Joe and Julie Bielawski believe they’ve found a permanent home for their business, Knowledge Services.
The software solutions company moved into its new headquarters at 9800 Crosspoint Blvd., Fishers, in January 2021. Months of renovation work preceded the move. The building previously housed the Marsh headquarters.
Fishers residents for decades, the Bielawskis had long planned to move Knowledge Services headquarters from Indianapolis to Fishers, but they didn’t know exactly where in Fishers until the building on Crosspoint Boulevard went on the market.
“We had identified Fishers as a growing market and had an interest in moving to Fishers,” said Joe, the company’s president. “We originally bought property on I-69 and planned to build a building, but then this became available out of bankruptcy just as we were designing the other building.
“This was a faster path and offered a lot more amenities than we would’ve built on our own.”
Julie, the company’s founder and CEO, said because constructing a new building is expensive, the couple decided to pursue the former Marsh headquarters.
“The new building wouldn’t have been as large or have as many amenities as this one offers,” Julie said. “It was built as a corporate headquarters, so it’s an unusual building. It’s not your typical building for office space.”
The building has two atriums, which allows light to flood in.
“They’re not usable square footage, but it brings a different perspective of behavior in the building,” Julie said. “We love that the light comes through, and really wanted to embrace that in the renovation. It gave us an opportunity to be a little different.”
However, the renovation was still expensive. The total investment was $27 million. The couple was scheduled to close on purchasing the building in March 2020 on the same day most of the COVID-19 lockdowns began.
“We had some sleepless nights,” Joe said. “We didn’t know if the business would survive. We didn’t know if 90 percent of the population would pass away. We didn’t know anything other than everybody was going to work from home, and we were taking on a debt we never even would agree we would ever do.”
So, during a time where most construction projects were put on hold, the Bielawskis took a leap of faith.
“As it turned out, it was good timing because a lot of the people we needed, like architects and plumbing and electrical and carpenters, were having other projects cancel and delay, and we were full-steam ahead,” Joe said.
No part of the building was left untouched during the 10-month renovation.
“It looked like World War III in this atrium,” Joe said.
Some renovation work is still ongoing. Knowledge Services moved into its space in January 2021. The 165,000-square-foot building also allows Knowledge Services to welcome other tenants in the spare space. So far, one tenant has moved into the space and a second tenant is in the process of moving in.
The couple still owns the 20-acre property between 106th Street and 116th Street on Interstate 69. They said although it is listed on the market, they are in no rush to sell it.
For more, visit knowledgeservices.com.
A one-of-a-kind coworking space
One special amenity Knowledge Services’ new headquarters has is the ability for President Joe Bielawski and CEO Julie Bielawski to create a coworking space on the second floor, which spans 35,000 square feet. The COVID-19 pandemic influenced that decision.
“All these big corporations were sending everybody home,” Joe said. “(In spring 2020), Julie and I worked from home, and Julie was on our kitchen island and I’m sitting in our room that’s our office. We’re thinking, ‘Wow, we live in Fishers and in a nice area, but what houses have two offices for those who have dual income?’ So, somebody’s working off the coffee table or in the basement on a card table. And then there’s the engagement. We are humans. We like to talk to people and learn about experiences and build culture.
“You’re going to work from home, and everything is one dimensional. We thought this is a great opportunity to share with people in those circumstances.”
Branded as The Club at Crosspoint Center, the coworking space will start accepting tenants this month. Besides offering a variety of space sizes – scaling from what the Bielawskis call a “hot desk” in a typical coworking setting to executive suites – The Club also provides members access to a fitness center, auditorium, conference space, a recreation room with a golf simulator and concierge-style amenities.
Besides the coworking space, Knowledge Services’ new headquarters also has other unique amenities, like a mother’s suite for employees who are returning from maternity leave. New mothers can bring their babies to work and have a safe, quiet space to nurse or pump breastmilk.