Introducing Assembly

Drew Ungvarsky
Mar 20, 2019 · 5 min read
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Surround yourself with amazing people, and great things will happen.

Few things have held more true in the growth of our business. In our 15 years, Grow has come to create industry-leading digital experiences for our favorite brands around the world, and we’ve recently surpassed 50 exceptionally talented team members. In fact, we’re bursting at the seams in our beloved home at 427 Granby.

Specialized companies like ours can thrive anywhere in the world, and we’re transforming our industries by collaborating, connecting, and embracing new ways of doing business. In thinking about the future of Grow, we started thinking about the similar challenges small and independent companies face when looking to expand.

In our hometown of Norfolk / Virginia Beach, the metro is as surprisingly big (population: 1.7MM+) as it is full of incredibly talented people and companies. But our creative and technology communities are spread out and lack a center of mass. As a result, the rest of the world doesn’t always know about the extraordinary work being done here.

As we considered Grow’s expansion, we thought to align to a broader purpose: strengthen our city, advance our industry, and plant a flag for our community that no one can miss.

But we can’t do it alone. In fact, that’s the point.

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Conceptual rendering of Assembly. Final design is still underway.

Today, we’re introducing Assembly — an iconic building campus and community of inspiring creators and technology innovators, headquartered in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

Leading companies, aspiring startups, and talented freelancers will come together under one roof, sharing energy, inspiration, and resources to make us more than the sum of our parts.

Assembly is designed to connect.

An adaptive reuse project, it will restore three historic department store buildings to their original beauty, and connect them together as a modern office and community hub. Every aspect of the space is purpose-built for connections and collisions, and to support the common needs of creators.

We’ll share a large rooftop deck and central gathering spaces, as well as resources like a recording / podcast booth, extra meeting rooms, an event space, a game room, bike storage, shower facilities, a library, and more. On our own, small and independent companies must choose selectively from business resources and cultural amenities like these, but sharing them together lets us all punch above our weight.

We’re designing Assembly to support and inspire the entire regional community of creators and tech innovators. The building will host regular industry and cultural events from outside groups and organizations, as well as Assembly’s own programming.

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Conceptual rendering of Assembly. Final design is still underway.

We asked a few trusted friends and colleagues for some feedback on the idea, and before long, we were sketching floor plans.

We couldn’t be more excited to share the first companies who’ve committed to joining us in the Assembly vision. The companies and their leaders already had my deepest respect; now, I can’t wait to share a roof with them.

Importantly, this is just the start. In announcing Assembly today, we’re collectively inviting you to join us.

Grow
thisisgrow.com

Grow is a creative innovation agency. We make industry-leading digital experiences, platforms, and campaigns for some of the world’s most beloved brands.

Work Program Architects wparch.com

WPA designs people-inspired buildings, neighborhoods, and urban places. Our multi-disciplinary process embraces technology and collaborative design to strengthen communities.

Sway Creative Labs madebysway.com

Sway is a Norfolk-based, full service creative agency built on ingenuity and grit. We use creativity, curiosity, and collaboration to propel modern brands forward.

Flagship Visuals
flagshipvisuals.com

Flagship Visuals is a full-service video agency providing creative services, visual storytelling, and turnkey commercial filmmaking directly to brands and agency partners.

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Ames & Brownley (c. 1916) and the Sears & Roebuck buildings

Assembly is an independent company, which Grow has taken a leading role in launching — driving the project’s vision, design direction, branding, and providing key financial support to get it off the ground. Grow raised its hand to be the first and largest tenant within Assembly, and we’re now an excited contributor to the community.

You know we love to make a good website, too. Check it out to learn more about the vision for the project, the buildings and their history, and how to join us.

Together with my friend, colleague, and now business partner, Bryan Campbell, we’ll steer the Assembly ship as it heads out on its own.

A special thanks to the City of Norfolk, who has been a great partner and proactive collaborator — enabling our opportunity to purchase and renovate the building, and supporting the growth of many small businesses. City Council will vote in early April to finalize the proposed deal.

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The teams at Grow, WPA, Sway, and Flagship are calling our fellow creators and technology innovators to help build this beacon for the greater Norfolk / Virginia Beach region. See more detail about the project on the Assembly website, and then drop a note to joinus@assemblynfk.com if you’d like to talk more about becoming a tenant in the building.

Grow is also looking for a complementary business to rent the 427 Granby building once we move.

Assembly is for our entire community. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and through our newsletter as we bring this project to life, and create this iconic gathering place.

Surround yourself with amazing people, and great things will happen. Let’s see what happens.

Drew Ungvarsky is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Grow, a creative innovation agency based in Norfolk, Va. Drew is also the CEO of Assembly, an iconic building campus and community of inspiring creators and technology innovators, headquartered in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

Grow

Grow is a creative innovation agency for some of the…

Drew Ungvarsky

Written by

Drew is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Grow, a creative innovation agency. He is also the CEO of the newly created Assembly.

Grow

Grow

Grow is a creative innovation agency for some of the world’s most beloved brands.

Drew Ungvarsky

Written by

Drew is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Grow, a creative innovation agency. He is also the CEO of the newly created Assembly.

Grow

Grow

Grow is a creative innovation agency for some of the world’s most beloved brands.

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