Dixon Architecture
Ada MI

Ada’s goal for the new Ada Village is to preserve the rich history and spirit of the area by creating buildings with an authentic character found in older Midwest towns and villages.  Dixon Architecture is one of the first businesses to move into the new downtown, in a building that sets the bar for this vision.  Dixon shares the second floor with DMC Design with the street level space reserved for retail businesses.  The building’s total square feet is 9,900, with Dixon’s office taking 2,500 SF. The 2-story structure incorporates historical and commercial elements such as a flat roof, brick facade, and beautiful cornice work on the exterior.  In designing the building, Dixon carefully studied historical buildings across the Midwest; noting the details and architectural elements that would complement the look and feel of Ada Village. Dixon chose First Companies to construct the building shell as well as complete the build-out of his office.  One challenge the team encountered was how to recreate the look of an historical building using modern-day materials and construction processes. It was a collaborative effort for all those involved, and the end result speaks for itself.

“First Companies completed the work on time and on budget.  The building process went smoothly, just as I had expected from all my previous work experience with them.  Living and working close to where my dream was being constructed allowed me the opportunity to interact with the subcontractors and make good decisions along the way.  First Companies was very flexible and collaborative as I made necessary changes.  I was recently asked, if I had to do it again, what would I do differently?  I had to think long and hard about that question.  Honestly, from my perspective, it was a good, old-fashion home run!.” Ken Dixon, Owner, Dixon Architecture


DMC Design
Ada MI

In December of 2016, DMC Design moved into their new 2,300 square foot office space on the second floor of one of the first new buildings in Ada Village.  DMC Design shares the top floor with Dixon Architecture, with the street level space reserved for retail businesses to fulfill the city’s pedestrian-friendly vision for the new downtown area. When entering DMC Design you immediately see and experience what is in Dawn Marie’s heart – her personal style of rich, beautiful and somewhat eclectic elements that come together effortlessly to create a very warm and inviting environment.  Visitors and clients enter into a “living” room area with a stunning limestone fireplace and furnishings that immediately put them at ease.  The perfect balance and use of color, design, furniture, art, and natural materials, including exposed brick, limestone, tile, wood beams, flooring and more all reinforce the company’s intuitive sense for beauty and bringing things together in a way that creates spaces where people want to be.


“First Companies built my vision, a space that is ‘me.’ I love beautiful, interesting things that are vintage, authentic, rich in texture, and yet comfortable and cozy.  The space needed to communicate my heart and personal style, and it does.  The First Companies team was very caring and concerned with getting every detail right.  Our project manager was awesome!  Conversations were very straightforward and everyone was very easy to deal with.  The process was smooth, and they made certain we were able to get to where we needed to be on the numbers.  I would certainly recommend them to others.” Dawn Marie Coe, Owner, DMC Design


West Michigan Eyecare Associates
Grand Rapids MI

Doctors Ford and Kenyon are open for business and serving patients – from infants to the elderly – in their beautiful new 11,000 square foot building at 2112 East Paris Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.  The practice is currently using 9,000 SF with the remaining space available for lease.  The building exterior is a combination of brick, precast stone, and cement board siding.  Snowmelt sidewalks ensure patient and staff safety with ample parking and an easy drop-off point at the front door. LED lighting and custom cabinetry are featured throughout the space with a floor plan and workflow designed specifically for efficiency and excellent patient care.

The doctors hired FlowOne, an efficiency expert, to assist with the upfront planning.  Custer Inc. provided space layouts, custom interior build-outs, and the furniture/furnishing selections.  The interior build-out included 12 exam rooms, a testing room, several offices, a break room, a spacious waiting area with retail displays and an optical bar near the lab, as well as a large doctor/staff open work area to help achieve their efficiency goals.  The staff workspace creates a collaborative patient care environment where the team talks and interacts throughout the day, sharing information and learning from each other.  Tall ceilings with abundant light through the windows, beautiful natural materials throughout, and floating ceiling clouds in the waiting area all work together to create an exceptionally inviting and welcoming space for patients of all ages.

“This is my 3rd building project since I started practicing with my dad in 1990, and by far my best experience.  We started in a 900 square foot office and now take up about 9,000 square feet in this building.  We’d been watching the growth of medical businesses in the area and jumped at the opportunity to construct our own building when land became available. The First Companies team did a phenomenal job. It was all very well managed. Our project manager kept us well-informed as needed, enabling us to keep our business running during construction. Everything was delivered as promised and we would definitely recommend them to others.”
J. Gregory Ford, O.D., Managing Partner, West Michigan Eyecare Associates