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Retail Designer CSG Expands St. Louis Presence

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Core States Group, which has renovated and built a number of familiar retail and restaurant venues in St. Louis, is growing its business.   With relocation and construction assistance of Artisan Building Co., Core States Group has moved into an expanded St. Louis branch office at 6500 Chippewa Street.  Artisan completed the $500,000 renovation in the building formerly known as the St. Louis Hills Office Center to create a more collaborative space for Core States, where it plans to grow its work force by 50 percent or more in the coming years.

Core States Group is a national architecture, engineering and construction firm.  It first opened its St. Louis office in September 2003, occupying 2,200 square feet of space in the Crestwood Executive Center building in Crestwood, Mo. until this past August.

Locally, Core States Group has been a part of the design team for more than 150 newly built or renovated Panera Bread restaurants throughout the U.S. and has also helped deliver services for hundreds of newly built or renovated locations for McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and 7 Eleven, among other clients.  The firm has helped introduce a number of restaurant and retail conveniences to the public including double drive-through service at area McDonalds and has designed and engineered conveniences for Panera customers including drive-through service and quick service kiosks inside the restaurant.

Nationally, Core States Group recorded $78 million in revenue in 2015.  The firm is reporting revenues of $84 million in 2016.

“We always saw St. Louis as a growth market for Core States Group, but the Great Recession slowed our progress,” said Patrick T. Bennett, P.E., branch manager for Core States Group.  “We’ve been able to re-energize our business plan with our seasoned staff, add more architects and engineers and are looking to add more.”  Nationally, Core States Group grew by 36 percent over the past year, employing 300 employees to date.

To accommodate its growth and hiring needs, Core States Group worked with Artisan to find a suitable branch headquarters and create a more collaborative environment for its workforce.  “Artisan is not just a builder, but also a firm that makes it their mission to understand your business goals,” said Bennett.  “The firm was invaluable in helping us find our new office in an urban community and help us execute our vision of the space we need to attract the best and brightest talent.”

The firm occupies all 5,000 square feet of the second floor of their new space in a studio setting with open office space to capitalize on design elements that encourage greater collaboration among engineers and architects.  That includes clear site lines, a strategically placed kitchen to encourage interaction with workers, and small and large conference rooms for more private meetings.  An abundance of natural light from windows floods the interior, creating a more healthy work environment.

To leverage the skills from Core States Group’s 14 offices nationwide, the branch office is infused with technology for virtual meetings to tap expertise from the firm’s 300 professionals.

Founded in 1999, Core States Group originally provided engineering and project management services for the retail petroleum industry.

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