Haworth dealer Interphase Interiors last week unveiled its plan to move its entire operations to a new, $5 million global design hub that’s under construction on Leonard Street NW.
Interphase Interiors and Haworth said Interphase will move its entire business, including operations, design and sales staff that have been located at 3036 Eastern Ave. SE since 1981, to the under-construction Leonard Street Development, at 415 Leonard St. NW on Grand Rapids’ West Side.
The multiuse development underway since 2019 is owned by Leonard Street Partners LLC, a group formed last year that consists of Johnny Brann Sr., partner at Brann’s Steakhouse, which is next door to the development; Johnny Brann Jr., president and owner of Interphase Interiors; Mike Houseman, president of Wolverine North America; Bill Hadlock, principal and CEO of Paradigm Design; and Dan Henrickson, president of Henrickson Architecture & Planning.
The lot on which it is situated formerly contained three vacant buildings that were razed to make way for the new facility. The $5 million, three-story building is expected to be completed in January or February 2021.
Brann Jr. said about 90 to 100 Interphase employees will be located at the building with about 12 to 15 newly created positions.
In February 2018, Brann Jr. and Dave Shaffer, Interphase CEO and former Grand Rapids city commissioner, bought Interphase and began laying the groundwork for its growth. In preparation for the new campus, in late 2018, they sold their downtown showroom at 35 Oakes St. SW to Mertens Hospitality, which transformed it into a bakery and café that opened in spring 2019.
Interphase’s showroom at 2636 N. Garfield Road in Traverse City will remain open.
Brann Jr. said of the new facility, “We are using a very unique strategy to outfit the entire building in Haworth products and utilize the space as an office design destination for our clients throughout the region. Haworth has an extraordinary global design facility and world headquarters in Holland, and this provides an opportunity to showcase some of this innovation at a working design lab on Grand Rapids’ emerging West Side.
“I have a lot of history here on the West Side, and Dave Shaffer … and I have been working together over a decade on supporting good development and a good business climate on the West Side, and now it’s an opportunity for us to add investment ourselves (through) a gateway to new development here, as well as adding jobs and new energy.”
Haworth’s business relationship with Interphase Interiors and Leonard Street Development provides the furniture and design company with some unique opportunities, said Franco Bianchi, Haworth president and CEO.
“This is an exciting space for Haworth and Interphase. As work environments continue to evolve, this showroom demonstrates how to design spaces that drive culture, innovation and productivity. Work will continue to be performed anywhere, and we continue to provide great design examples for clients,” Bianchi said.
“Additionally, we are enthusiastic about contributing to the Leonard Street restoration and having a presence amidst a burgeoning corridor of Grand Rapids. Together with Interphase, we have been able to experiment with spaces like MoDiv and Blue35. I have looked forward to this new Interphase showroom for a long time.”
In December 2019, Brann Jr. announced Paradigm Design, which has offices in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Phoenix, would become a major tenant in the building. He told the Business Journal Thursday that a third major tenant will be unveiled in the coming months.