How a Local Construction Company Turned a Piggly Wiggly Into a Sleek Professional Office

Photography by OLAF GROWALD

A former grocery store gets a new life as a construction office with clean lines, functional features … and dogs.

It’s hard to imagine PRIM Construction’s office as a grocery store — that is, until you see the grid pattern on the floor where tile used to be or the overhead rolling door that leads to the back storage area.

Such was the past life of the 22,000-square-foot building at 252 Roberts Cut Off Road, a former Piggly Wiggly that Trent and Beth Prim (COO and CEO, respectively, of PRIM Construction) purchased in 2013 and transformed into an office space. PRIM — the contractor behind projects like FunkyTown Donuts’ building on Eighth Avenue and, recently, Fort Worth Inc.’s Dream Office project in The River District — occupies 3,300 square feet and leases out the rest to other tenants.

PRIM’s side of the building maintains a modern but comfortable vibe with contemporary furniture, practical design features — and two fluffy Australian shepherds named Ranger and Rosie, roaming the halls and greeting guests.
“Mostly the people that work here are project managers, and then everybody else goes out in their own job sites,” Trent says. “It’s usually a pretty quiet office, which is kind of neat.”

When the Prims found the building, traces of the old store were still there — from images of eggplant in the vegetable section to cows in the meat section, along with the original bathrooms and grocery aisles. Trent says the building was practically a box when they found it, so one of their first orders of business was adding windows. The challenge — dealing with pilaster-like columns on the outside of the building.

“I didn’t want walls to intersect the windows,” Trent says, “so we came up with this little detail here, where the glass reverts back into the wall. From the outside, it actually looks pretty cool.”

To bring even more natural light, PRIM installed glass doors and walls (which double as dry erase boards) in individual offices, allowing light to pass through from the windows, through the interior glass to the center of the space.

The office also acts as a way to show clients examples of what certain design elements would look like, like the ceiling cloud in the conference room — a floating platform made from ordinary 2-by-2 ceiling tiles with wood around the edges. The piece not only creates more intimacy and gives the room a little more flare — it’s good for acoustics.

“The idea behind our architecture here was, we wanted to show off as many building pieces as we could,” Trent says.

The color scheme at PRIM is mostly neutral, with white walls offset by wood to soften the look. “By introducing the plywood,” Trent says, “it warms it up and says, ‘Hey, we’re still in construction.’”

There is one pop of bright orange on a wall that displays PRIM’s logo. Furniture is mostly modern and modular, with some pieces built by Trent himself.

“We wanted our clients to understand what that would look like — we’ve got different elements of construction, from carpet and tile to modular furniture, to all these different pieces that are in our offices,” Trent says. “Sometimes our clients really like the style, and they want to replicate it.”

The back of the office is not quite finished out, used mostly for storage and as a batting cage for the Prims’ 10-year-old son, Sam. But here, one finds more remnants of the former grocery store, like the Overhead Door, and above that, a stretch of faded wallpaper depicting cowboys riding horses against a backdrop of rolling hills. The Prims believe this may have been the meat section of the store.

The eventual goal is to renovate the back area and turn it into offices as well.

“It’s slowly taking off,” Trent says. “The space itself has been fun and easy to work with.”