COMCAST / XFINITY was looking to create a world-class call center in Tucson, AZ and identified an abandoned shopping mall. Ample on-site parking was key for what would become a 24/7 operation and home to over 1,250 employees. An excellent example of adaptive reuse, our architects and designers had their work cut out to reposition the neglected property. The mall complex possessed countless opportunities and inherent challenges.
Location: Tucson, AZ
Size: 160,000 SF
Contractor: Jokake Construction
Professional Partners: JLL Project Management, Kraemer Consulting Engineers
Photography: Images provided by Jokake Construction
The shopping facility included a 5-plex movie theater complete with ticketing and concessions. Recognizing the need for large gathering spaces for some 1,250 employees, the two largest theaters were converted to town-hall amphitheaters while the remaining four became office space and a full-service breakroom. Remodeling the theaters required new accessibility accommodations and raised access flooring to accommodate the existing slope.
“The project’s change of use, sheer scale, and daylighting strategy all provided challenges – it was fun to totally re-envision the purpose-built facility!”
–Jill Taylor, Acquilano
Change of Use
Built in the 1980’s, the first obstacle was to evaluate and address change of use, compliance with modern building code, and ADA/ANSI guidelines. Restrooms were expanded and remodeled to meet fixture counts, accessibility requirements, and areas of refuge were created. With few exterior windows, space planning was counter-intuitive. Spaces most critical to daylight, namely personnel spaces, were located near the center to capitalize on the mezzanine’s barrel-vaulted light well, while support spaces landed at the perimeter.
“Two thirty-foot LED chandeliers were designed and custom fabricated to help activate the mezzanine with visual connection between floors.”
-Rick Alexandar, Acquilano
Bringing so many jobs to Tucson was a huge boon for the city and garnered much support from the media and the city’s governing authorities. Upon completion, the project was recognized with the RED Award for Redevelopment from the AZRE Business/Commercial Real Estate Magazine.
“Aside from escalators that remain in the building, it’s hard to tell Comcast was once filled with mall shoppers. In less than eight months, crews transformed five former movie theaters into an open office and the old Galleria Mall into a single-tenant call center. Comcast’s new flagship call center and training facility in Tucson is the company’s largest in the Western U.S.”
-AZRE Media, 2017
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