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A 2019 rendering of a second downtown Grand Rapids building initially envisioned by Acrisure LLC. A 2019 rendering of a second downtown Grand Rapids building initially envisioned by Acrisure LLC. COURTESY RENDERING

Acrisure plans 230 new hires, need for second downtown GR building still unclear

BY Sunday, March 13, 2022 06:34pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Acrisure LLC opened its new $33 million office in downtown Grand Rapids in August 2021, and expects it will need more space by the end of this year as the company grows its workforce.

Acrisure gave vaccinated employees the option to resume in-person work in August at the new seven-story, 105,000-square-foot office at 100 Ottawa Ave. SW in Studio Park. About 250 of Acrisure’s 550 employees have been coming to the office on any given day, said Elliott Bundy, Acrisure’s chief communications and marketing officer. 

“We’re a company that is always going to prize in-person work, and equally we care about health and safety,” Bundy said. “We’re trying to figure out the best objective to make those ideas meet in the most timely way possible.”

One of the largest and fastest-growing insurance brokerages, Acrisure has nearly 600 offices worldwide and has grown rapidly through an aggressive acquisition strategy. 

Bundy said that the new office space remained a priority even during pandemic-related disruptions. 

“We also had the highest growth year of the company in 2021,” Bundy said. “So in a hybrid environment, we were still able to achieve our goals, but this is very much a people business and we see the business of in-person work as an investment. The reality is that technology affords us the opportunity to work from a variety of places if the need is there, but given the choice, this company will always choose to be in person.”

The new office also has played a role in attracting new companies, he said. Prior to the Studio Park development, Acrisure’s Grand Rapids workforce was spread across several locations. The company prioritized bring everyone together in one office, Bundy said.

Bringing those workers together “was really important for us,” Bundy said. “It is a state-of-the-art facility across the entire building. The amenities you have access to and being part of the downtown community was important as well. The opportunity to walk out the door at lunch and go to a local restaurant or go out after work with coworkers really didn’t exist before with our dispersed footprint.”

Phase two?

When Studio Park developer Olsen Loeks Development LLC initially announced plans for Acrisure’s headquarters in 2019, Acrisure anticipated a second, 175,000-square-foot office building nearby at 158 Oakes St. SW.

Acrisure plans to hire another 230 employees in Grand Rapids by the end of 2022, which would put the company at or slightly over capacity at the Ottawa Avenue headquarters, Bundy said. 

However, the company is still unsure whether it will pursue a second building or find space for employees in existing facilities, Bundy said.

“We’re hopeful there is a second building that comes in,” JD Loeks, a principal with Jackson Entertainment and Olsen Loeks Development, said during an Advantage Commercial Real Estate outlook event on March 1. “ “Everybody else is still playing a little bit of a wait-and-see game. We don’t really know what the workforce and office needs look like.”

Still, Acrisure’s new downtown office space has been a high point in an otherwise volatile and uncertain two years for commercial real estate.

The Acrisure project is a “phenomenal” corporate presence that’s sorely needed in downtown Grand Rapids, The Right Place Inc. President and CEO Randy Thelen said during the March 1 event. 

“Corporate headquarters across the country are the ones with the prime office space, they’re the ones leading the path back to working in the office,” Thelen said. “Because we don’t have enough concentration of corporate offices downtown, we’re not quite getting that momentum that we need.” 

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