Harris Construction Co. has begun work on the former All-Star Dairy Building, Second Street and McDonald Drive, in preparation for a full-scale remodeling project that will transform the plant into an office complex.
Last week, Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Assn., announced that it will lease 16,000 of the building's 55,000 square feet of space.
Bo Harris, the construction company's president, said workers were doing some environmental abatement work, such as removing a fuel tank, which must be completed before the actual remodeling can begin later this month.
Harris said he expected to apply for a building permit next week and was working toward a target date of Oct. 1 for Sallie Mae to move employees into the building.
HARRIS, who also is a member of Star Group L.L.C., an investment group that bought the building last month, said Sallie Mae is the only tenant to lease space so far.
All site work and exterior improvements to the building will be completed when Sallie Mae moves in, although the remaining space can be finished later to suit specific tenants' needs, he said.
Sallie Mae, which has outgrown its 52,000-square-foot loan servicing center at 2000 Bluffs Dr., will move about 125 of its 550 employees into the Star Group's complex. Most of the employees who will move to the new space perform remedial loan servicing functions, such as collection of delinquent accounts.
THE NEW complex is about two blocks north of Sallie Mae's Bluffs Drive location.
The All-Star building had been vacant since 1988, when Mid-America Dairymen of Springfield, Mo., the dairy's last owner, closed it.
Michael Treanor, architect on the remodeling project, said a name for the office complex had not been nailed down. He said the investors were considering calling it 110 McDonald Drive, The 110 Building or some variation of those names.
Other investors in the project include Bob Moore and E.J. Allison of Andvanco, a local development firm.