20 Mar, 2019

The Register’s old press room has been converted into a software company’s office

A software company that manages electronic records for fire departments nationwide has opened an office in at R&T Lofts (formerly Des Moines Register's old press room). 

The front end of a fire engine is mounted in ESO Solution’s office in downtown Des Moines. (Photo: Special to the Register)

ESO Solutions opened at 717 Locust St. in December. The downtown Des Moines location is the ESO’s first expansion outside of its headquarters in Austin. The company, which started in 2004, provides electronic records, data and software management services for emergency medical services, fire departments and hospitals. Its Des Moines office hosts the company’s fire division.

In 2017, ESO purchased FIREHOUSE Software, an incident reporting and records management company that was based in Urbandale. That acquisition led them to consider Des Moines for its second location, said Chris Dillie, president and CEO. “We felt there were a lot of talented people who are passionate about the customer working there. It made us want to stay there,” he said. “And after visiting a few times, we also felt it would be a good place to find additional talent.” ESO spent about $2 million converting the Register’s cavernous press room into an open-air collaborative work space. It features a street-level conference room, kitchen and coffee bar, and a large set of “social stairs” for team meetings.

The stairs face a giant video screen so Des Moines employees can teleconference with headquarters in Austin. The front end of a fire engine is mounted above that screen. Two Des Moines-based employees, who are retired firefighters, drove the fire engine from Columbus, Ohio, to be featured in ESO’s new office. The fire engine — which has working lights and sirens — can be seen from Locust Street. “When your folks come to work every day, you want reminders about why they are here, what they are doing this for,” Dillie said. “That fire engine is that reminder.”

The social stairs at ESO Solution’s downtown Des Moines office lets all of its employees gather to teleconference with the company’s headquarters in Austin. (Photo: Special to the Register)

ESO employs 40 people in Des Moines, but has room to double its workforce. The Des Moines-based positions range from software engineer to quality assurance to customer support.

The Des Moines Register moved its presses out of the historic building in 2000, and the rest of its newspaper operations in 2013. The top floors have since been converted into upscale apartments, R&T Lofts. A cocktail bar, Hello, Marjorie, opened in the old lobby in 2017.

Original story here.