Tech company expands downtown


A partial rendering of the sales and marketing workstations in the downtown Grand Rapids office. Courtesy Configura

A Swedish technology company is expanding its presence downtown.

Linköping, Sweden-based Configura said today its plans to move its Grand Rapids operation to Blue35, at 35 Oakes St. SW, in July. The space-planning software company currently occupies the fifth story of 100 Grandville Ave. SW.

“To say we’re thrilled to be investing in Grand Rapids and our team for a strong future ahead is an understatement,” Configura CEO Johan Lyreborn said. “Grand Rapids is our second home — we love being here.”

Configura signed a five-year lease for the space.

JLL SVP Jeff Karger helped secure both Configura’s initial Grand Rapids location in 2006 and the new space.

Blue35 was developed by Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction with a “high-tech foundation.”

“Welcoming Configura to the building speaks to the flexibility the space offers and the continued desire for companies to be located in downtown Grand Rapids,” said Mike Mraz, managing partner of real estate development, Rockford Construction.

Configura’s space within Blue35 will be 12,000 square feet on the top two floors of the 103-year-old former hotel. The space will be updated with furnishings and technology from clients, with “a nod to its Swedish roots and design aesthetic.”

The local operation is led by Peter Brandinger and made up of 34 employees, including executive leadership, software developers, training and support specialists, interior designers and administrative support. The office is currently searching for programming interns/co-ops and positions in training and support and research and development.

The new office was designed to house a variety of cultures and ages that work in Grand Rapids, as well as large groups of visitors from Configura offices in Sweden and Malaysia.

The rooftop of the building will also be able to be used by Configura to entertain and relax.

Configura interior designer Kendra Steinhaus used the company’s software, CET Designer, to design the space. A West Michigan native, Steinhaus also oversaw the design of Configura’s new corporate headquarters in Sweden.

“It’s about creating spaces that attract and retain the best of the best,” Steinhaus said. “Working in Grand Rapids is just as cool as working in Silicon Valley or anywhere in the world.”

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