Office Space: ODW Logistics Moves to Building with Transportation History

Chloe Teasley
Sunny and open, the Forklift Café is where employees can buy and eat homemade lunch items, drinks and snacks. All items are prepaid and taken using the honor system.

ODW Logistics packed up its old Alum Creek HQ and transported its operation to the Arena District six months ago. Its new home is a carefully thought-out floor in the Buggyworks building, site of the old Columbus Buggy Company. It is filled with meaningful decor and ‘vintage-industrial' touches that tie together the vision ODW organized into a design guide.

Repurposed Southern pine beams from the original building hold up the structure which is encased in exposed brick. Clark says the wood and brick in the building absorb noise and exude warmth.

“We loved that it was an older building with roots in transportation. It had an industrial feel that we liked; we wanted to keep some of those elements. … . It's also located in a part of Columbus that was really attractive for quality of life around it,” says Executive Vice President Jeff Clark. But moving in wasn't a totally smooth operation. Before ODW—or any other company— could occupy the building, it needed to be jacked up over a period of time to correct a 14-inch tilt.

One meaningful ode to the company can be found directly around the corner from reception and scattered throughout the space. 71 pennies for 71 years in business come with the mantra “make every penny count.” A cluster of pennies is lacquered into the floor and other pennies are similarly set all over the HQ.

“We have to make sure that for our customers we're representing their best interest and we're focused on every expense needed,” says Clark. “It's a reminder of some of the things that are important (to the company).”

Three glass-encased conference rooms stand in the middle of the floor rather than lining the outside of it, allowing for natural sun that sometimes takes the place of lightbulbs completely. Inside each room is another meaningful object— a painting done by a local artist of a national region where ODW is located. Across from each conference room a section of ODW truck siding is attached to the side of a long countertop, as if a truck were driving through.

“Whether it be the Midwest or the Pacific Ocean,” says Executive Assistant Sherri Perry, “You'll see some art that represents (it). When you're in the conference room you see the truck going by, it ties it in. You'll always see a road in the art as well,” she adds.

Perhaps the most interesting piece giving meaning to the new space is a buggy sitting right in the middle of one of the “neighborhoods”—a term used to break up workspaces throughout the building. The buggy was discovered at a farm auction in Fairfield County and still displays the name of the doctor who attached it to horses and operated it many years ago. Clark says to have it here shows people how humans used to get around, and is an example of the transportation manufactured in the building when it was originally built.

Clark is happy with the new HQ and says it's been fun to decide what it will look like.

“I don't want this to sound negative, but we didn't want just another dry-walled building,” he says.