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Director Ron Gross and sign painter Kevin Drake work on the fake Dell EMC storefront for a commercial being filmed in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood on Wednesday. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Another historic Seattle building is undergoing a change. But don’t worry. The minor transformation of a space in the city’s Ballard neighborhood is only temporary.

Sandwiched between a Patagonia clothing store and a tattoo shop at the end of Ballard Avenue NW, Dell EMC was creating a fake storefront on Wednesday morning for the purposes of a new commercial.

With “Dell EMC Cloud Marketplace” being professionally hand painted on glass windows, the tech giant was taking over a spot in the historic neighborhood now occupied by Cathedral, a new event space which donates its profits to charity. The landmark building, originally built in 1920 as Halverson’s Dry Goods, has also recently been home to the bars/restaurants Jones Brothers and Balmar.

Kevin Drake, of Drake Sign and Design, works on the front of the space which is actually home to Cathedral. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

The commercial is timed to the upcoming VMworld in Las Vegas, Aug. 26-30, where Dell EMC plans to unveil Cloud Marketplace, a new internet storefront where consumers can find “copious amounts of cloud solutions” that best fit their business, according to Bill Crew, a consultant in Dell EMC’s creative product marketing department.

“Nothing is more approachable than Main Street USA,” Crew said of the concept, and the upcoming Marketplace, where experts will cater to user’s varying cloud needs.

Ron Gross, creative director at The Distillery, a Seattle-based production and design studio, said Wednesday that the shoot would wrap up in one day. Workers were busy setting up green screens inside and cameras and lights outside. A utility pole nearby, plastered with music flyers, was wrapped in black fabric.

Creative director Ron Gross, left, and his son Ryan Gross, a director, of the Seattle production studio The Distillery. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

“We’re going to have a woman and her dog coming out of the store, and when we’re done with it, they’re going to be walking on air,” said Gross, whose claim to fame might be the 24 years of comedy commercials he’s shot for the Seattle Mariners.

Gross said the work he’s doing with The Distillery for Dell EMC is getting impressive engagement. He said two out of the top three pieces of video content throughout all of Dell Technologies over the past 30 days were created by his team.

“We’ve done something with a 600-pound, two-time Sumo wrestling champion; we put 30,00 bees on a guy’s face; we hit a golf ball out of a guy’s mouth; we filmed an Olympic gold medal diver from Argentina pulling off a cool dive at the Blue Ridge community pool,” Gross said.

Gross even talked up the dog which will star in this new commercial — a rescue from Seoul, South Korea, whose breed he referred to as “butt wolf.”

Dell completed it’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC back in September 2016. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Dell EMC has a large presence in Seattle, working out of a building in SoDo near CenturyLink Field.

The historic marker for the building on Ballard Avenue NW in Seattle where Wednesday’s commercial was being shot. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
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