Sweetwater Announces New Building, Breaks Ground

Sweetwater, the nation’s leading music technology retailer, has announced that it will be moving to a new, much larger headquarters campus. Sweetwater founder and CEO Chuck Surack was joined on May 3, 2006, by state and local economic development officials for a ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the company’s new location. The relocation project involves a projected investment of $27 million in building improvements, including $2.5 million in machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures. Construction at the new 44-acre campus is expected to take up to one year, though parts of the company will begin relocating to the new facilities as soon as this fall.

The facility is designed to support Sweetwater’s projected massive growth over the coming years. The company currently has more than 220 employees and expects to reach $180 million in annual sales and 450 employees by 2010. “Sweetwater’s explosive growth has resulted in a need for significantly larger facilities,” Surack stated. “This new campus gives us greatly expanded warehouse and shipping space, plus room to grow our marketing, sales, recording studio, and local retail departments. It will be a wonderful place for our employees to work from, and will offer many benefits to our local and regional customers.”

With this project, Sweetwater is creating a new campus for its headquarters that reflects the facilities of some of the most leading-edge companies in the United States, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google. The campus will comprise 150,000 square feet on 44 acres of land. The facilities include a state-of-the-art distribution center with cutting-edge warehouse and shipping facilities, as well as a media-rich auditorium and advanced technical training center designed by renowned studio designer Russ Berger, and a greatly expanded retail store. A new multi-room professional recording studio, also designed by Russ Berger, will be part of the expansion, and will feature acoustical and technical design that will be on par with the finest recording studios in the world. A wide range of employee amenities will be featured, including a private health club and racquetball court, indoor/outdoor restaurant-style dining, coffee shops, indoor video golf, pool tables, and other recreation items, onsite print shop, a DVD lending library, and professional services including banking, legal, medical, and much more. Customers will be treated to a state-of-the-art retail experience, as well as a broad range of convenient amenities.

The new Sweetwater campus will be one of the first LEED-certified facilities in the region. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program promotes facility design that practices environmental awareness and conservation, while simultaneously achieving economical performance. The certification process rates the site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere treatment, materials and resources used, the indoor environment, and the overall innovation in the design. “We’ve always been concerned with the environment, and have long practiced recycling and other conservation methods here at Sweetwater,” says Surack. “But the LEED certification of our new facility as a ‘green’ building will demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and enhancing our company’s relationship with its natural surroundings. It’s a huge benefit in so many ways, both for us and for our community.”

“Ultimately, the goal is to be able to serve our customers more quickly, efficiently, and effectively,” concludes Surack. “With this new headquarters campus, we’ll have the space and facilities we need in order to move forward as a company, to support our ongoing growth, and to provide the service our friends and clients expect and deserve. We’re very excited to start this next phase in oevolution.”

A special web page is available at:

www.sweetwater.com/feature/expansion, where visitors can watch the project’s progress and share in the excitement. The page includes architect’s renderings, a floor plan, a video “fly-through” of the building, photos and video from the groundbreaking ceremony, and much more.