Bloomington, IN – In the past year alone, Bloomington’s largest private-sector tech employer, Envisage Technologies, LLC, has grown 69%. Currently located in the Fountain Square Mall, the growing company will soon face serious office space constraints. One key to Envisage’s successful employee recruitment and retention efforts is their location in downtown Bloomington. Finding a new space in the downtown Bloomington area has been a challenge. As a result, Envisage is issuing a request for information, or RFI, in search of an innovative partner to help them develop a suitable downtown space for business.
Envisage is a national leader in training innovation for law enforcement, public safety, and military communities that was founded in 2001 in Bloomington. It is a community-centered company, interested in growing the tech sector in Bloomington and driving economic development growth. According to the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Cole, the Bloomington community is central to the culture of the organization.
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“As an organization, we enjoy being downtown, participating in community events, and eating at local restaurants. The vitality of downtown Bloomington is an important factor in our ability to recruit top-performing employees,” said Cole. She added that their space in the Fountain Square Mall over the last 7 years has been well-suited to the company’s creative and collaborative work environment. CFC Properties has been a great partner, proposing creative solutions such as allowing Envisage to use available spaces in the mall for periodic needs, but this is not sustainable as the company’s growth outpaces available office space and parking. Currently Envisage is not hiring as many people as they could because of space limitations.
Contiguous workspace is critical to the agile nature of Envisage’s operations model, and finding a large enough space in the downtown area has been a hurdle. Space in the downtown certified tech park is a consideration for Envisage, and in fact, the company would prefer a location near other tech companies. This would allow for collaboration and community-building among organizations with similar priorities and interests, including creating tech-focused jobs in Bloomington. However, plans for a Bloomington tech park – which has been on the drawing board for many years – are moving slowly.
Envisage Founder and CEO Ari Vidali shared that, “At Envisage, we are focused on bringing high-quality tech jobs to Bloomington. In the past year alone, we have created 22 jobs, and we anticipate that our current growth rate, we will find ourselves at a critical juncture very soon. A suitable work space is one of my top concerns for the company at the moment.”
With this fast-paced growth and focus on economic development in downtown Bloomington, an innovative partner will be critical for envisioning a new space for Envisage. If you would like more information about the RFI, you can find it at www.envisagenow.com/downtown.