4 Comments

Atomic Object GR Moves to New, Larger Home on Wealthy St.

Photo of the front of 1034 Building

We’ve done it! After 19 months of planning and countless hours of hard work by dozens of people, Atomic Grand Rapids has moved to our new home at 1034 Wealthy Street SE.

How We Got Here

For the last few years, our office at 941 Wealthy had been feeling crowded—not enough team space, not enough conference rooms, not enough bathrooms. We seriously considered expanding that office, but found it would be very expensive without adding any real property value to the building.

That meant moving, but we were dedicated to staying in the Uptown neighborhood. As Carl wrote when he announced the move back in September:

We love the neighborhood we’ve worked in since 2003, and we’ve been a part of the revitalization that’s taken place on Wealthy Street. We’re deeply rooted in this community, and we’d prefer to keep it that way.

While out on a Sunday dog walk this past winter, I happened upon a larger building for sale at 1034 Wealthy—just a couple hundred yards east of our current home. I got pretty excited to learn that it had just gone on the market the day before. We wrote an all-cash offer a few hours later.

A photo of 1034 Wealthy Street prior to its renovation
How 1034 Wealthy looked when we bought it.

After that, the timeline went something like this:

  • January 2015 – Carl and Mary secured the building with their own funds
  • Jan-March 2015 – Site environmental evaluations
  • April 1, 2015 – Real estate deal complete; building owned by Atomic Object
  • May 2015 – Selected architect and construction firms
  • April-June 2015 – Schematic building design
  • June-Sept. 2015 – Project approval from neighborhood, city, and state groups
  • Sept.-Nov. 2015 – Design development & construction planning/documentation
  • December 2015 – Project permitting & preliminary demolition
  • Jan.-July 2016 – Construction
  • August 5-7, 2016 – Moving Atomic from 941 Wealthy to 1034 Wealthy

Our New Home

Many, Many Thanks

This project would not have been possible without the creativity, brains, dedication, and hard work of so many people. We’d like to expressly thank the following:

Atoms

  • Mary O’Neill – Atomic Business Manager, Project Lead Extraordinaire (who put over 1,300 formal hours—and countless personal hours—into this project). Her tasks included:
    • Ensuring that the project’s design worked for Atomic
    • Advocating for Atomic within the community to get the required project approvals
    • Vision for a dramatic and functional design
    • Vetting and selecting the architectural design and construction team
    • Representing Atomic in the design and construction process
    • Keeping all Atoms up-to-date as the project progressed
    • Solving 10,000+ logistical details to deliver an awesome new home for Atomic, the company, and our GR office and execute the move
  • Carl Erickson
    • Writing an offer on the property three hours after discovering it, before checking with Mary (marital capital at risk!)
    • Securing financial support for the project (job growth assistance from the State of MI, and an OPRA Property Tax Exemption)
    • Helping identify and vet the architectural design and construction team
    • Vision for a dramatic and functional design
    • Negotiating bank financing to make the investment possible
  • Shawn Crowley & Mike Marsiglia – Collaborating with and advising Mary and Carl on all of the above, plus managing strategy, financial planning, and communication within Atomic
  • Justin Kulesza – Collaborating with Mary to design, plan and install all aspects of the IT infrastructure for our new building
  • Terri Vruggink & Jamie Widing – Photography (including all the great photos in the post); assisting with project and pre-move coordination
  • Kyle Harris – Providing interior signage design

Neighborhood

We’re delighted to remain a vital part of the Wealthy Street neighborhood, and we appreciate the support from its members, including:

  • Baxter Neighborhood Association
  • Wealthy Street Business Alliance
  • East Hills Council of Neighbors
  • and many, many businesses and homeowners.

Professional Team

  • Pioneer Construction (General Contractor): Harvey Kiel, Jason Nyhuis, and Tim Schowalter
  • Cornerstone Architects (Project Architects): Tom Nemitz and Shannon Trumley

State and Local Government

  • City of Grand Rapids – Economic Development Office
  • City of Grand Rapids – Planning Commission
  • City of Grand Rapids – Historic Preservation Commission
  • State of Michigan – State Historic Preservation Office
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Thank you all so much! We love our new home, and we deeply appreciate the work you’ve done.

A photo of AOGR Atoms toasting the completion of the 1034 Wealthy renovation