Greer Laboratories provides overview of headquarters plan

Oct. 09, 2013 @ 07:57 AM

The building that soon will become the new headquarters for Greer Laboratories is a frump of a building.

It does not project the image you would want a corporate headquarters to project, said Jim Lucier, Greer’s director of facilities management.

“It looks more like – some people call it a church. I call it a funeral home,” he told members of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission on Tuesday.

But renovation plans call for transforming it into a gleaming, glass showplace. The current metal façade of the building, on Nuway Circle on the north end of Lenoir, will be transformed into a wall of glass wrapping around the sides of the building. The roof will be pierced by an atrium running down the middle of the building, topped by a series of glass pyramids.

“It will open up the entire building for a nice, bright, airy presentation,” Lucier said, showing the EDC an artist’s rendering.

A covered entryway will be added to the front of the building, and the parking lot will be landscaped. Plans for the interior are still being developed.

The company could not provide the News-Topic a copy of the rendering Tuesday, Lucier said.

Greer Laboratories will move administrative staff into the company’s new headquarters building within 30 days to free space for manufacturing expansion in its existing 45-acre campus farther up Nuway Circle, said David P. Burney, Greer’s chief operating officer.

Greer will not occupy the entire building its headquarters will be in, though. Another company occupies about 50,000 square feet in the back of the building. Greer will occupy about 33,500 square feet in the front, and it has an option to lease the rest when the current occupant leaves, Lucier said.

“It depends on how our business goes and how it grows,” he said.

How it has been growing in recent years is rapidly. In 2009, Greer had 211 employees in Lenoir, and that has grown by 32 percent to 279 employees now. The company’s expansion plans would increase that by up to 44 percent, to a total of perhaps more than 400, in two years.