Much has changed at 1 Independent Square since 1975, when the Independent Life & Accident Insurance Co. moved into its new headquarters building.
After the close of business the first day the building was open, Dan Frey clocked in for the first time, managing the 50-person cleaning crew that was subcontracted for the building.
“I worked for a company called Royal Janitorial Services. I got to know Independent’s maintenance staff and went to work for them about a year later,” he said.
Over the next 20 years, Frey was promoted in the department from maintenance worker to supervisor. Independent was purchased by American General Insurance Co. in 1995 and the building was sold soon after because American General didn’t want the property, Frey said.
“The maintenance staff stayed on. We were able to keep our jobs,” he said.
A property management company took over the building and a new anchor tenant, AccuStaff, moved in and put its name on the building. A year later the company changed its name to “Modis,” which meant a new sign for the top of the building — but Frey remained on the staff and advanced to property manager.
In 2010, MPS Group, the parent company of Modis, was sold to Adecco Group North America. The company decided to move from Downtown to a suburban office park and by March 2011, the Modis name was off the building.
Two months later, Wells Fargo approved a lease to move into more than six floors of the 37-story building as its anchor tenant.
Today marks the end of Frey’s first week as the former property manager for Wells Fargo Center.
“It has been fun, but I’m not retiring,” he said.
Frey will celebrate his 55th birthday in November and said he had been considering transitioning to a part-time management position with Parkway Realty Services, which manages the building. The manager of Parkway’s eight suburban buildings on the Southside was looking for a full-time position, so the swap made sense for the company and for Frey.
“I still have an office at Wells Fargo Center and I’ll be back a couple of days a week to stay in touch with my friends,” he said.