Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

March 2, 2014

Some Front Street businesses rise above it all

TRAVERSE CITY — Corbin Design employees see their hard work pay off when they peer out their third-floor office windows in downtown Traverse City.

From their perch, they see visitors check the signs and information kiosks they designed to point out the city’s districts, businesses and parking spaces.

“We work throughout North America and we don’t often get to see our work in action,” Corbin Design president Mark VanderKlipp said. “We know the things we install are working, and it’s been a real positive influence.”

Corbin Design is among many local businesses that maintain a lofty perspective on or near Front Street in downtown Traverse City. The second-, third- and fourth-floor businesses range from investment firms to counseling offices, Pilates studios and radio stations.

They’re part of a commercial world that doesn’t worry about luring customers with window displays, one which allows employees to have proximity to banks, stores and restaurants without being part of the bustle.

VanderKlipp likes having Corbin Design’s office in the Hannah and Lay Building, even though its location doesn’t matter to most of the hospitals, universities and cities that hire the firm.

“When you come downtown you feel like you’re plugged in,” VanderKlipp said. “We found out it’s a big part of our culture to be right here.”

Working above the ground floor means watching the downtown business buzz while enjoying a quieter setting.

“We’re removed from the chaos in this location, but can still join in the festivities any time we want,” said Rick Jaissle, manager of operations for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

Jaissle works in the orchestra’s office on the second floor of the Radio Centre building. The location is convenient for employees who want to be close to downtown amenities and for customers to purchase tickets, gather information or make donations.

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