Is Wray Ward’s new office the coolest in Charlotte? Go inside

Is Wray Ward’s new office the coolest in Charlotte? Go inside
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Wray Ward may now have the coolest office in Charlotte. This week, the 107-person advertising agency moves into their new 39,000 square foot home near Noble Smoke, Summit Seltzer, and Lulu’s in Charlotte’s Wesley Heights neighborhood.

Jennifer Appleby, president and chief creative officer of Wray Ward, referred to the office as “badass” while giving me a tour — and she’s right. The adaptive re-use office project blends a renovated 1950s industrial structure with a new two-story attached building. It’ll give any visitor a serious case of office envy.

Layout: Wray Ward’s new office has 13 conference rooms, two outdoor spaces, a studio, and 39 offices. “Our people love to grab their laptops and go find a fresh perspective or quiet corner,” says Appleby. There are sofas, cubbies, and nooks all over the place as well as a 1,600 square-foot rooftop deck, game room with ping pong and foosball, and a 3,000 square-foot in-house studio with oversized garage doors that can be opened for fresh air.

Favorite spaces: “I think our people will gravitate toward the Town Hall, kitchen, and rooftop deck with wide open views of the skyline,” says Appleby.

Town Hall: Right when you enter the lobby, there’s the Town Hall space with stadium seating for over 100 people that Wray Ward will use for staff meetings and other events post-pandemic. It’s striking and reminds me of Coco and the Director in Uptown, but much larger.

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“One thing we’d like to do once we get settled is to open our space to the local organizations and nonprofits to really be a resource for our community,” says Appleby. “Whether it be opening up our studio space for photographers in need of resources or our Town Hall space for meetings and gatherings, we look forward to welcoming the community into our space when the time comes.”

Coronavirus measures: Wray Ward employees return to the office this week with an A/B schedule, which means about 50 people a day will be spread out over the 39,000 square feet space. “We will have a nurse on staff to check temperatures and pulse-oxygen levels upon entry to the building; masks, of course, are mandatory; and we have hand sanitizing and cleaning supply stations throughout the space,” says Appleby. There’s safety signage posted throughout the office and they’ve closed the kitchen, coffee areas, ping pong room, and foosball table for now. “Our employees have varying needs, from parents of young children who need help doing their school day online to young professionals who are itching to get back to the office, and we are being flexible to make sure everyone has what they need, not just for work comfort, but for work-life needs.”

[Agenda related story: A few of Charlotte’s largest companies just told employees they’ll work from home for the rest of 2020. Will others follow?]

Details: The architect on the project was Brooks Runkle and his team at Redline Design Group, the general contractor was Edifice, the developer was LPA Urban, and Wray Ward worked with commercial real estate broker John Christenbury and Cushman Wakefield to find a space they could customize.

Client product: Wray Ward is a full-service agency with a focus on on the home and building categories. They used client product in their new office, including flooring and wall tile from Floor & Decor; window treatments from Hunter Douglas, faucets from Moen; paint from Sherwin Williams; glass wall systems from CR Laurence, skylights from VELUX, and air purification from Global Plasma Solutions.

Other contenders: Wray Ward joins Red Ventures’ massive campus in Indian Land, Duke Energy’s Innovation Center at Optimist Hall, and Passport’s new(ish) Uptown office as contenders for the coolest office space in Charlotte.

Okay, let’s take a look around Wray Ward’s new office.

signage at wray ward ad agency

lobby at wray ward headquarters charlotte

Lobby at Wray Ward

hallway at wray ward office

foosball table at wray ward office in charlotte

Wray Ward has both a ping pong table room and a foosball table

nook at wray ward ad agency

cubicles at wray ward ad agency charlotte

desk at wray ward charlotte

office at wray ward ad agency

office room at wray ward ad agency charlotte

conference room wray ward charlotte

patio at wray ward ad agency charlotte

Rooftop deck at Wray Ward with a skyline view of the city

company room wray ward advertising agency

Wray Ward’s Town Hall

the studio at wray ward video production

Wray Ward’s studio space

location wray ward ad agency office


Related Agenda work guides: Open jobs in Charlotte, list of ad agencies in Charlotte, list of PR agencies in Charlotte, and 2020 top employers that people want to work for in Charlotte.

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