GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Five companies are now operating under one roof at a new headquarters near Kentwood.
The newly opened space at 6200 Wing Ave. near 60th Street in Gaines Township serves as the offices for Vision Real Estate Investment, CarbonSix Construction, Carbon Builders, Vekst Capital and TB6 Ventures.
“We … wanted to have a building that could house all five companies in our portfolio,” Dave Schoonbeck, president of CarbonSix Construction, explained.
The companies picked a spot close to M-6 and US-131, a part of metro Grand Rapids that’s seeing growth, Schoonbeck said.
The new headquarters features lots of windows to allow in natural light, high ceilings to give it an open feeling, modern finishes and collaborative work spaces. There’s also space for fun inside the warehouse — where employees had a chili cook-off Friday — with a basketball hoop and a pickleball court, and a “collaborative kitchen” for all employees.
Having all five companies in the same space makes it easier for the teams to collaborate.
“I think that’s one of the beauties of all working under one roof,” said Steve Tolger, the president of Vekst Capital. “The collaboration here at headquarters has made things a lot easier between all the companies and us all sitting here in one space has really amplified the teamwork.”
It also gives clients a “one-stop solution” for their projects, Schoonbeck said: The companies there can help clients find a building site, construct it and manage it.
“We have all that under one house, plus we also have a large investor group that follows us with our real estate investments and our capital investments. So we can leverage those opportunities for someone that’s looking to maybe build something a little bit larger,” he said.
The companies are all fairly young, though Tolger said they’re growing fast.
“The growth of the businesses has been incredible,” he said. “It’s not going to stop either and that’s the exciting part.”
Vision Real Estate Investment is the “elder statesman in the room,” started around 2015. It now manages almost 2 million square feet in the Grand Rapids area, including McKay Tower and the 99 Monroe tower. Its properties include three communities in Big Rapids, properties near Davenport and a building in Lansing.
Construction management firm CarbonSix Construction was stared in 2021 and Schoonbeck said it’s averaging 128% growth year over year. Its projects include Belle Tire locations in Detroit and a space in Holland that was converted from a Huntington Bank into a church.
It’s also worked with companies like Tyson Goods, Gordon Foods and Request Foods, along with municipalities like Holland Township.
TB6 ventures — with a name that comes from the family of the companies’ owner, Tim Engen, who has six kids — provides services like HR, accounting and marketing.
Vekst Capital focuses on buying family-owned companies in West Michigan.
“It’s a private investment firm, which differs from private equity in the fact that we hold companies for a longer term to see them really grow and thrive. The legacy and the culture of those businesses that were built here in West Michigan, we want to preserve that legacy,” Tolger explained.
The six companies are working on expanding into eastern Michigan with an office in Wixom and into Florida. They’re also looking to diversify into more industries.
Vision Real Estate Investment is launching a new multifamily housing strategy, Tolger said.
“We’re kind of a … mover and shaker in the industry right now. And we like that, that’s fun. We’re the new kid on the block and that’s OK,” Schoonbeck said, adding for a new company they still have several long-term industry professionals.
“It sounds cliché, but truly the differentiator we have is our people. And our people make every day worth coming in,” he said. “We run into people at events in the industry and they’re asking, ‘What’s the magic sauce over there?’ And we just tell them it’s our people.”