Ophthalmology practice builds office


The Retina Specialists of Michigan team operates out of locations across the region, including their main office in Grand Rapids. Courtesy First Companies

An ophthalmology practice with a presence across the region has built a new main office.

Grand Rapids-based Retina Specialists of Michigan held a grand opening last month for its office at 5030 Cascade Rd. SE, after relocating its local operation from 2757 Leonard St. NE.

Retina Specialists of Michigan, established in 2009, also works out of locations in Holland, Zeeland, Muskegon and Big Rapids.

The ground-up construction of the 22,693-square-feet building started last May.

The space

The practice’s rapid growth was what initiated its search for a new location.

There are four doctors in the practice and 28 other employees who rotate between the offices, said Jeri Owen, director of marketing, Grand Rapids-based First Companies, which was the contractor on the project.

“We needed an innovative medical office that balanced the needs of the business with the needs of the patients. Most traditional offices don’t do this well,” said Dr. Thomas Aaberg, Jr. of Retina Specialists of Michigan.

A key part of the building is the "lean-doctors design," which was also implemented at the practice’s Holland office.

The design layout, which is described as a “hub and spokes,” offers a central work area for the doctors, with doors that lead to flexible treatment rooms.

The design allows doctors to see more patients, by reducing the number of steps of the entire office staff and patients by approximately 50 percent and a 15-percent increase in patient-satisfaction scores, according to Retina Specialists of Michigan.

“We wanted to make certain that in the end, we had a well-designed, well-planned, structurally sound building that met our immediate needs and gave us room to grow,” Aaberg said.


First Companies, which provides commercial real estate, construction and property management services, was joined in the project by AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids and FlowOne Consultants.

“The doctors were truly visionary and are seeing impressive results with the lean floor plan and design,” said Jeff Baker, president, First Companies.  

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