Grand Rapids tech firm to add office space, add 30 employees on and off site

Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object is so busy, the company plans to invest about $1M to expand its office space and bring on some 30 employees over the next five years. Four of those new employees are already on the payroll, with a fifth to come aboard shortly.

The company makes its home in an intensely creative and ever-evolving collaborative workspace on the second floor of 941 Wealthy St. SE. The company uses the first level as a teamwork space and meeting room. But about half of that space, some 375-square-feet plus a 120-square-foot former post office vault, will become "cozy workspace," says co-founder Carl Erickson.

"I am loathe to chopping it up into desk space," Erickson says. "We're very conscious of preserving our culture because it's critical to the success of the company. If we have to move down to the first floor, we'll do that, but will rotate everyone through the space so they don't become separated individuals who don't talk to each other anymore."

Erickson says Atomic Object prefers to stay in Michigan and develop the talent pool here by hiring locally as well as attracting talent from outside the region.

"We've done that twice this month," Erickson says. "We just hired a software developer with a degree from UCLA and another person who just relocated from Illinois to work for us."

Erickson expects that most of the 30 new employees will work in the embedded systems division where they will be embedded with teams on the clients' premises and not at AO headquarters.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority recently awarded a tax incentive of some $162,000 over four years. The City of Grand Rapids is considering a $250,000 personal property tax abatement for the project.

Source: Carl Erickson, Atomic Object
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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