiet corners while others thrive on constant interaction. Some want to share space, while others need a door. We also need lots of formal and informal meeting spaces. Specific technology and tools. Studio space. Inspiring outdoor spaces. Space that moves people to do their very best work. Space that makes clients and visitors feel right at home. 

It’s a tall ask, and we knew we’d need a great partner to transform our vision into reality. We didn’t have to think twice about turning to Brooks Runkle, architect and partner with Redline who designed our office at 900 Baxter. Brooks understands our business, and he’ll spend a lot of time with our people to create the perfect solution. He’s not only creatively talented, but also strategic and thoughtful. 

How to follow the journey

Over the next few months, you’ll hear from not only partners like Brooks and Mark, but also our general contractor, plus clients whose products will help provide the literal building blocks. Meanwhile, you’ll see our new home rise from the ground and come to life through words, photos and video.

Thanks for joining us in the front seat for this journey. I can’t wait to welcome you to 2317 Thrift Road next August. 

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