Hy-Vee Inc. | Technology Center

Environmental Design

How do you lure top tech talent to work in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield? Hy-Vee, Inc., one of the largest supermarket chains in the Midwest, was recently faced with this challenge when creating their new Helpful Smiles Technology Center (HST) just outside of Des Moines, Iowa.

In order to attract talented employees, Hy-Vee decided to focus closely on the workplace environment and culture. Deceptively plain on the exterior, the facility transforms into a vibrant and open mini-city on the inside, including a Starbucks and an impressive list of amenities.

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DI helped to bring a little bit of New York City to their main gathering and collaborative space through a branded cityscape made to look like Times Square, complete with a replicated jumbo screen and a permanent food truck with daily specials. A digital tracker flashes updated company news, and design details evoke a bustling NYC feel, with a neon diner sign and cityscape lights that cycle on and off throughout the day. DI was pleased to work with Hy-Vee Construction, the general contractor for the space. SVPA Architects in West Des Moines, Iowa was the architecture firm.

Their results? Since opening in early 2017, they’ve successfully attracted top IT talent to fill the 104,000-square-foot building, despite competing opportunities in Des Moines and nearby cities. In fact, Matt Nannen, senior vice president of digital development and brand image marketing for Hy-Vee, noted that one manager, who had recently hopped to a different job, came back to work at this new location.