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Office Pride

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

Pegula Sports & Entertainment, LLC found that sometimes a little dirt in the office isn’t a bad thing.
    Er, make that “DIRTT,” as in the brand of prefabricated walls that form some of the executive offices in PSE’s space on the second floor of a redeveloped building in downtown Buffalo.
    The custom-fit, clear glass walls were a key part of the design when the company decided to move from its temporary home in a nearby office tower to The Fairmont, an eight-story, mixed-use building that dates to 1920. Now PSE has new digs and a new attitude, thanks to a super-modern workplace where creative collaboration is what it’s all about.
    Laid back, cool, organic – those words describe the culture here as well as the interior design. It’s an unconventional work environment and that’s just the way PSE likes it, said Frank Cravotta, Executive Vice President of Creative Services.
    “We love it,” he gushed. “It’s a very unique, old building and what we did was design our space in a way that has a lot of modern amenities to it. Our vision for it was a couple of things: We liked the history of the building, the open nature of the floor plan, the exposed brick – it was all intriguing. We wanted to have a mix of that history left over while at the same time creating within that a light, modern, energetic space. So we have a series of executive offices along the perimeter with glass facades and then the majority of the workspace is an open concept.”
    There’s a lot going on here, with more than 70 employees handling graphic design, motion graphics, animation, videography, video editing and more. PSE, headed by Terry and Kim Pegula, oversees the couple’s professional sports holdings including the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team and the Rochester Americans hockey team. Also under the PCE umbrella is Black Rock Entertainment.
    Look around the office and you see clusters of Herman Miller® workstations but also casual seating areas that encourage conversation and collaboration. There’s a kitchen at one end, a ping pong table nearby and a social media hub whose floor is the type of green turf found on sports fields. Graphic designers personalized the office a step further by creating PSE-branded “graffiti” on the walls in bold colors.
    “We like where we’re at,” Cravotta said. “There’s a real sense of family. We work together, we eat lunch together, we play together. There’s a big lounge/living room area with a TV where we review videos and watch major sporting events together.”
    “Cubicle wastelands are a thing of the past,” said Angela Strong, team lead at Millington Lockwood Business Interiors.
She collaborated with PSE, building owner Ellicott Development Company, and Silvestri Architects P.C., among others, to transform approximately 9,000 square feet on the second floor. The building, located on the edge of Buffalo’s historic Cobblestone District, once was a cold storage facility for the Fairmont Creamery. Now it boasts offices, a restaurant and 30 luxury apartments.
    “What a cool space this turned out to be for PSE,” said Strong.  “It’s fresh and modern with clean lines.”
    In just four months – a tight timeline, Strong admitted – the project went from concept to completion with nary a hitch.
    “There were a lot of moving parts but there was collaboration every step of the way,” she said. “This space turned out to be a perfect fit for the PSE team members and they really made it their own. I could not be more excited to see what PSE does next. They are so important – critical, really – to our city.” 

The philosophy is simple: Great physical space can enhance creativity and improve job performance.

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