Could now be the right time to expand a business into Detroit?
Open Systems Technology, a Grand Rapids-based IT consulting firm that has seen major growth spurts in recent years, is answering that question with a resounding yes.
The firm, founded in 1997, is now turning its development eye toward the largest metropolitan area to ever file for bankruptcy in U.S. history.
And it’s doing so with a four-year commitment and plenty of confidence.
Downtown Detroit office
OST recently had a soft opening for its first Detroit office.
The new space is just over 1,000 square feet in size and located on the 17th floor of the Grand Park Centre building in downtown Detroit, at 28 West Adams Ave.
The office houses seven employees and is looking to hire seven more in the areas of sales, project management and tech consulting.
It will primarily serve OST’s Detroit clients, which include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Cummins, University of Michigan, Roush industries and Cooper Tire.
OST signed a 48-month lease, and as the company expands, it will be able to move into a larger space, which is the direction the company plans on going, said Mike Lomonaco, OST marketing director.
“Very real” economic recovery
OST has been doing business in Detroit for many years and feels there is huge potential in Detroit, Lomonaco said, adding that he believes, at least for his company, there is immense business growth in Detroit available, as well as the ability to meet major client demand.
“Quite honestly, we have been planning on opening an office in Detroit for about a year and a half now, and it’s really more coincidence than anything that our opening comes at the time of the bankruptcy,” he said.
“With that said, we feel as though Michigan’s economic recovery is very real and that Detroit is the engine that drives our state,” he said. “However, as businesses, we need to think big. . . . The state of Michigan and certainly the city of Detroit have a long way to go, but we feel that it is coming back, and that the tech industry in the state of Michigan is helping to lead the way by innovating, creating jobs, imagining, dreaming and showing grit and determination — and most of all, having fun.”
Detroit’s bankruptcy is going to have an impact on all of Michigan and maybe the entire country, Lomonaco said.
Since OST is hired to come in and solve incredibly complex problems by leveraging technology, it is a company that understands how it feels to look at a problem that appears insurmountable, he said.
“We approach these challenges by being innovative and through grit and determination that OST can and will help provide the right solution for our clients,” he said. “So, in a sense, we see Detroit’s bankruptcy as an opportunity for OST’s employee- and family-first culture to have a positive impact throughout the community in a way that gives others hope.”