12/13/2012 - NANA Development Corp. consolidates offices, moves downtown (News)


NANA Development Corp. is moving downtown.

NANA’s new Anchorage offices are at 909 W. Ninth Ave. in the long-vacant office building formerly occupied by Unocal and Chevron. NANA is the Alaska Native regional corporation for Northwest Alaska.

The move will combine four of the corporation’s current Anchorage offices and move 145 NANA employees into one location, according to a company statement.

Company spokeswoman Robin Kornfield said the information technology department established its new residence in the first week of December and NANA employees will continue to transfer until the financial department moves in late January.

“Consolidating to one location enables us to communicate more conveniently between different parts of the company,” Kornfield said. “So, we’re looking forward to just going down the elevator to talk to my friend who helps us with our website, for instance, instead of having to get in the car and drive across town.”

Constructed in 1969, the six-story, 55,000 square-foot building on the corner of Ninth Avenue and I Street underwent a year-long renovation so it would be fully equipped when NANA moved in.

The building is owned by AN-AN, C, LLC. Kpb Architects and the design-build firm Criterion General, Inc., both Anchorage-based companies, headed the renovation.

During its overhaul, the building was completely gutted, with only structural steel and concrete left in place, to remove any hazardous materials that may have been used in original construction.

The remodeled structure features an exercise room and shower as well as a large marketplace and lounge on the first floor of the building. Low-emitting interior finishes were used to minimize effects on indoor air quality.

Nine-foot, sliding glass doors and clear interior walls were installed to maximize natural light.

“We’ve enabled all the light and the view from the outside to be shared by everybody in the building, whether you’re in an actual closed-up office or in a cubicle, so it’s light and airy,” Kornfield said.

NANA’s statement notes that representations of the company’s heritage in Northwest Alaska can be found throughout the building. Guests to the building will see a trademark of the NANA region soon after they step inside.

“If you were to stand at our reception desk you’d see that behind that desk we have a patterned wall made out of zinc — our Red Dog Mine is a zinc mine — so we wanted to incorporate some elements like that,” she said.

Jade is found throughout the NANA region, Kornfield said, and jade tiles once in the floor of the company’s hotel in Kotzebue have been recycled and are now in the Anchorage office’s elevators.

“We’re going to be able to learn a little bit of Inupiaq language in the elevators because we have a voice that tells you which floor you’re landing on and it tells you that in Inupiaq,” Kornfield said.

NANA officials also noticed coincidentally that the building has 11 meeting spaces and there are 11 NANA region villages, she said. The meeting spaces have since all been given a village name and will be decorated with photographs and artwork from their respective community.

Elwood Brehmer can be reached at elwood.brehmer@alaskajournal.com.

This article appears in the December Issue 3 2012 issue of Alaska Journal of Commerce

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