Triad Creative Group will move to Gateway

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:22 pm

Company poised to make ‘big statement’ with taller leased space

Triad Creative Group of Brookfield will move into a new 35,000-square-foot signature building in the Gateway West Commerce Center on Capitol Drive in Brookfield early next year – a step that company owner Roger Lex says will help the company meet a growing demand for its expanded services.
The facility, being built in a lease-to-own arrangement with developer and property manager Gerald Nell, Inc., will allow Triad Creative Group to double its capacity compared with its current 23,000-square-foot building at 3545 N. 127th St.
Efficiencies gained through design specifications will give the business the doubled capacity without a doubling of its current square footage, according to Lex.
Triad Creative Group, which was founded as Roger Lex & Associates in 1969, took its new name two years ago in a rebranding campaign aimed at broadening the appeal of the company, which offers advertising and marketing services, trade show exhibit design and construction, and signage design and manufacture. (The Triad name represents the firm’s focus on those three areas of business communications.)
Shortly after the name change, the firm further diversified by starting an interactive CD division, with its products complementing the company’s trade show offerings.
Development of the $2 million-plus build-to-suit facility is the next step in the business expansion process, said Lex, sole owner of the firm.
The project is proceeding both in spite of and because of this year’s weak economy.
"We’re being optimistic; we’ll be in place for the turnaround," Lex said, referring to the economy, adding that he and sales and marketing director Steven Radovich are hearing encouraging signs from trade show exhibit clients. "For a while, a lot of our customers were putting their new exhibit designs on the shelf in favor or revisions of existing exhibits. Now, they’re coming back and considering new designs for 2003."
However, the weak economy may have also played a role in enabling Lex to expand. "This is a buyer’s market; this is the time to expand," he said of the commercial real estate market.
"We’ve seen some sweet deals out there," he added, noting that approximately 40% of Triad’s business is related to the real estate market.
Lex, who has long been a Gerald Nell client, notes that he came up with the Nell logo while still in high school.
"Gerald Nell has been our landlord for 32 years. We said that if we ever build, we’d use Gerald Nell. We didn’t even put the project out to bid; we had such trust in him," Lex said.
And Lex’s eyes were on Gateway West – a 193-acre business park for which Triad developed marketing materials.
"I just love that park; it has a good image, and it’s conveniently located. We got one of the few remaining lots. Had the economy been better, we might not have had that chance," he said.
The Gateway West facility will present a strikingly different first impression for Triad. The building it now leases from Gerald Nell formerly housed a bearing manufacturer; the neighborhood remains rather industrial.
"We’re in the business of making things look nice," Lex said. "For our new building, we realized that a good first impression would be a crucial factor in our growth plans."
Two major sections of the building will have reflective glass façades, with the reflective glass theme also adorning the corners. A stainless steel band will wrap the girth, and pillars will be stainless steel-capped. (See adjacent photo.)
Lex thought he’d never run out of room at the 127th Street building, having moved there from a 5,000-square-foot site eight years ago. He has not only run out of room, he’s also in a situation which prevents him from fully taking advantage of a growing trend in trade-shows – two-story exhibits.
"Exhibit floor space is at a premium," Lex said. "Clients want two-story exhibits so they can get more room out of their floor space."
Second floors are often used for conference rooms, where prospects can be taken for more extensive, private discussions. "Thus, we need more space and higher ceilings to build, store and stage the exhibits," Lex said.
The new facility will have areas with 18-foot ceiling heights, compared with the current 14-foot heights.
"Clients who have two-story exhibits will be able to actually see them set up in our facility," Radovich said.
The taller ceilings will also allow greater storage capacity, as the 8-foot, 6-inch storage crates can be stacked on top of each other, something not possible with the 14-foot ceiling height.
"This will give us the opportunity to bid on work for some very large corporations," said Radovich, noting that Triad already serves some major players such as Red Star yeast and, now, Red Star’s new owner, LaSaffre, of France.
"The statement that the building makes will give a level of comfort to those kinds of large companies that want to be assured we can handle their work," Lex added. "We’re poised to make a big statement."
While the firm is pursuing larger companies, it remains committed to its small and medium-size business clients, Lex said.
Lex sketched out what he wanted in a building and presented those plans to Gerald Nell, Inc. Among the changes those plans will bring:

  • three conference rooms, compared with the current one.
  • five sales offices, compared with the current two.
  • doubling of space for graphics and design departments and for e-media.
  • a 40×100-foot staging area compared with the current 30×50-foot area.
  • two loading docks, with dock levelers, and a street-level drive-in door, compared with the current one dock.
    "This building will put the whole package together," said Radovich.
    And when the 35,000-square-foot facility is at capacity, its design will allow for expansion to 40,000 square feet.
    Occupancy is expected in March.

    Aug. 30, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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