The United Way of the Midlands on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters and community center, which has been fashioned from the conversion of three vacant industrial buildings.
“Our new home is much more than a new building. It is a community asset and long-term investment in our ability to continue to partner with the Midlands community to create opportunities for a better life for everyone,” said Mac Bennett, president and CEO of the non-profit organization.
Located at 1818 Blanding St., the new facility is called the Community Innovation Center and features 5,500 square feet of meeting space to serve as “a hub for organizations throughout the Midlands,” according to a press release.
Also included in the facility is an open office workspace, traditional and non-traditional meeting space, a break room, a classroom and building support spaces.
The project involved renovating three warehouse buildings at Blanding and Gregg streets totaling 20,000 square feet that had been empty before the United Way acquired the property in 2015.
The project’s budget totaled $5 million, the organization said. Cost of the new headquarters was paid for with proceeds from the sale of the United Way’s former headquarters at 1800 Main St. to the city of Columbia for $2.2 million, along with donations from local businesses, foundations and individuals.
Funding was not diverted from the organization’s community impact work, grants or program spending to pay for the project, according to a release.
United Way’s partners on the project include Colliers International, which served as the real estate broker; LCK Construction Services, which handled project management; Mashburn Construction, the project contractor; and 1X1 Design, which handled the design and adaptive reuse elements of the project.
Other firms that worked on the project were Heritage Engineering, Mabry Engineering Associates Inc., MECA Inc., and Belka Engineering Associates Inc.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this new chapter that will enable United Way to become an even greater resource to the Midlands for years to come,” said Holt Chetwood, senior vice president and Midlands market president of Wells Fargo Bank. “We especially want to thank the generous capital campaign donors whose gifts will leave a lasting impact.”