News & Events

Smith Haughey to Move to Historic Flat Iron Building

August 25, 2010

Grand Rapids, Mich. - The law firm of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, along with Locus Development, today announced that the firm will lease the second, third, and fourth floors of the historic Flat Iron Building located at the intersection of Ottawa Avenue and Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

"We believe that our clients will appreciate that the firm is building a LEED certified space, decreasing our occupancy costs, and supporting the renovation of a vacant building in the heart of Grand Rapids," says William Scarbrough, Chief Operating Officer at Smith Haughey.

Smith Haughey's final decision to move to the Flat Iron Building was largely based on the unique opportunity provided by the current real estate market whereby it can occupy a visible, historic building that will be strongly associated with the firm, while realizing economic benefits as well.

"Smith Haughey's attorneys and staff are thrilled to be moving to the hub of the commercial district where we can build a green space designed to meet the demands of today's law firm environment and also accommodate for our anticipated growth," says Scarbrough.

Clients and guests who visit the firm's new space will be greeted by a welcoming, open loft environment. Glass walls will be used throughout to bring light into the space. The new office will be designed with Smith Haughey's core principles of collegiality and teamwork in mind. For instance, several common areas will be developed, including one in the top corner of the building, for casual meetings and teaming. Also, the office will include a rooftop terrace for client entertainment and other social gatherings.

Smith Haughey was founded in Grand Rapids in 1941. In 1981, the firm moved from the McKay Tower to its current location at the Calder Plaza Building. At the time of their last move, the firm had 20 attorneys on its roster. In the last 30 years, the office has significantly increased personnel to include 52 lawyers, as well as 53 professional staff. Smith Haughey has a total of 89 attorneys in Michigan including eight in Ann Arbor and 29 in Traverse City.

"Locus is excited to have secured a tenant of Smith Haughey's caliber to partner with us on this renovation project," says John Green, a Principal with Locus Development, LLC. "The relocation of over 100 employees to the area will certainly bring life to the old building and contribute to the economics of the surrounding retail and service businesses. We're proud to again be part of the revitalization of Grand Rapids."

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Ledyard Block Historic District is home to the Flat Iron, Herkner and Groskopfs buildings. Originally constructed between 1860 and 1870, the buildings have been nearly vacant for decades, with the exception of limited retail on the first floors. These four-story buildings will be combined internally into one building, while maintaining the unique historic facades in this approximately $4.5 million renovation/ rehabilitation project.

The building is being designed for energy efficiency and LEED certification by Jack DeBruin and his team at Design +. The interior construction will be led by Dick VanderZyden and his team at Wolverine Construction Management. Locus Development has engaged Cornerstone Architects and Orion Construction to complete the core and shell work.

"This is an exciting time to be working at Smith Haughey," commented Scarbrough who notes that the firm recently accommodated for growth in its other offices. In Ann Arbor earlier this year, the firm remodeled their existing space to add three new offices. The Traverse City office, where the firm has more than quadrupled in size in 20 years, and is the largest group of attorneys in northern Michigan, will move into a brand new building on Front Street in November.

To schedule a tour of the Flat Iron Building or interview with the parties, please contact Lisa Young at 616-774-8000 or by email at info@shrr.com. 

Click here to view a brief video about the history of the Flat Iron Building. 

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