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St. John & Partners founder and CEO Dan St. John.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 24, 201712:00 PM EST

St. John & Partners spends $2M on 'cool, unique and different' Downtown office

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Take two floors in one of Downtown’s iconic riverfront office towers and add about $2 million for build-out and furnishings and what you’ve got is the new home of the St. John & Partners advertising agency.

When founder and CEO Dan St. John announced in April he and his 95-member staff were moving Downtown after nearly 18 years in a Southside office park, he said the new space had to be “cool, unique and different.”

That’s the impression as soon as you get off the elevator and enter the agency’s two-story reception area that’s bound on three sides by floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic view of the Northbank skyline.

“We needed more space and we wanted to be creative and cool. We accomplished that,” said St. John.

While there are a few traditional offices in the more than 30,000-square-foot space, most of the design lends itself to 21st-century work patterns and amenities the young generation wants in its work environment.

“It reflects the shift in our business to social and digital media and our staff will be predominately millennial moving forward,” said Jeff McCurry, president and chief operating officer.

St. John said recommendations from the staff helped design the interior and workspaces. It features collaborative work areas that can accommodate small or large groups and “quiet rooms” where one person can work in privacy.

The intent from the beginning was to create “an inspiring environment” where the staff could do its best work for the agency’s clients, such as Southeastern Grocers, Daytona International Speedway, Under Armour, JEA and Zaxby’s.

There’s also a café on the third floor that can accommodate up to 90 people for breaks, meals, meetings and social functions.

“We spend a lot of hours here, so we wanted the space to be very comfortable,” said St. John. “When we had our first staff meeting, I said, ‘Welcome to your new home away from home.’”

St. John and the staff moved in Jan. 3 and began unpacking boxes that were moved from Southside during the holidays.

Even after just three weeks in their new urban home, St. John and the staff are discovering what Downtown has to offer — such as being able to walk to several places that serve food or take the water taxi for dining and meeting clients on the Northbank.

Several people who work at the agency live in San Marco and Riverside, so they ride their bicycles to work.

St. John said with the apartment construction underway and planned Downtown, there will be more nearby residential options in the future.

“We’re very glad to be Downtown and I think we came at a good time,” he said.

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