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HED becoming second major company to relocate to Royal Oak

Architecture and planning firm HED is moving its Michigan office and 100 employees to downtown Royal Oak in the space currently occupied by tech company Vectorform.

The company formerly known as Harley Ellis Devereaux Corp. is taking Vectorform’s approximately 19,000 square feet in the building at the corner of South Main and Fifth streets that used to house downtown Royal Oak’s Barnes & Noble Inc. bookstore.

HED, run locally by principal and president Michael Cooper, is vacating about 36,000 square feet it has in the Beaumont Health headquarters building — formerly the First Center Office Plaza on Northwestern Highway near Lahser Road — and downsizing its footprint with the new space beginning April next year.

In an email, Cooper said the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed HED to rethink its space.

“We are seeing many organizations going through a process of reimagining their workplace,” Cooper wrote on Sunday. “Our current office lease is set to expire at the end of 2022, which would have required action on our part regardless of what else is happening around us. The impacts of COVID, the shift toward a hybrid in-office/remote work, and input from our staff on the type of work environment and amenities they would like to see all contributed to our evaluation and ultimate decision to relocate to Royal Oak.”

HED’s announcement comes less than a month after Agree Realty Corp. (NYSE: ADC), a Bloomfield Hills-based retail real estate investment trust, revealed that it was moving its headquarters and expanding into the 50,000-square-foot second floor of the former Art Van Furniture Inc. store on Woodward Avenue amid the company’s rapid growth.

HED will design its new space and has not yet selected contractors yet. Cooper said its new lease is 12.5 years and that no public incentives are being sought for the move.

It is reflective of the company’s “commitment to a hybrid work environment” but also accommodates all 100 or so employees if needed.

“Not all work space will be workstations geared for individual work,” Cooper said. “We anticipate a greater focus on team collaboration, and so we will provide a variety of different kinds of spaces — size, configuration, furniture type, technology — so that everyone can work in the kind of space they really need on any given day. We do anticipate continued growth here in Michigan, which our new space will accommodate.”

According to the Crain’s Book of Lists, HED had $91 million in revenue in 2020, the last year available, down from $104 million in 2019.

The building HED will occupy, known as Main Place of Royal Oak, also houses the Buffalo Wild Wings and Bar Louie restaurants at 500 Main St., which is owned by an entity called Royal Oak Partners LLC. It totals about 47,000 square feet across two floors and was built in 2002 on a 1.5-acre lot, according to CoStar Group Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service.

Southfield-based Plante Moran CRESA and Southfield-based Signature Associates Inc. (Dave Miller) were the brokerage firms on the deal, Cooper said, adding that HED looked in other cities in the region, including Detroit.

Royal Oak, he said, ultimately offers an urban and walkable environment and will draw employees to the office.

“Southfield is a wonderful community and has been an amazing home for us for more than 40 years,” Cooper said. “What the Royal Oak location offers is a more urban, walkable community with food, beverage, entertainment and shopping all within walking distance.”

Jason Vazzano, co-founder and co-CEO of Vectorform, said Monday morning that his company that employs approximately 100 has been in the market for new space for roughly the last 12 months.

He said Vectorform is looking for 15,000 to 20,000 square feet and has narrowed down its search to three locations in Detroit, Ferndale and Royal Oak. He said it would feature things like a full kitchen, a music area, collaborative areas, large outdoor seating areas and a classroom.

“We want to build an experience center, not an office,” Vazzano said.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on February 7, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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