Level Studios, a San Luis Obispo-based digital marketing and branding firm, said it plans to break ground Feb. 3 on a new 46,000-square-foot, two-story building on the Central Coast that will house up to 300 employees in the next two years.
The new facility will be built in the East Airport Commerce Park in San Luis Obispo and is slated for completion next year. It will serve as the West Coast headquarters for Rosetta, a nationwide digital marketing firm that acquired Level in late 2010. Rosetta, in turn, was acquired by French firm Publicis Groupe in a $575 million deal in 2011.
Tom Adamski, Level’s president and CEO, said the construction of a new headquarters in San Luis Obispo marks a major commitment to the Central Coast by a global company. Since its inception in 1995, Level has hired many Cal Poly graduates. The headquarters will house Level’s current Central Coast staff of 180, will leave room for nearly doubling that staff in coming years, and will house a 3,500-foot high-security area to work on campaigns for top-name national clients such as Facebook and Blackberry maker Research in Motion.
“With all of the recent changes – first getting acquired by Rosetta and then getting purchased by the Publicis Groupe – the new building project underscores our parent company’s commitment to increasing our local footprint,” Adamski said in a release. “It is a tangible part of the integrated agency’s plan for growth.”
The building, which is being designed by Garcia Architecture + Design of San Luis Obispo, will be some of the first tangible fruit from a push by economic development groups and county officials to streamline the approval process for job-boosting projects. The company was issued initial permits 36 days after submitting plans and is breaking ground less than six months after submitting plans. Economic development officials said the existing clearances for commercial use of the property helped the process move quickly.
The newly created San Luis Obispo County Business Assistance Team and the Economic Vitality Corporation helped move the project toward a unanimous approval of the county’s planning commission last November. San Luis Obispo-based NKT Commercial owns the property.
Level said that Central Coast firms J.W. Design & Construction, BMA Mechanical Engineering, MW Architects, Oasis Associates, Ashley & Vance Engineering and JMPE Electrical Engineering & Lighting Design will be involved in the project.