The Right Place, in collaboration with The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the City of Grand Rapids, announced Tuesday the planned expansions of two West Michigan companies that are expected to create 152 new jobs and invest $2.2 million within Grand Rapids.
Atomic Object – 30 jobs, $983,000 in capital investment
Atomic Object LLC, one of West Michigan’s largest software development firms, is expanding its operations in Grand Rapids, investing $983,000 and creating 30 jobs.
Founded in 2001, Atomic Object has designed software solutions for companies in the aerospace, automotive testing, color management, distribution, material handling, manufacturing and financial services industries. Its products have included programming and design for web-based, mobile, desktop and embedded applications.
Company founders Carl Erickson and Bill Bereza moved into the company’s current facility at 941 Wealthy St. SE in 2003, redeveloping the former Helmus Brothers building into offices, meeting rooms and shared space for its employees. Averaging 25 percent annual growth since, Atomic has become a principal software development firm in West Michigan. Earlier this year, it launched Atomic Object Embedded, a new service specializing in designing and creating customized embedded technology systems for client companies, often working on-site in collaboration with the client’s in-house team. With these and other projects driving company growth, Atomic Object turned to The Right Place for assistance in expanding its team and facilities.
Working with the City of Grand Rapids and the (MEDC), The Right Place developed an incentive package to support Atomic Object’s growth within its current location. A Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) state tax incentive, as well as an abatement of city property taxes from the City of Grand Rapids, will support Atomic Object’s purchase of new equipment and ground floor remodeling. The company will hire five new employees during the project’s first year, with 25 additional jobs to follow.
“Supporting highly sophisticated information technology companies like Atomic Object is essential to supporting our growth as a center for advanced manufacturing, computing and research,” noted Business Development Manager George Bosnjak. “They are a perfect example of the kind of companies that are growing here, and creating the technology that supports many of our traditional industries. Atomic Object’s work not only makes other companies more technically adept and efficient, but supports their ability to make the kind of technology-driven products required to compete in an innovation-driven global market.”
Knape & Vogt – 122 new jobs, $1.24 million in capital investment
In a follow-up to its acquisition of Richmond, Ill.-based John Sterling Corp. in January, Knape & Vogt (KV) is investing $1.24 million and creating 122 new jobs.
The John Sterling acquisition is KV’s second this year (the company also acquired GSlide Corp., a designer and manufacturer of sliding system products, in January) and its third in the last five years. A former competitor, John Sterling is a leading manufacturer and marketer of functional and decorative home storage and organization products. Major products include residential shelving and organization hardware systems, as well as a collection of sliding door hardware for residential and commercial installations.
The acquisition gives KV an expanded presence in its retail and distribution channels as both companies have long standing customer relationships with key retailers in the US and Canada.
With the acquisition, KV is absorbing and consolidating the John Sterling operations within KV’s facility at 2700 Oak Industrial Drive NE. The project includes an investment of $1.24 million to re-fit existing unused space and purchase equipment. The company will also add 122 employees to its current complement of 456.
Collaborating with the MEDC and the City of Grand Rapids, The Right Place designed an incentive package – including a MEGA tax abatement on state taxes as well as abatements on local taxes – to support the project.
“Retaining growing companies like Knape & Vogt is a strategic priority for The Right Place,” said Business Development Manager George Bosnjak. “They are the engine of our economic growth, and the source for the majority of new jobs in West Michigan. It has been rewarding for us to work with Knape & Vogt on a variety of projects over the past several years, and we look forward to their continued prosperity.”