New Kalamazoo Location Celebrated

Wightman officially celebrates opening of new Kalamazoo office location

KALAMAZOO, MI –Wednesday, February 20, 2019- On Tuesday, Wightman officially welcomed more than 100 leaders and community members to its new Kalamazoo office with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. The facility located at 433 E. Ransom Street is part of a reemerging downtown neighborhood, close to the heart of Kalamazoo. The fully renovated 16,000-square-foot building, originally constructed in 1937, more than triples Wightman’s office space from its previous location in Portage.

“The investment Wightman has made in this facility represents our ongoing strategic commitment to our partners in and near Kalamazoo and Portage, to the communities those clients serve, and to our team of professionals who are focused on client success,” stated Wightman President Matt Davis. “And, being part of the vibrant redevelopment of this neighborhood just happens to be an exciting bonus for all of us!”

The larger building comfortably accommodates the company’s growing staff of more than 30 engineering, architecture, survey, and GIS professionals. It also provides staff from Wightman’s Benton Harbor and Allegan offices with drop-in work spaces for better face-to-face project collaboration. The facility expands the range of services Wightman can provide in the region including easier access for those located downtown, private client meeting spaces, and onsite environmental testing.

“The high-quality work our team has always done is now mirrored in the warm, inviting, and people-focused surroundings of this incredible space,” commented Alan Smaka, director of Wightman’s Kalamazoo office. “The energy and collaboration these surroundings promote among staff members is already felt on a daily basis as we go about our business of making people’s lives better through the designs and solutions we deliver.”

Wightman’s presence in the Kalamazoo/Portage market began in 1993 through the affiliate surveying and site design office of Wightman Ward, Inc. In 2010, Wightman Ward consolidated services and business structure with the Benton Harbor-based Wightman & Associates. At the time of the consolidation, the Portage office had five employees.

Gary Hahn, who has been with Wightman for 37 years and who also holds the elected office of Kalamazoo County Surveyor, has worked in the Kalamazoo/Portage office since its inception.

“Every job we’ve completed, every project we’ve undertaken, every partnership we’ve built over nearly 30 years, they are all part of today. This new office represents the trust our clients have put in us, allowing us to grow, as well as the many years of doing work that improves the quality of life for our neighbors and friends. This is truly an exciting day,” stated Hahn.

About the building design and function

Wightman’s Architecture Studio created the exterior and interior design plan of the Kalamazoo office. Support and assistance for the project was provided by the company’s civil engineering, survey, and landscape architecture departments.

In 2017, Wightman began renovating the building that began life as a warehouse for piping products owned by the Galloup Pipe Company. The building’s original style was characterized by steel columns, heavy timber beams, exposed tongue and groove wood roof decking, and structural glazed tile walls were restored and exposed in many places to enhance the new buildings presence.                                                     

The mix of old and new systems creates a light-industrial, eclectic reuse of the building. Design features recalling the history of the building and its industrial surroundings, as well as other recent neighborhood improvement projects, helped to guide architectural design decisions. The new exterior blends cohesively into its surroundings, utilizing corrugated metal and Corten steel rainscreens to enhance the character. Interior finishes – such as exposed ductwork, electrical and data conduit, corrugated metal panels, reclaimed barnwood, exposed steel structure mixed with vibrant accent wall coverings and paint, contemporary furnishings, and lighting accents – contribute to the eclectic feel.

The open office design promotes communication and idea sharing. Focus rooms and small collaboration rooms provide privacy for meetings and focused work sessions, allowing employees to maintain work balance. The mix of full-time, permanent workstations and non-dedicated drop-in work stations support the needs of staff members based in Kalamazoo as well as those of remote workers from Wightman’s other two locations. The large breakroom provides staff with a relaxing space for breaks, larger gatherings, and an alternative area for focused work. All of these features contribute to a contemporary and welcoming workspace that supports flexibility and promotes Wightman’s company values and culture.

About Wightman

Wightman is a full-service consulting firm that exists to serve people and the communities we live in. Our dynamic team of over 120 professionals works to analyze, advise, design, and deliver successful projects in partnership with governments, business, and institutions in our communities.

Our unique approach is to offer comprehensive multi-disciplinary services, industry expertise, accurate scope of work, and a passion for listening. 

Services offered include Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental and Surveying. Additional specialty services offered include Planning, GIS, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design. Our firm is located in Allegan, Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Wightman Kalamazoo office details

Size: 16,000-square-feet

Design:  Wightman Architecture Studio

General contractor: Cornerstone Construction Management, Portage, MI

Project cost: $3.1 million

Incentives: None – project fully funded by Wightman

Furnishings: For furniture, we utilized a variety of local furniture manufacturers including:

  • Doubleday Office Products provided furniture from HON, Sitonit and Enwork (workstations, lounge chairs, file cabinets, conference tables, conference chairs, side chairs)
  • Steelcase (lounge chairs, walk station, task chairs)
  • Haworth (lounge sofa)
  • Herman Miller (collaboration room tables)
  • MiEN (storage units, lounge benches and stools)
  • Renegade by Custer (custom interiors library units and paper storage unit)
  • KI (side tables)
  • Keilhauer (lounge chairs)
  • Other miscellaneous items and accessories provided by Wexel, Wayfair, Integrity Business Solutions, Ghent and IKEA