Law firm relocates downtown


The Riverfront Plaza building in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via

A law firm is moving across downtown.

Rhoades McKee said last week that it will occupy the second and third floors of Riverfront Plaza in Grand Rapids, at 55 Campau NW.

The firm will lease more than 39,000 square feet, with an opportunity for continued expansion, and occupy the space in June.

Rhoades McKee, founded in 1960, is located at the Waters Building, at 161 Ottawa Ave. NW, where it’s been for all but one year of its history.

During its time in the Waters Building, the firm moved once, in 1983, from the building’s first floor to its sixth floor.

The move

“Our decision to relocate to the Riverfront Plaza culminates an extensive evaluation process that included input from all members of our law firm,” said Robert C. Shaver, Rhoades McKee president.

Shaver said the firm has "enjoyed being a part of the 125-year history of the Waters Building" and is "committed to downtown Grand Rapids, but concluded that the Riverfront Plaza is the building that best complements our energy, inspiration and culture.”

“We’ve been in the Waters Building for a long time, and we tend to sign leases that are going to cement us in a location for a long time,” Shaver said. “Along the way, we really have not seriously considered moving out of the Waters Building.”

Shaver said that the decision to move was made based on the firm’s eye toward the future.

“We like to think of our law firm as a growing law firm, one that has a lot of energy behind it,” Shaver said. “We’ve got a lot of young lawyers here, and we wanted to have the space to grow our firm.”

Additionally, Shaver said that despite some of the great attributes of the Waters Building, including its location and history, the building has seen little investment during the past decade and has become tired and outdated.

“It hasn’t kept pace with what we want out of a location for our group and for our clients,” Shaver said.

Shaver said he believes the Riverfront Plaza space will have “a lot different feel and a lot different atmosphere than out current space, and that is something that we think is important for the energy of our firm. That’s the way we are thinking and trying to bring our law firm and culture to the next level.”

He added that Riverfront Plaza is located in a vibrant part of downtown and is still close to the courthouse.

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