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ARCHIVED  November 1, 1995

Loveland publisher seeks answer to space shortage

LOVELAND – For Group Publishing Inc., it all comes down to a matter of parking – parking for cars but also for people.

Where to park the marketing department. Where to park the bookstore representatives. Where to park the number crunchers.

At the moment, Group is parking the bookstore reps in the kitchen, the marketing department in a nearby trailer, the financial types in foyers here and there.

“Every inch of space is full,” noted human-resources manager Joyce Johnson, who is coordinating the first phase of construction at Group Publishing’s new west Loveland location.

Plans call for a 33,000-square-foot warehouse, assembly and distribution center that should be occupied sometime in December, combined with 43,000 square feet of editorial, administrative and sales offices expected to open in the spring.

The 25-year-old publisher of magazines, books, video and audio tapes for Christian educators currently conducts business in 35,000 square feet in three locations on Northern Monroe Avenue and in the basement of a local bank.

“The fact that we will move from multiple locations into one location is obviously a huge advantage,” Johnson said.

The company employs about 175 people in positions ranging from telemarketing to curriculum development. Since Group Publishing built its current home a decade ago, Johnson said, work space has been expanded about every 18 months, by addition, purchase or lease.

“They keep stuffing more and more people into that building all the time,” architect Bill Brenner said. “They can still work comfortably, but the lines to the bathroom keep getting longer and longer.”

The initial phases of the new building are designed to house about 250 workers. But Johnson said the project was engineered with the idea of carrying Group Publishing through the next 15 years of growth, housing about 750 workers at buildout. Over the past five years, the company has experienced steady growth, recording a 15 percent increase in staff size annually.

“I think we’re comfortable saying we will be one of the strong players in the employment market in Loveland,” Johnson said.

The master plan allows the distribution center to be expanded to 78,000 square feet, the office building to more than 100,000 square feet.

But Group wants to be a gentle giant. The 15-acre site off of West Eisenhower Boulevard is a largely residential area. Johnson said the building, though clearly an office and light-assembly building, was designed to resemble a rustic mountain lodge with the hope that it will better blend into the neighborhood.

Fort Collins-based RB+B Inc. Architecture, Planning and Interior Design, led by Brenner and his partner, George Brillig, designed the new distribution center and office building.

“We’re trying to provide a facility that would at least respect the high-quality residential neighborhood that it’s adjacent to, so we’ve chosen materials, finishes and landscaping that we believe will be consistent with the residential setting,” Brenner said.

“The office building is a combination of stone and stucco, with a sloping shingled roof, porticos and balconies to help provide a residential scale.”

The distribution and assembly building, partially screened by the office building, echoes the residential themes, though it is constructed of precast concrete.

“The walls have articulation that breaks up the visual mass of the walls, and again, we’re using sloping roofs,” Brenner said.

Sinnett Builders is the general contractor.

LOVELAND – For Group Publishing Inc., it all comes down to a matter of parking – parking for cars but also for people.

Where to park the marketing department. Where to park the bookstore representatives. Where to park the number crunchers.

At the moment, Group is parking the bookstore reps in the kitchen, the marketing department in a nearby trailer, the financial types in foyers here and there.

“Every inch of space is full,” noted human-resources manager Joyce Johnson, who is coordinating the first phase of construction at Group Publishing’s new west Loveland location.

Plans call for a 33,000-square-foot warehouse, assembly and distribution center…

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