Settling into its new downtown digs, local telecommunications provider DOCOMO PACIFIC began a new chapter on Thursday, officially opening the doors to its new headquarters in the former Ben Franklin building in Tamuning.

"Many friends, including most of us at DOCOMO PACIFIC, have fond memories of the Ben Franklin building and Guam's first escalators," said Jonathan Kriegel, president and CEO. "We are excited to call this special place our new home."

Sitting vacant for nearly two decades, the landmark location was last open for business in 1999. In June 2016, DOCOMO PACIFIC signed a lease agreement with the property's landlord, MV Pangilinan Enterprises, and prepared to move into the five-story building.

Renovations cost an estimated $10.5 million and began in October 2016. The majority of the project finished late last year with the last few months spent sprucing up the interior. Administrative offices and the flagship store relocated to the refurbished building in December 2017.

Moving into the modern era

Inside the renewed space, DOCOMO PACIFIC occupies 48,000 square feet of the 60,000-square-foot property. The business operates from the first four floors of the building. The fifth floor remains open for lease.

The beloved escalators that were part of the original layout have been replaced by two elevators. In addition, the more than 40-year-old building, originally designed without windows, now has more than 40.

The fresh configuration, featuring an open-office concept, includes a flagship store, Java Hut Café, call center, executive suites, 14 meeting rooms, six quiet rooms, three training rooms, two break rooms, one lounge and houses several departments. The parking lot boasts 300 parking spaces and solar-panel lighting.

Each meeting room is equipped with the latest technology, including Promethean interactive displays, Samsung smart televisions, video conferencing tech and a content management broadcasting software.

'Culture and personality'

"Our new headquarters reflects our culture and personality," Kriegel said. "It inspires creativity and encourages collaboration. It is truly a place where we can be 'Better Together.'"

The company's former corporate office has been vacated and returned to Century Plaza. DOCOMO PACIFIC has a total of eight retail stores on Guam, two on Saipan, one on Tinian and one on Rota.

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