Configura's Grand Rapids office finds new home downtown
Sweden-based company to expand its GR presence with move to new downtown location
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, USA—March 21, 2017—Swedish tech-company Configura announces plans to expand its Grand Rapids presence by moving this summer to the top two floors of the Blue35 building on Oakes Street in downtown Grand Rapids.
“To say we’re thrilled to be investing in Grand Rapids and our team for a strong future ahead is an understatement,” Configura CEO Johan Lyreborn said. “Grand Rapids is our second home – we love being here.”
In July 2017, Configura will move to the eight-story Blue35 building at 35 Oakes St. SW in downtown Grand Rapids.
The 12,000 square-foot-space that Configura will occupy in the 103-year-old structure – which at one time had been a hotel – builds on a high-tech foundation created by Rockford Construction. The Blue35 building offers entrepreneurs and businesses of various sizes a variety of flexible workspaces outfitted with the latest technology.
“Blue35 was created as an innovative environment to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses, right in the heart of our city. Welcoming Configura to the building speaks to the flexibility the space offers, and the continued desire for companies to be located in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a perfect addition to Blue35, and a great fit for Configura,” said Mike Mraz, the managing partner of Real Estate Development at Rockford Construction.
Configura will enhance its two-story space with furnishings and the latest technology made by its customers – with, of course, a nod to its Swedish roots and design aesthetic.
Configura Interior Designer Kendra Steinhaus is using the company’s CET Designer software to design and specify the interior spaces as well as an outdoor, rooftop terrace area.
Used by thousands of people globally, CET Designer helps manufacturers and their dealers by providing a single software solution for space planning and product ordering. The solution is used in a number of industries that manufacture and market configurable products; industries include contract furniture, material handling, kitchen and bath, industrial machinery and laboratory/healthcare. In addition to automatically generating bills of materials and installation documents, the software yields photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos and virtual-reality experiences of a designed space.
Steinhaus has been holding “design charrettes” with Configura employees to create an environment that appeals to the multiple cultures and generations of people who work in the company’s Grand Rapids office. The space is also being designed to accommodate large groups of visitors from Configura’s Sweden headquarters and its Malaysia office as well as CET Designer users in town for software training sessions. In addition to workspaces, there will be a large open-kitchen area, places for dining and for play, and plenty of soft seating. The rooftop will be available for entertaining and as a place for employees to relax outside.
“It’s about creating spaces that attract and retain the best of the best,” Steinhaus said. “Working in Grand Rapids is just as cool as working in Silicon Valley or anywhere in the world.”
Steinhaus, who grew up in West Michigan and studied interior design at Michigan State University, also oversaw the design of Configura’s brand-new corporate headquarters in Linköping.
Real estate agent Jeff Karger, who helped Configura when it first came to town in 2006, was instrumental in Configura’s latest move in Grand Rapids.
“Our goal was to seek the ideal space to meet Configura’s goals and needs. With a solid understanding of the downtown Grand Rapids market, we helped lead Configura to Blue35, which met all of their goals,” said Karger, senior vice president in the Grand Rapids office of commercial real estate services firm JLL. “JLL is thrilled to have partnered with Configura and Rockford to make this move happen.”
Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.
About CET Designer
Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.
About Rockford Construction
Established in 1987, Rockford Construction (Rockford) is a nationally recognized construction, development, and property management provider. Rockford is licensed in 44 states and ranked by Engineering News-Record as one of the top 150 contractors in the nation. With regional offices in the Midwest and Southeast, Rockford has built projects totaling more than $4.3 billion of various size and scope in more than 800 cities across the country.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2016, JLL had revenue of $6.8 billion and fee revenue of $5.8 billion and, on behalf of clients, managed 4.4 billion square feet, or 409 million square meters, and completed sales acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $136 billion. At year-end 2016, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 77,000. As of December 31, 2016, LaSalle Investment Management has $60.1 billion of real estate under asset management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.
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