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Noble Communications to build at Chesterfield

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Noble Communications, a Springfield company which touts itself as the leading food marketing agency in North America, will build its more than 30,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Chesterfield Village.

Noble, owned and led by founder Bob Noble, broke ground on the three-story structure June 2. The offices will be located north of Ristorante Teatro, an Italian restaurant in which Bob Noble has part ownership, but which is not a part of Noble Communications' family of businesses, said Mark Gideon, spokesman for Noble Communications.

The building should be complete in March of 1999. Noble currently occupies a 30,000-square-foot leased building at 336 S. Barnes. That building will be vacated once the new building is complete, Gideon said.

Noble & Associates, the advertising agency responsible for brainstorming ideas for such companies as Tyson Foods and Frito Lay, started in Springfield in 1969, opening a Chicago office in 1984.

In addition to its location on South Barnes, Noble Communications has the Noble Idea Center and American Culinary Gardens on Division, American Culinary Gardens Food Products and American Culinary Gardens Food Bakery on Union, and the Greenhouse Market on Glenstone.

Those locations will stay in place; only the operations from South Barnes will be moving to the new building.

Noble employs 260 employees in Springfield and 50 in Chicago. Once the new building is complete, the company expects to add another 50 employees in Springfield, Gideon said.

"We've added nine new accounts so far this year, so clearly, we are growing at a very accelerated pace," Gideon said.

The company is also looking at the Ry Bread and Apple Cor's building in Chesterfield Village, Gideon said. Negotiations are ongoing for the purchase of the former brew pub and restaurant that closed earlier this year.

"If we do purchase the Ry Bread and Apple Cor's building, we will use it to house some of our employees," Gideon said. Which employees is uncertain, as is the issue of what the company would do with the brewery equipment. The kitchen could be used as a test kitchen for food products, Gideon said.

This building represents a goal of Bob Noble's to build his own central location from the ground up, Gideon said. Chesterfield Village was a good fit for the company, he added.

The contractor for the building is Nabholz Construction Corporation and the architect is Pellham-Phillips-Hagerman. The building will feature three floors of offices, which will use the "virtual office" concept of movable furniture that can be grouped together or broken apart depending on what the work situation merits, Gideon said.

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