Intergraph to build $58-million headquarters

After decades of innovating inside decades-old buildings, Huntsville and Madison-grown Intergraph is finally getting a state-of-the-art headquarters that officials hope will be a catalyst for further development in the Interstate 565/Madison Boulevard corridor.

Intergraph on Tuesday announced it will build a $58 million headquarters on the site of its current campus, consolidating its sprawling set of smaller buildings into a single five-story facility.

The new building for the engineering and geospacial software maker will total 250,000 square feet and house office space for 1,100 employees. The facility will include a new data center, conference space, food service area and lakeside terraces. Intergraph CEO and Hexagon AB President/CEO Ola Rollen said the vision for the headquarters began soon after Sweden-based Hexagon acquired the company in 2010 for $2.13 billion. Rollen said the facility will allow for collaboration and “spontaneous development.”

“This is the cradle and the legacy and where most of the people live,” he said of Intergraph during an interview after the groundbreaking.

The project — designed by Atlanta-based Cooper Carry, with Robins & Morton acting as general contractor and 4Site as the civil engineer — is expected to begin next month and open in summer 2014.

Officials, including Alabama Dept. of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie and Madison Mayor Paul Finley all praised the public-private collaboration between Intergraph, Madison, Huntsville, the state and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.

The I-565/Madison Blvd. corridor is one of six redevelopment areas targeted in Madison’s growth plan, Finley said. The mayor said he talked last week with businesses in Atlanta at an International Council of Shopping Centers event about developing in the area. Several said they’d be interested in talking with the city now that the Intergraph project is official.

“It is a major linchpin in the continued development of the south portion of Madison,” he said.

In return for the investment, the company might get tax abatements. Ed Porter, Intergraph’s executive vice president of human resources, said the agreement has not been finalized and declined to disclose details of the contract.

Porter said the current facilities occupied by the company will be offered for sale and for redevelopment. While the 21 buildings are not yet on the market, he said the company is ready to talk with anyone interested in a part of the 300-acre property. About half of the properties are currently leased, with two of the largest occupiers being Boeing and NASA.

Intergraph was founded as M&S Computing in 1969 by James Meadlock and several former IBM executives before becoming Intergraph Corporation in 2008. The company, which has become somewhat of an icon of innovation for the Huntsville-Madison area, hit a milestone when it was acquired by a group of investors in 2006 for $1.3 billion. The company now employs more than 4,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.

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