Co-working space opens downtown


A look at the Bluescape wall by Haworth at the Blue35 co-working space in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Rockford Construction

The collaborative workspace is getting larger in West Michigan.

Following in the footsteps of established collaborative workspaces in the region like The Factory and coLab in Grand Rapids and Warehaus in Holland, Haworth and Rockford Development  opened today a work environment in downtown Grand Rapids for startups and established companies.

Enter Blue35, at 35 Oakes St. SW.

The space

For $195 a week — daily, monthly and longer-term leases are available — Blue35 offers its members access to co-working space, offices and conference rooms, as well as access to Haworth’s Bluescape digital-screen technology.

Traditional office spaces are available on the first four floors.

Floors five and six include single office spaces and co-working and collaborative space.

Floors seven and eight include conference and meeting space for large groups of up to about 50 people. These floors also have two Bluescape labs, offering about “160 acres of virtual workspace.”

The building’s rooftop deck is also available for both Blue35 members and non-members.

“At Haworth, we combine science and design to enhance workspaces in ways that help increase collaboration, efficiency and sustainability,” said Franco Bianchi, CEO of Haworth. “Blue35 brings some of our best thinking into a unique urban environment that is adaptable to businesses and organizations at any stage in their development.”


Blue35 is especially looking to impress with its Bluescape capabilities.

Bluescape, a system of interactive digital screens for idea brainstorming and sharing, looks like something Marvel's Tony Stark might use to design his Iron Man suits.

Mike VanGessel, CEO of Rockford Construction, said Blue35 "makes it easy for a company to move into downtown" and represents "a new model for businesses to experience downtown."


One of the first companies to become a Blue35 member is Autocam, a Kentwood-based automotive and medical device components maker.

The space is a great fit and downtown location for the growing company, said John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam.

“We wanted a place where our team could explore new ideas and gain access to all downtown Grand Rapids has to offer,” Kennedy said. “The flexibility, top-level amenities and central location offered at Blue35 made it the perfect fit for Autocam.”

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