(Today’s article was written by guest writer Heather Ryerson, in addition to Brown Appliance, photos are also provided by Heather)
We first told you about Axle Logistics in 2019 when they purchased a property in North Knoxville and began construction on Central Avenue in 2020, then in 2021 they opened their the location. When they moved into their current building, the Hull Dobbs Building, they were overcrowded and had to rapidly expand the basement development to provide more open office space.
The company was recently named a Best Place to Work award winner by Knox News. The award is based entirely on employee feedback and the survey was conducted independently. Additionally, it was named to Inc.’s 5000 Growth Companies list. 2022. This marks their seventh appearance on the list since their inception 10 years ago.
In recent months, they have purchased the neighboring block where the former Brown Electric building, on the corner of Pruitt and Central, currently stands. Design Innovation Architects and Denark Construction, responsible for the Hull Dobbs Building project, will also complete the project. I sat down with Ali Fraley, vice president of learning and development, who has been with Axle for eight years and has been a part of the company’s exponential growth. We discussed plans for the project and more.
While they don’t have a start date, they do have exterior renderings and are aware they plan to build a five-story building that will accommodate about 900 employees, she said. It will include many of the employee-friendly amenities their current space has, but on a larger scale. The new building will have a half-court basketball court with walking paths, a sauna and larger fitness space, with plans for a rooftop outdoor space with large office spaces and glass walls to showcase the transparency and openness.
One hurdle they faced with this up-and-coming project and this area of Central Avenue. Parking is in progress for those new hires. Axle is working with the city to determine how they can safely and affordably provide more parking in the area. They realize this is an impactful development and plan to continue maintaining their value of giving back and positively impacting the businesses around them.
I’m intrigued by many of the things I see when I visit the building, and when I see the cash kiosks currently set up for rewards/rewards for lucky employees, I might consider applying for a job. They also do other things to boost morale and recognize the hard work employees put in every day. I personally like the gongs on the 2 floors. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make it myself, as that privilege is reserved for employees to share and celebrate new partnerships and sales.
Other amenities you don’t see every day in office buildings include putting greens, fire pit areas, and game rooms, which are popular not only as a way to let off steam, but also as an alternative place to make sales calls and break the monotony of sitting in an office building. On the table. The large fish tank downstairs and the water feature on the entry level are also calming and peaceful ways to liven up the workplace. The day I came in, there was a food vendor out front for employees to enjoy, and they bring in regional food trucks every week to serve lunch while encouraging employees to cross the street on Fridays and support the central gas station food truck parking lot.
Another exciting development is their partnership with UT’s Haslam School of Business to create and maintain the Axle Logistics Performance Sales Lab. This partnership offers UT students the opportunity to earn 3 credits while gaining an understanding of Axle Logistics’ business model as well as an internship offering possible employment upon graduation. Axle sees the potential to retain talent developed by UT’s business units in our community, but also wants to give students an opportunity to gain real-life, hands-on experience in the logistics field, whether they further their studies locally or elsewhere. develop their careers.
Magnolia Ave will find accommodation for the growing workforce while the Brown Appliance construction project is underway. The building owned by John Macready and John Roethlisberger is being refurbished and will house approximately 200 employees at 14,000 square feet. This will allow them to add more staff to their team and bring back the accounting department that is currently off-site. Axle is meticulously developing this space with an open concept to match the layout of their current building and hopes it will attract another tenant when Axle moves out of the temporary location.
Premier Construction is working on the project and DIA is the architect who designed the space. They plan to have the space ready for employees by January 2023.