New restaurants, retail space and gardens are just a few of the amenities the Nu Skin Innovation Center will bring to downtown Provo when it opens for operation this October.
Driving down Center Street in downtown Provo, it is impossible to miss the modern glass building that stretches the length of several blocks. Surrounded by much older buildings, the Nu Skin Innovation Center is designed to be environmentally friendly and open to the community.
At the center of the new seven-acre campus sits a four-story atrium that will allow pedestrian access between 100 South and Center Street. The campus will also feature one acre of open green space, gardens and water features.
Construction began in 2011. After more than two years, Provo residents will be able to access these features this fall. Also open to the community will be a restaurant, cafeteria and retail spaces.
The campus will house 900 employees and bring even more to the area. Provo mayor John Curtis said the expansion marks significant growth in Provo, despite a slow national economy.
“This is a very exciting project for both Nu Skin and Provo,” Curtis said. “Nu Skin is a key stakeholder in our downtown, and we’re all benefiting from its success.”
The Nu Skin expansion is part of an ongoing redesign in downtown Provo that includes other projects such as the new Convention Center and the Provo City Center Temple.
Though construction on the Nu Skin campus will not be completed until fall, downtown Provo is already seeing economic benefits from the project. Mandi Call has been working at Sammy’s Café, across the street from the Nu Skin construction, for around six months.
“About 10 to 15 construction workers come in here every day for lunch,” Call said. “They bring us really good business.”
Some Provo residents have criticized the modern design of the building as being out of place in historic downtown Provo. However, Nu Skin worked closely with architects to come up with what it believed would be a design that blended in as best as was possible.
“Downtown Provo is very close to our hearts,” said Sydnee Fox, Nu Skin’s senior manager of corporate communications. “We have been here for nearly 30 years. We want to be a good partner.”
The $85 million project rose out of a need for Nu Skin to expand its data center. Along with its community-based features, it will house a world-class research and development laboratory, a network operations center, modern meeting spaces, auditoriums and a fitness center for employees. Nu Skin hopes the new facility will cultivate a creative work environment for employees and contribute to the growth of downtown Provo.