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How To Reduce The Disruptive Potential Of An Occupied Remodel

SAGE Teller building reception area

Occupied remodels are not for the faint of heart, due to the projected disruptions to residents or tenant businesses.

In such projects, it is imperative for contractors and their subcontractors to channel specialized experience. The key is to start on smaller, less disruptive parts of the project to ensure the team can easily complete the planned phases before the more complicated parts of the remodel. If there is swing space available that is not completely occupied in the building, that space can serve as a helpful asset as construction crews begin work.

A prime example of this is the growing campus of Thousand Oaks, California-based SAGE Publications. The team at Parker Brown began small, first taking on the existing Conejo facility in July 2016. The 100K SF building proved easier for the construction crew — helmed by Los Angeles-based general contractor Parker Brown — to create the company’s sales, marketing, production and editorial site, as the property had been empty for several years. The 75K SF Tellers facility remains SAGE Publications’ headquarters and home to the finance, HR and legal teams. Renovating this edifice came with its own set of challenges, as it stayed fully occupied during the build-out.

SAGE Teller building entrance

The two renovations arrived right in time for the publishing company, which had been looking to expand into an official modern campus and needed the right stepping stone toward achieving that goal. The Teller building has been reworked from a classic 1980s facility with blond oakwood and a mixture of old legacy offices into a modern structure with steel railing and multipurpose audiovisual spaces. The Conejo facility, as the larger of the two, has been reconfigured with future build-outs in mind.

“Our desire is to transition more of our departments and people into that space,” SAGE Publications facilities manager Wendy Sternberg said. “SAGE is looking at both these facilities as part of a long-term plan. Conejo in particular is perfect for us to grow into.”

SAGE Teller building conference room

It is crucial in occupied remodels to stay as detail-oriented as possible. Parker Brown’s teams color code each phase of build-out for each office. Though not always possible, construction teams should strive to source materials locally. SAGE Publications hires locally to ensure that its workforce is composed of employees with a stake in the regional economy and society.

SAGE Conejo building hallway

That focus on community investment through building is a hallmark of Parker Brown’s projects. The company's partnership with SAGE Publications shows how the contracting firm is sponsoring the renovations of a company with publications, media and educational content focused on educating the educator. The teacher-training program under the company’s Corwin division (housed in Teller) arms K-12 teachers with the requisite tools to enhance their teaching skills.

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