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A Better Partnership


Feb 2005
February 07, 2005

Warner Norcross Signs Extended Lease, Launches Renovation of Its Downtown Grand Rapids Offices

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has renewed its commitment to downtown Grand Rapids by extending its lease and launching a major renovation of its offices.

West Michigan's largest law firm, which has been a tenant in the Fifth Third Center for more than three decades, has extended its lease at 111 Lyon Street NW for 15 years. Additionally, Warner Norcross will completely renovate its offices, which occupy nearly 76,000 square feet of space on five floors of the Center.

Owen-Ames-Kimball will serve as general contractor for the project, and Haworth, Inc., will supply furniture for offices, conference rooms and other work spaces. URS Greiner will provide mechanical design for the project and Progressive A/E will work with Fifth Third Bank on facility improvements.

"We are very pleased to have reached such a mutually beneficial agreement with Fifth Third to stay in the building and upgrade our offices," said Alex DeYonker, managing partner at Warner Norcross & Judd. "Our location is superb, putting us in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. The major improvements to our offices will enhance the innate benefits of our location, as well as the service we provide to our clients.

"We expect the renovations will take approximately two years. Because we can use space available on lower floors to overcome the logistical challenges of the renovation, we expect to make this process invisible to our clients and as painless as possible for our firm members. Our lease with Fifth Third will allow us to accomplish these goals quickly and cost effectively."

The renovation will allow Warner Norcross and Fifth Third to make substantial improvements to the infrastructure of the Firm's space in the building, including updating the heating and cooling system. The Firm will use this opportunity to reconfigure and update its offices, making them more efficient and welcoming for clients and firm members alike.

"Fifth Third Bank continues to reinvest in our facilities and downtown Grand Rapids through projects such as this renovation," said Dan Boomstra, vice president and real estate director with Fifth Third. "Warner Norcross has been a tenant since the building opened in the late 1960s and we are very pleased that the Firm has decided to extend its lease and stay in our Fifth Third Center.

"We are committed to working with Warner Norcross to improve our total facility and make it a premier office destination in Grand Rapids."

Warner Norcross plans to renovate one floor of offices at a time, shifting attorneys and office personnel to temporary space on the fourth floor while construction is under way on individual floors. In addition to infrastructure upgrades, Warner Norcross plans enhancements for serving clients, including:

  • A conference center, including state-of-the-art videoconferencing, enhanced communication technologies and computer presentation equipment

  • Wireless Internet access in the conference center and select conference rooms for client use

  • Flexible space and furniture configurations for large conferences and meetings

  • More efficient office space, featuring practice group clusters of attorneys and support staff

"Once completed, our new offices will allow us to operate more efficiently to meet the needs of our clients and staff," DeYonker said. "Warner Norcross has been recognized nationally as one of the leading 'tech-savvy' law firms, and we believe the innovations we have planned will allow us to continue to provide leading-edge technology to our clients.

"We have built in a 'growth factor' with this renovation, increasing the number of offices to meet our future needs. We look forward to working with Fifth Third, OAK, Haworth and our other partners to ensure that our renovation will be a success."

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About Warner Norcross & Judd:

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of Michigan's leading providers of legal services with more than 170 attorneys in four Michigan offices located in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Holland and Muskegon. For the third consecutive year, Warner Norcross was named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine. More than 40 percent of the Firm's partners are listed in the 2005-2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a greater percentage than any other large law firm in Michigan. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of West Michigan's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For and as the best law firm in Grand Rapids by a Grand Rapids Magazine reader survey. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.

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