EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – A local software company takes its first step in building a new home in Eau Claire where many of its own employees live, work and play.
JAMF Software, currently located on Graham Ave. in downtown, has made its first mark near Phoenix Park. On Wednesday, the company broke ground at its soon-to-be new location along Riverfront Terrace next to RCU.
Dozens of community members and friends came out to show their support for the groundbreaking ceremony. The new JAMF building is just one of many redevelopment projects happening downtown and city economic development director Mike Schatz said the company fits the city’s vision moving forward.
“We're building a company that has a lot of young techy-type people that want to stay in Eau Claire. They’re going to be making above average wages but love the culture of downtown and buy into it,” said Schatz. “A lot of them walk to work, bike to work, they live downtown so it’s a perfect fit for the type of redevelopment project and vision that we've had for this area.”
The $9 million building is set to be 72,000 sq. feet and four stories high.
Schatz said JAMF has proven local businesses can grow and flourish within the city and beyond with locations in Eau Claire, Minneapolis, Amsterdam and even Hong Kong.
“Everything about it seems to be a perfect fit so we're excited that a home grown company can be a part of this growth and in a very contineri type of building and organization to RCU,” said Schatz. RCU’s (Royal Credit Union) headquarters downtown helped revitalized the riverfront downtown area in 2004.
Jason Wudi is the chief cultural officer for JAMF software. He said the company is excited to be a part of the growing community, and follow the models of current redevelopments like RCU, the Phoenix Park neighborhood apartments and area restaurants.
“We hope that we can actually continue to follow in the footsteps of those folks who have come before,” said Wudi. “It’s actually good for our folks too. When we talk about using natural light the opportunities to have the great common space, the view, it’s just better for the people that are in the building and we hope the external reflection that we've put together is great for folks as they get to experience both from the inside and the outside.”
With around 35 percent of its own workers connected to UW-Eau Claire and others coming from places like Chippewa Valley Technical College and UW-Stout, Wudi said JAMF wanted to give back to its own workers as well as the surrounding community.
He said the city approached the staff and asked to put in a walkway next to the building. Wudi is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire as well and knows all too well one of the best parts about living near the river is summer floats down the river on inner tubes. That’s why JAMF is also providing an “air station” at its site.
“We’re actually going to put an air station on the side of the building for all of the tubers who want to be able to come down and spend time and actually push off from here at Phoenix Park,” said Wudi.
JAMF is also making sure the building is not only green and efficient, but comes from local resources and is built by local engineers and construction workers.
The project is scheduled to be finished by next fall.