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Projects are significant for many reasons. For r.o.i. Design the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 951 (UFCW) project is very important to us because it spanned more than three years in a customer relationship that persevered through COVID-19 and ended in great success because of their focus, clarity, and determination. We appreciate being brought along to help. 

Our relationship started with UFCW searching Google. Our website portfolio shows a variety of office looks, but more importantly, our client base resonated with them. We are business-focused not just design-focused. When we met with them, they were early in the process of selling their existing building and finding a new building that would meet the current needs of the union. We toured several buildings with them and landed on the former Steelcase Credit Union on 60th SE, which had been vacant for approximately 10 years. The site is prominent and visible, and the spaces could accommodate their staff. They needed to expand the space to allow for members’ space and the site allowed for that.  

We invited our friends Dwayne Masselink and Trevor Howard from InterActive Studio  to join the team as architects. Along with r.o.i. Design, they developed space plans and layouts for the remodeling of the credit union. Because UFCW needed to use union contractors, we called on partners, KASCO Inc. They were able to check all boxes for union labor but more importantly, could protect UFCW from political issues in West Michigan by managing trades and the site. And while r.o.i. Design had many hands in the project, Marianne Martz, Ryan Bright, and Mary Witte “brought it home”. 

UFCW shared with us the “looks” they liked. They researched our project history and gave us clear directions on details from our portfolio. These included wood slat millwork walls, storefront glass offices, private cubicles with tall walls and doors, simple lighting, and non-fussy details. The property brought some challenges, including converting a barrel ceiling to an open office ceiling. Opening the ceiling revealed mechanical ductwork that required bulkheads and some non-traditional acoustic solutions. 

The overall design theme is contemporary and architectural but not “over the top”. Color comes through furnishings provided by Interphase Interiors and West Michigan Office Interiors. Otherwise, the space is warmly neutral. 

Congratulations to our friends at UFCW. Thank you, Marisa, Steve, and Ashley! 

© All Photos Courtesy of InterActive Studio.

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