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 Post subject: ATK Has a New Home
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:22 am 
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ATK illustrated: Go inside the new home of America’s Test Kitchen
Oct 25, 2017, 6:58am EDT

In one kitchen, sautéed shrimp sizzles in a skillet. In another, a chef flips a photo-ready pancake for a cookbook action shot. Just to the side of the pancake-flipping, staff photographer Kevin White sets up a burrata spread — the natural light from the Innovation & Design Building’s tall windows is perfect for the day’s shoot, White says.

They’re the sights, sounds and smells of the new Seaport home for America’s Test Kitchen, which is part working commercial kitchen, part television studio and part office. It's a large-scale expansion from ATK's longtime Brookline headquarters, and one that CEO David Nussbaum thinks will position the company to grow in short order.

“We wanted what we actually do – cooking – to be at the center of everything," Nussbaum said.

The vast culinary media empire of America's Test Kitchen and Boston Common Press LP includes magazines, television programming, websites and cookbooks. The company produces the bimonthly instructional cooking magazine Cook’s Illustrated, has sold more than 10 million cookbooks and produces about a dozen more each year.

The company also produces America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country television shows, which combined have 4.1 million weekly average-minute viewers, and which the company bills as the “highest-rated instructional cooking programs on television.” There’s also radio, direct mail and websites that garner millions upon millions of views per month.

For nearly a quarter century, America’s Test Kitchen had operated out of a 23,000-square-foot space at 17 Station St. in Brookline, a nondescript brownstone that didn’t provide much room for growth. Nussbaum recalled how chefs testing recipes would line up sticky notes on the ovens — one chef would claim the 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. hour, while another would take from 4 p.m. til 5 p.m., and so on.

“The old space inhibited the company’s growth,” he said. “We had to have people come in on the weekend. We had people stay at night. That’s not tenable for a long period of time.”

Now, with some 205 employees moved into a 55,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Boston’s Seaport, America’s Test Kitchen can continue pushing its boundaries. The move is also something of a rebrand for ATK, following the departure of longstanding show host Christopher Kimball and the subsequent legal scuffle between Kimball and ATK.
There’s a children’s book line on the way, and ATK’s in conversations with cable networks as well as Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) regarding new television programming.

“We are on a fast track, and the intent is really to grow the company aggressively and rapidly,” Nussbaum said. “There’s a whole long list of new products that are coming out, and the reason that we’re able to kind of focus on those discussions and those launches is that now we can produce them. Before, we could not.”

Jackie Ford, ATK’s chief financial officer, handled the real-estate search and the logistics of the move from Brookline. She said the company searched out to Watertown and Newton, but wanted to stick close to public transit. CBRE advised ATK as a project manager in its search for space.

The Innovation and Design Building appealed because of the creative class of tenants that complex owner Jamestown and real-estate brokerage JLL have established at the property, Ford said, as well as the building’s large floorplates and industrial aesthetic.
“Culturally, we don’t fit in a shiny building downtown,” she said.

ATK toured the property at the end of 2015 and formally announced its move to 21 Drydock Ave. last September. Three months later, global athletic brand Reebok International Ltd. announced it planned to move its headquarters from Canton to a facility located just down the way from ATK — an announcement that Ford felt validated ATK's decision to move to the IDB.

“It was kind of like, ‘OK, this is going to be what we thought it was going to be,’” Ford said. “You take a little bit of a leap of faith when you sign a lease in a building and it’s not fully occupied. What else is going to happen; who’s going to come in? ... Now, when you come out here, you feel like stuff is going on, whereas before you were kind of like, ‘where is everybody?'”

Reebok and ATK are already collaborating, with Reebok sponsoring ATK Boston EATS. The two-day food festival, slated for this Friday and Saturday, will celebrate ATK’s official opening in Boston’s Seaport as well as showcase culinary talent from across New England.
“We were a little bit like pioneers at the end of 2015, but now we feel like we’re in the center of all the action,” Nussbaum said.


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 Post subject: Re: ATK Has a New Home
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
Posts: 5092
Location: Portland, OR
Huh. I was just in Seaport a couple months ago.

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