Members of the NDDC Board of Directors visited with Professional Design Group (PDG) yesterday. It was an easy trip as their offices are just upstairs from the NDDC office. In fact, the NDDC was born at a conference table in PDG’s office almost exactly ten years ago.
According to owner Jim Braucher, PDG has been in business, and located in downtown Northfield, for over sixteen years. They currently have 9 employees and Jim believes that this is the right size for the type of relationship that the firm values, a relationship with personal, respectful, and direct communication between the service-providers and the clients.
PDG has done a wide variety of projects. Jim said he is particularly proud of the Laura Baker Cottage, a project which helps shape the quality of life for its occupants, Memorial Stadium, a project which creates magical experiences for Northfielders on Friday nights each fall, and the Carleton IT Center, a hidden beast that was tamed for now beautiful operations.
The firm has done pretty much everything, supplementing its team of architects and structural engineers with additional specialists as necessary. Projects include churches, factories, municipal buildings, office buildings, schools, and police stations and fire stations. Jim says he really values long-term relationships with clients, where they do many projects together over the years.
Jim loves Northfield and claims that he has the best office in town with its second-floor view of Bridge Square. He says that the restaurants, shops, small-town energy, and beautiful location help attract and retain employees. Jim says that if he needs to clear his mind, he just takes a walk around the downtown. He also notes that it’s about as close to the airport as any place in the Metro Area.
He had no complaints about Northfield. Jim noted that his firm has a good understanding of the regulatory process and the role of the public sector, and therefore haven’t experienced any problems that couldn’t be solved. He also noted that it’s important to have organizations like the NDDC that support private initiatives and advocate for local investments.
When asked what more the NDDC could do for the quality of life for his worker, Jim had a quick reply. “Keep working on the bike racks, Ross.”