Nicole Kollars has her 4-year-old’s drawings on her cubicle wall, her folders in an orderly rack and her double computer screens loaded with numbers.
“I love it,” the life insurance specialist said, surveying the brightly lit fifth-floor space as one of the first 150 Pacific Life Insurance Co. staffers who moved into the company’s new Omaha office last weekend.
Left behind is the Landmark Center at 1299 Farnam St., with the Gene Leahy Mall on one side and the Old Market on the other, walking distance to TD Ameritrade Park and the CenturyLink Center.
Now the Pacific Lifers work at Mercy Road and Aksarben Drive, with Stinson Park on one side and Aksarben Village on the other, walking distance to Baxter Arena and the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Pacific Street Campus.
It’s a trade that is proving popular with the company’s staff members, human resources director Angela Greisen said, partly because it’s more centrally located to their homes than the downtown site.
Then there’s the parking garage connected by a climate-controlled walkway and the fresh feel of the place — new furniture, video screens that display company information and a snazzy lunchroom, called the Park View Café, with 20 microwave ovens and vending machines that let you pay by swiping your fingerprint.
Operations director Linda Turley said she and others have already visited Voodoo Taco and are ready to sample the other eateries nearby. The ground floor of the five-story building has retail bays for tenants including Pauli’s Bar, which is due to open before the UNO men’s basketball team plays its first game at Baxter Arena on Nov. 13.
Besides cubicles and offices, there are meeting rooms with video conferencing hookups and informal seating areas designed to encourage collaboration among staff members. Last week the company hosted an open house so the employees and their families could see the new space and check out their workstations, some of which are still being assembled.
The 250 employees who are still working downtown will make the move over coming weekends, completing the transition by the end of November. The objective is to keep the Omaha office functioning normally during the week by relocating it during the weekends, Greisen said.
Pacific Life has a long-term lease on the top four floors of the 125,000-square-foot structure, built as a joint venture by Magnum Development Corp. and McNeil Co. and designed by Holland Basham Architects.
Pacific Life Insurance is a subsidiary of Pacific Mutual Holding Co. of Newport Beach, California. The Omaha office opened in 2004 after Pacific Life shifted its official business address to Nebraska to take advantage of the state’s reduced insurance tax rates.
The regional office supports Pacific Life’s life insurance and retirement solutions divisions.
Greisen said the new location has room to expand, an option not available at the downtown building. The company had some spaces in a parking garage attached to that building, but many employees had to park elsewhere in the downtown area.
“Now there’s ample parking,” she said.