Raymond James office expands into former retail space in downtown Ann Arbor
Raymond James & Associates Inc. is preparing to move into a larger and more visible office just across the hall from its current location at 350 S. Main St. in downtown Ann Arbor.
After the first of the year, Raymond James will occupy the 7,000-square-foot space that sprawls across the front of the building, which has been vacant since clothing store Renaissance Ann Arbor moved to McKinley Towne Centre.
Raymond James, which is growing at a time when other financial firms are struggling, seized the opportunity to slide into a prime location -Â without leaving its building.
“We’ve had kind of an interesting year,” branch manager Craig Robinson said. “We’ve actually expanded during this market downturn and we’re geared up toward not only serving current clients, but also serving more here as time goes on.”
Raymond James this year hired two new advisers for a total of 12, and anticipates further increasing its staff in 2010, Robinson said. The branch handles 4,000 accounts.
Expansions like this have become rare, said Jeff Harshe, vice president of MAV Development, which boasts 3 million square feet of commercial office space in Michigan, including the 350 S. Main building.
“In general (expansions have) died down,” Harshe said. “When businesses have looked at the horizon, some of them see growth, but many are saying they’re happy where they are, or their growth trajectory is not what they previously thought it would be and they’re thinking about getting smaller.
“We like that fact that (Raymond James is) in growth mode. We’re more than happy to accommodate their growth in our building.”
The new suite not only provides more space, but also greater visibility. Raymond James staff will be visible across the building’s front window on pedestrian-heavy South Main Street.
The move also allows Raymond James to increase its services, Robinson said.
“I think it’ll give us a better venue for hosting educational seminars for clients in the community,” he said. “We’ll have a brand-new conference room and meeting space, and we’re looking forward to hosting lunch-and-learn types of things.”
Raymond James is thriving in the midst of recession because of its long-term strategy, Robinson said.
“Because of the conservative nature of Raymond James, we’ve avoided a lot of the problems of other firms,” he said.