GRAND RAPIDS — Finishing touches are being added to the completely renovated building near downtown Grand Rapids that was transformed into the new headquarters for Integrated Architecture LLC.
A sign with the firm’s new logo is being put up this week on the new office at 840 Ottawa Ave. NW in the Monroe North Business District. Starting Monday most of the West Michigan architecture and engineering firm’s staff of about 40 will begin working in the space, said Mike Corby, executive vice president of Integrated Architecture. The company plans to add a couple more people to the team as well, he said.
About $2 million was invested in the renovation of the 13,600-square-foot building, which was previously vacant after it housed a printing company.
Integrated Architecture is working with Caledonia-based FCC Construction Inc. for the exterior and site work, and Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction Co. Inc. for the interior improvements. Van Haren Electric Inc. and River City Mechanical Inc. are also part of the renovation project.
“It’s got an urban edge to it, but there is also some old brick inside and we kept a lot of the old structure,” Corby said.
The only major change during construction was increasing the number of conference rooms up to eight, and investing more in technology around the office to make it easier for employees to connect to clients virtually, Corby said.
“We’re paying attention to protocols and how people operate in the space, but the thing we learned is people need to work together,” Corby said. “We’re in a visual and collaborative business. Remote working can work sometimes for some people, but not all the time.”
Corby believes the new office will help with company culture, and amenities were included to make sure employees can occasionally step away from their work and take a break during the day, he said.
The office includes a full kitchen, ping pong table, virtual reality equipment, a fireplace outside on the building’s patio, and will also be equipped with a small fitness center, he said.
“How you work evolves, and companies evolve,” Corby said. “We’re a very heads-down group of people and over time we’ve gotten into some of those habits we’re trying to break when we get to this office.”
The location near the river and downtown, as well as the new office itself, will serve as a talent retention and attraction tool for the company, Corby said.