Galtier Plaza

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David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » March 8th, 2016, 10:49 pm

Not much to tell. We'd be the last people to know.

They did a survey of St. Paul workers a while back and last I heard, it was pretty much what I expected. Most people preferred "suburb" over St. Paul and Minneapolis but it's not really clear what that actually means. Of course these surveys are just employee-input-theater anyway. All the real decisions are based on business cases and involve arcane inputs that us mere peons can't hope to divine. I don't think the survey itself was particularly noteworthy as Cray's lease is up in a few years. Planning for this kind of thing has to start early and you want to explore all the options.

The general assumption (assumption!) of most non-management employees is that Cray will leave Cray Plaza because it is just so horribly managed (we had a waterfall in a stairwell last week), either exercising an early-out clause in the lease or leaving at the end of the lease. I have absolutely no concrete information. I actually asked about it today and got nothing.

No way Cray would move out of the metro. They would lose almost all of their software people. Cray is a *very* different beast from your typical software shop. There are many people that have been here 30 years or more. I believe the longest-tenured is like employee 7 or something ridiculous. Experience is highly valued.

So Mulad and I aren't going to be great resources, I'm sorry to say. I certainly want to stay in the city. My department is in the old Railroad and Bank building and it's just lovely there.

at40man
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby at40man » March 9th, 2016, 11:31 am

David Greene wrote:Not much to tell. We'd be the last people to know.

They did a survey of St. Paul workers a while back and last I heard, it was pretty much what I expected. Most people preferred "suburb" over St. Paul and Minneapolis but it's not really clear what that actually means. Of course these surveys are just employee-input-theater anyway. All the real decisions are based on business cases and involve arcane inputs that us mere peons can't hope to divine. I don't think the survey itself was particularly noteworthy as Cray's lease is up in a few years. Planning for this kind of thing has to start early and you want to explore all the options.
Most people probably think of "suburb" picturing their own to be closer to home. But... what if they named the suburb they were thinking of? Responses would likely change, so that is kind-of a garbage question to begin with.

It's kind-of sad to see this happening. But having worked and lived in the building myself, it does require some work -- mostly the fault of incompetent management deferring maintenance.

At least there's new carpet in the common areas! :P

mattaudio
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby mattaudio » March 9th, 2016, 11:47 am

at40man wrote:Most people probably think of "suburb" picturing their own to be closer to home. But... what if they named the suburb they were thinking of? Responses would likely change, so that is kind-of a garbage question to begin with.
This. I have seen - with multiple companies - the unintended consequences of moving groups of employees to suburban sites. People imagine the suburb where their closest grocery store or Target are... they aren't thinking of the suburb on the other side of the metro where there's an hour or more of horrendous commute each way with no transit options. If Cray moves to the suburbs, many of their best and brightest will probably leave (unless they are in the minority where their commute situation improves). And the people who have lesser job prospects will stay. This is the worst kind of attrition, partly like when buyouts are offered. You get the wrong people leaving and the wrong people staying.

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » March 9th, 2016, 11:50 am

at40man wrote:
David Greene wrote:They did a survey of St. Paul workers a while back and last I heard, it was pretty much what I expected. Most people preferred "suburb" over St. Paul and Minneapolis but it's not really clear what that actually means.
Most people probably think of "suburb" picturing their own to be closer to home. But... what if they named the suburb they were thinking of? Responses would likely change, so that is kind-of a garbage question to begin with.
Exactly. I did talk to the guy who did the survey and he did a home location analysis of employees. He discovered that we're much more spread out than we were when we moved 7 years ago. We used to be highly concentrated in Eagan. Not so much anymore. Also unsurprising.

Azel
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby Azel » March 9th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Please keep us updated on what the company tells employees.

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » March 9th, 2016, 4:27 pm

Azel wrote:Please keep us updated on what the company tells employees.
Keep in mind that even if we are told something, we can't necessarily make it public.

And no, we haven't been told anything.

acs
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby acs » April 18th, 2016, 2:18 pm

Locked: Cray in talks to leave for MOA office building.
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... -paul.html

mattaudio
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby mattaudio » April 18th, 2016, 2:51 pm

Yikes... I'd hate to have a long walk through a mall as my walk from a transit station to an office building.

(But I guess it's not much different in the Mpls or St. Paul skyway system, is it? HEYOO!)

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 18th, 2016, 2:59 pm

Well, at least the Mall has better hours than the skyway system...

amiller92
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby amiller92 » April 18th, 2016, 3:01 pm

Better retail too... :cry:

at40man
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby at40man » April 18th, 2016, 3:03 pm

Sheesh, the MOA has had its teeth in Galtier Plaza since the beginning. It would be sad to see such a prominent tenant leave, but let's face it: it is in a former mall and as such the space is not well-suited for a single-use tenant. Plus current management is simply inept.

I walked through this weekend and noticed the YMCA is undergoing some sort of renovations on the skyway level. And they unfortunately removed the North Star mural from the 1st floor entrance to the Y -- I think that was the last remaining mural from when Galtier was built.

Perhaps somewhat more of a rhetorical question, but with the revitalization of Lowertown is it feasible to possible for Galtier to step into the role that it was originally meant to fill?

ProspectPete
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby ProspectPete » April 18th, 2016, 4:57 pm

Good question...a nice start would be to get some indie films going in the movie theater again (assuming that they still exist).

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » April 18th, 2016, 8:37 pm

If I had to select a suburban location for Cray, the new offices at MOA would honestly be my pick. The Railroad and Bank building is frankly the first good building I've been in in the 12 years I've worked at Cray so new construction sounds good to me. It's relatively close to certainly a plurality if not majority of employees. There are more lunch options and I've missed having a place to get a not-too-fancy shirt since Macy's closed. The mere fact that it's MOA may be attractive to the younger demographic. Who knows? I still think downtown is better in that regard but no one listens to me. :-/

The commute may even be slightly better for me. The 94's schedule isn't great for my schedule and time-wise, the Green line is much slower than the Blue line. There are more *options* to take transit from Uptown to downtown St. Paul, which is nice, but the Orange Line could be a good fit when it's up and running.

There's one guy in our group who lives in Cottage Grove and takes the bus downtown. Transit is not a viable option to MOA, so he'd probably have to buy a car, which really stinks. I could see him leaving over that which would be a *big* loss for us.

With floors opening up in the Railroad and Bank building I'm holding out hope that a St. Paul deal is still possible. I've been told by people from the city that they're working hard to keep us.

If we're going to Bloomington, we'd sure as hell better get a big f'ing "CRAY: The _Supercomputer_ Company" sign on the top of the building.

acs
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby acs » April 18th, 2016, 9:06 pm

David Greene wrote:If I had to select a suburban location for Cray, the new offices at MOA would honestly be my pick. The Railroad and Bank building is frankly the first good building I've been in in the 12 years I've worked at Cray so new construction sounds good to me. It's relatively close to certainly a plurality if not majority of employees. There are more lunch options and I've missed having a place to get a not-too-fancy shirt since Macy's closed. The mere fact that it's MOA may be attractive to the younger demographic. Who knows? I still think downtown is better in that regard but no one listens to me. :-/

The commute may even be slightly better for me. The 94's schedule isn't great for my schedule and time-wise, the Green line is much slower than the Blue line. There are more *options* to take transit from Uptown to downtown St. Paul, which is nice, but the Orange Line could be a good fit when it's up and running.

There's one guy in our group who lives in Cottage Grove and takes the bus downtown. Transit is not a viable option to MOA, so he'd probably have to buy a car, which really stinks. I could see him leaving over that which would be a *big* loss for us.

With floors opening up in the Railroad and Bank building I'm holding out hope that a St. Paul deal is still possible. I've been told by people from the city that they're working hard to keep us.

If we're going to Bloomington, we'd sure as hell better get a big f'ing "CRAY: The _Supercomputer_ Company" sign on the top of the building.
Thank you for your insider info, David.

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » April 18th, 2016, 9:12 pm

acs wrote:Thank you for your insider info, David.
[Note to any execs reading: I did not give insider info!]

Honestly, all I added is my personal take and some speculation about current/future employees. Anything not already in the article is pure guesswork on my part - seriously!

At this point you all know everything I know. While rumors have been floating around the office that article is the first semi-concrete information I have on the situation. Understandably, those in the know are being very tight-lipped.

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » April 18th, 2016, 9:15 pm

ProspectPete wrote:Good question...a nice start would be to get some indie films going in the movie theater again (assuming that they still exist).
The spaces are there but all the equipment has been ripped out. I think it would take quite an investment to bring them up to modern standards (stadium seating, etc.).

David Greene
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby David Greene » April 18th, 2016, 9:17 pm

at40man wrote:Perhaps somewhat more of a rhetorical question, but with the revitalization of Lowertown is it feasible to possible for Galtier to step into the role that it was originally meant to fill?
It will need new management willing to sink a ton of money into it to fix it and make it a viable space into the future. I'm pretty skeptical that it will ever get the investment needed to make it suitable for real office space, much less retail. There are so many problems with the place it's hard to know where to start.

gcm
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby gcm » April 19th, 2016, 4:53 am

Headline from today's Pioneer Press:

"Cray supercomputer firm leaving St. Paul for Mall of America"

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby HiawathaGuy » April 19th, 2016, 7:42 am

David Greene wrote:There's one guy in our group who lives in Cottage Grove and takes the bus downtown. Transit is not a viable option to MOA, so he'd probably have to buy a car, which really stinks. I could see him leaving over that which would be a *big* loss for us.
Not as ideal as going to downtown St. Paul, but he does have several transit options: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Cottage ... 4!3e3!5i13

at40man
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Re: Cray Plaza (née Galtier Plaza)

Postby at40man » April 19th, 2016, 8:04 am

gcm wrote:Headline from today's Pioneer Press:

"Cray supercomputer firm leaving St. Paul for Mall of America"
Link: http://www.twincities.com/2016/04/18/cr ... f-america/
Cray reportedly was looking for about 100,000 square feet, Bauch said, a challenge in downtown St. Paul’s shrinking universe of commercial office space.

“It’s sad that we don’t have room or that we haven’t found a location for them to stay in St. Paul,”
There isn't 100,000 sq ft of contiguous space in downtown St. Paul suitable of accommodating them? Downtown should ABSOLUTELY be doing everything they can to keep them down there -- those are well-paying jobs! Cray probably wants Class A space. Perhaps it is time for a new office building in St Paul? Or upgrading existing office space to class A? A major employer fleeing the downtown area because they need more office space isn't exactly a good thing for a commercial district.
Last edited by at40man on April 19th, 2016, 8:12 am, edited 3 times in total.


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