Electric vehicle builder Brammo Inc. hopes to begin remodeling the former Walmart building in Talent within three to four months, kicking off a growth spurt that would double the company's workforce over the next two years.
"The idea is to get in as quickly as we can and start using the space," President Craig Bramscher said. "We are kind of bursting at the seams."
Brammo purchased the 100,000-square-foot building earlier this year rather than build additional facilities in Ashland, where it is now headquartered.
Boora Architects of Portland is designing the remodel to include sustainable and environmentally friendly features it developed in similar projects undertaken for Google in Mountain View, Calif.
"We at least want to have a plan and do as much as we can over time," said Bramscher. "We want to be as sustainable as possible and stay within budget."
Those ideas range from using steel containers to create offices and conference rooms to installing photovoltaic solar panels and creating a landscaped green roof. There will also be skylights to bring in more natural light.
"We want to have the architecture be inspired by the path they (Brammo) are taking," said architect Chris Linn.
Bramscher hopes work can start within 90 days, but says he may be overly optimistic. Construction still needs to go to bid and remodel permits still secured from the city of Talent.
"I always underestimate all that," said Bramscher.
The firm's headquarters, research and development, electric bike production facilities and battery labs will be housed in the Talent building, vacated when Walmart moved to the new supercenter in south Medford. Prototype development and the firm's racing team also will be located in Talent.
Brammo estimates operations that are now housed in 30,000 square feet spread around Ashland will take up 55,000 of the new building initially.
About 70 people work for the company. With the additional space, Bramscher estimates the workforce could double over 18 to 24 months.
— Tony Boom
Read more in Saturday's paper.