Acrisure expects 230 new hires, need for second downtown GR building still unclear
LARGE 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 increases its workforce.
Acrisure gave vaccinated employees the option to return to work in person in August at the new seven-story, 105,000-square-foot office located at 100 Ottawa Avenue SW in Studio Park. About 250 of Acrisure’s 550 employees visited the office each day, said Elliott Bundy, Acrisure’s director of communications and marketing.
“We’re a company that’s always going to value in-person work, and we care about health and safety as well,” Bundy said. “We’re trying to figure out the best goal for these ideas to come together as quickly as possible.”
One of the largest and fastest growing insurance brokers, Acrisure has nearly 600 offices worldwide and has grown rapidly through an aggressive acquisition strategy.
Bundy said new office space remains a priority even during pandemic-related disruptions.
“We also had the company’s highest growth year in 2021,” Bundy said. “So in a hybrid environment, we were still able to achieve our goals, but first and foremost it’s a people-driven business and we see in-person work as an investment. The reality is that technology helps us offers the flexibility to work from various locations should the need arise, but given the choice, this company will always choose to be in person.
The new office has also played a role in attracting new business, he said. Prior to the development of Studio Park, Acrisure’s workforce in Grand Rapids was spread across multiple locations. The company’s priority is to get everyone together in one office, Bundy said.
Bringing those workers together “was really important to us,” Bundy said. “These are state-of-the-art facilities spread throughout the building. Also important were the amenities you have access to and being part of the downtown community. The ability to go out at lunchtime and go to a local restaurant or hang out after work with co-workers really didn’t exist before with our scattered footprint.
When the Studio Park developer Development Olsen Loeks LLC originally announced plans for Acrisure’s headquarters in 2019, Acrisure planned 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 above capacity at the Ottawa Avenue headquarters, Bundy said.
However, the company still doesn’t know whether it will pursue a second building or find space for employees in the existing facility, Bundy said.
“We’re hopeful that a second building will go live,” said JD Loeks, director of Jackson Entertainment and Olsen Loeks Development, at an Advantage Commercial Real Estate outlook event on March 1. a bit of a waiting game. We don’t really know what the office workforce and needs are like.
Still, Acrisure’s new downtown office space was a high point in two otherwise volatile and uncertain years for commercial real estate.
The Acrisure Project is a badly needed “phenomenal” corporate presence in downtown Grand Rapids, The Good Place Inc. President and CEO Randy Thelen said at the March 1 event.
“Headquarters across the country are the ones with the primary office space, they’re the ones leading the way back to work in the office,” Thelen said. “Because we don’t have enough office concentration downtown, we don’t quite get the momentum we need.”