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Caledonia insurance firm coming to Studio Park will bring 400 jobs downtown

Studio Park, the $160 million project just south of Van Andel Arena that includes a movie complex, restaurants, apartments, retail shops and more, on Wednesday announced the tenant of its six-story, $40 million office tower.

Acrisure, a Caledonia Township-based insurance, risk management and benefits design firm, will move from its current headquarters to the new office tower in 2021, bringing an estimated 400 employees to the area, said J.D. Loeks, president of Studio C, the firm that’s developing Studio Park.

He said the company is expected to move its “core staff” to the office tower in the first-quarter of 2021. Construction on the building is expected to start within the next two months.

The company will lease 105,000 square feet in the building, making it the “largest occupant of Class A office space in the city of Grand Rapids,” Studio C said in a news release. Acrisure will be the building’s sole tenant.

“We worked our tails off for six months,” Loeks said of his firm’s efforts to attract Acrisure to the new space.

Greg Williams, the CEO of Acrisure said, the new office tower provides his company with an opportunity to “consolidate our home office talent into a single location and immediately enhance our collaborative culture.”

In addition, the space gives the company the room to match future growth, and helps attract “elite level talent to the Grand Rapids area.”

Loeks said Acrisure has been a “great partner to work with, and they are very excited to come downtown and they are excited to be a part of Studio Park.”

“It will be very good for bringing a lot of daytime activation to the arena south district there and support the restaurants and support all the rest of the development that’s happening in what we believe is the new heart of the city,” he said.

The first businesses in Studio Park are scheduled to begin opening in late September and early October, said Emily Loeks, a spokesperson for Studio C. She said the development’s nine-screen movie theater will open Sept. 27, and the restaurants and retail shops will open on a “fairly quick timeline after that.”

The development’s 106 apartments, which range from studios to two-bedroom units, are expected to open in mid-September. In addition to the nine-screen movie theater, the development will also boast an outdoor movie screen in its piazza.

In addition to the six-story office tower, Studio C on Wednesday entered into negotiations with the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority to purchase a 40,000-square-foot parcel at 158 Oakes St. SW.

Studio C wants to use the property to build a second office building for Acrisure to accommodate future growth. That building may total roughly 175,000-square-feet and come with a $60 million price tag, J.D. Loeks said.

“This will allow them the opportunity to accommodate what they know is future expansion needed within the next five years,” Loeks said.

He said the property has about 17,000-square-feet of space that could be used for construction, while the remainder is under the S-Curve and would be used for parking.

A motion approved by the DDA on Wednesday paves the way for the DDA to enter into a “Letter of Understanding” with Studio C for the purchase of the property. Under that letter, Studio C would make a $75,000, non-refundable payment to the DDA that would cover the DDA’s costs related to the preparation “of the purchase and development agreement including legal and engineering fees.”

A purchase price for the property has not been finalized, but Loeks estimated that the property’s market value is about $1.5 million.

Emily Loeks said there’s an agreement with Acrisure that sets aside “a few hundred” spaces in Studio Park’s 960-space parking garage. She said it’s “likely” that the firm’s remaining employees will park at the garage as well.


Posted By: mlive on August 14, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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