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Thursday, 17 January 2013 08:46

TowerPinkster plans to move GR office to long-vacant downtown building

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Rendering of 4 East Fulton project Rendering of 4 East Fulton project

GRAND RAPIDS — TowerPinkster, a Kalamazoo-based architecture firm with a long-time presence in Grand Rapids, made its mark on the cityscape with a number of high-profile projects that include renovation of Kendall College of Art & Design’s Historic Federal Building and the Civic Theater. 

With the hope of further establishing roots in the community, the company announced today it would anchor the second floor space at the former Junior Achievement building at the southeast corner of Fulton Street and Division Avenue in Grand Rapids.

The site, formerly 2 East Fulton, will have the new address of 4 East Fulton Street.

Grand Rapids-based Locus Development owns the building, which has been vacant for much of the past 15 years. Locus originally hired TowerPinkster to do design and engineering work on the building.

TowerPinkster CEO Arnie Mikon said the firm hopes to have all 25 employees from their interim Grand Rapids office moved to the new location by the third quarter of this year.

“Home is still Kalamazoo for me, but with this (move) there is the opportunity to change that,” Mikon said. “One of key deciding factors in wanting to be downtown is the energy and excitement here, and that factor is going to be very important in attracting the next generation of the company leaders.”

In the effort to find the right office, Mikon said the company looked at a number of larger buildings. However, none of them offered the luxury of having the firm’s name on the outside of the building. The company also has the benefit of occupying a building that it designed.

It’s also building that’s strategically located near the heart of downtown. With the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Kendall College and GRid70 all within walking distance, Mikon said there is a unique and creative atmosphere that is attractive to the firm.

“This is where the leadership of the community is,” he said. “Suddenly, we’re much more accessible.”

The firm also wants to continue to operate as a host venue for ArtPrize, Mikon added.

Locus is in negotiations with several potential ground floor and lower level users, according to a statement.

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