Real Estate

Downtown’s Bridgewater Place bounces back

Class A building breaks 80 percent occupancy mark after scuffling along at 30 percent in 2012.

January 2, 2015
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Bridgewater Place
Tenant footprints in Bridgewater Place range from 200 to 40,000 square feet. Courtesy Varnum

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Once upon a time not too long ago, one of the tallest buildings in the Grand Rapids skyline was on the brink of bankruptcy with only 30 percent occupancy.

But one day in 2012, the fortune of that building changed when its leasing privileges were acquired by Colliers International|West Michigan. Since then, the building has become a hub of office activity, with Colliers leasing out more than 160,000 square feet — exceeding 80 percent occupancy, according to its recent report.

That’s the happy tale of Bridgewater Place, the 17-story, Class A building at 333 Bridge St. NW, which has seen a 20 percent increase in activity in the last two years.

The building, which opened in 1993, was the first major office building to be developed west of the Grand River and outside the city’s downtown business core.

The building offers a wide array of amenities, such as 3,000 parking spaces, a health facility and an eat-in food market, all of which are now offered at no additional cost to tenants, according to Colliers.

“Our success with Bridgewater Place is two-fold,” said David Wiener, an associate at Colliers and the primary broker for Bridgewater Place. “Because this building is such a premier and iconic representation of Grand Rapids, it always has and continues to attract true Class A and national tenants. Once repositioned, local companies began craving that same quality.”

Bridgewater Place isn’t the only success story. The city also has seen astronomical growth business-wise and culturally, and has been named to a number of top-ten national “best” lists in the past year or so.

That good news for Grand Rapids undoubtedly led to good news for Bridgewater Place. A number of tenants recently moved across the river and into Bridgewater Place, including Spectrum Health’s human resources department, Alliant Healthcare Products and Colliers International|West Michigan, which took up a 17,000-square-foot space in the building. The building is also home to New York Life and Varnum LLP. Tenant footprints range from as small as 200 square feet to as large as 40,000 square feet, according to Colliers.

“Our big push has been getting potential tenants to at least come over here and see the revitalization happening outside of the core,” Wiener said. “Once they’re here, Bridgewater Place speaks for itself.”

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