With a 56 percent increase in Utah-based employees and the expenditure of $107 million on a new building, Adobe Systems Inc. has firmly anchored itself in Utah three years after buying Omniture Inc.
Adobe officially opens its 280,000-square-foot structure Friday with about 940 employees on board. On hand will be a bevy of political figures, CEO Shantanu Narayen and cofounder and Board Chairman John Warnock, a Utah native and University of Utah graduate.
The new building, occupied for about a month, dominates the east side of Interstate 15 at the Thanksgiving Point exit with a huge presence of sharp angles and striking overhangs.
The California-based global software company's investment means more jobs and technical innovation, and signals that Adobe wants to be part of Utah, said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of the digital marketing business unit.
"We take [it] seriously to be part of that fabric," said Rencher.
The 2009 purchase of Omniture, along with other acquisitions that totalled $2.5 billion, positioned Adobe to offer a variety of software tools to measure and analyze Internet-based traffic so its clients could improve their online marketing. Today, the digital marketing business that Rencher directs in Utah produces about $1 billion in annual revenue, representing around a quarter of Adobe's sales in its fiscal year 2011.
"It is a major center of innovation for Adobe," Rencher said.
Company officials seem most proud of three features of the striking building that straddles a street off I-15 leading to Cabela's sporting goods store and that also serves as a route to the new Outlets at Traverse Mountain. They tout the emphasis on energy efficiency, the openness of the interior to foster collaboration and a design and facilities that promote a healthy lifestyle.
In fact, Mike Herring, vice president of operations who was in charge of design and construction, said the company deliberately made elevators less accessible in order to encourage employees to walk up and down strategically placed stairways.
"We want you to circulate and think stairs first, not elevators," Herring said during a tour Thursday.
About 85 percent of the building is open (without walls), and no offices are constructed along the outside walls. The design encourages employees to easily circulate throughout the building and meet in small break areas tucked into all four floors. Another dominant feature of the building is a huge central hall with glass walls and a towering ceiling that houses an expansive recreation area, full-service cafe and meeting rooms. The hall is heated with air that was warmed in the computer server rooms.
Employees who drive to work in energy-efficient vehicles are rewarded with up-close parking spaces, and employee badges also serve as passes for Utah Transit Authority buses.
Adobe owns 39 acres at the site and could expand with more buildings should its business growth continue.
Quick facts on Adobe's new building
The Utah technology campus is the third-largest Adobe site in the U.S.
The 280,000-square-foot complex was constructed in 18 months, injecting $5 million into the local economy per month
Has workspace for a 1,100 employees, with about 940 in place today
The I-beams that support a part of the building housing a basketball court are said to be the largest in Utah