In 2001, Atomic Object came to life in a small, rented workspace in an old red brick building in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. In 2003, when Atomic was still young and very small, we moved west on Wealthy Street to the red brick building we now call AOHQ. We’ve grown a lot since then, so it was smart of us to invest in a bigger house than we needed at the time. Turns out, the Uptown neighborhood suits us just fine.
In July 2012, we opened our Detroit office in another old, red brick building. And in September 2013, we hung the Atomic shingle out in Ann Arbor — in, you guessed it, a red brick building.
Atomic has chosen to locate our offices on the fringe of downtown in two larger Michigan cities (Grand Rapids and Detroit) and the center of a smaller scale city (Ann Arbor), where older, red brick commercial buildings are more likely to be the workplace options in stock.
Aside from red brick, each of our locations share some common strategic attributes:
- They are located close to livable neighborhoods, which increases the housing options for Atoms who want to reside close by.
- They are connected to their neighborhoods and communities along with:
- Local shops, restaurants, bars, and other small and growing companies.
- Easy access to public transportation.
- Walkable, green city streets.
- They are at the fringe of the downtown city core (in Grand Rapids and Detroit), giving us some better parking opportunities and easier commuting than downtown or suburbs. (Though since we share neighborhoods with the Detroit Tigers and the University of Michigan, we are bound to occasionally have some parking challenges on game days etc.)
- They are in street-connected, human-scaled buildings vs. high rise towers. And Atomic’s presence is visible at the street level vs. the anonymity of small print on a big building’s lobby directory.
- They are in smaller-scale buildings that are easy to get into and out of, which extends the boundaries of our workplace out through each city itself.
Atomic is deeply connected to three distinct and vibrant urban neighborhoods, and the positive regional economic impact of technology jobs in Michigan is real. Firms like ours are making a significant difference in The Mitten State by creating well-paid technology jobs, which increase the state’s income tax revenues and create demand for additional jobs within our neighborhoods — a win-win all ’round.