Patrick Ahern of NAI Martens Assists Grant Thornton in Relocation

From Josh Heck with the Wichita Business Journal.

After 18 years in the same Wichita office, Grant Thornton LLP will relocate to a new space early next year.

The accounting and tax firm has signed a lease for 9,429 square feet of space in the Hinkle Law Firm building in the Waterfront development near 13th Street North and Webb Road.

“The Waterfront is the premier business address in the city right now,” Dan Powers, Grant Thornton’s local managing partner, tells the Wichita Business Journal.

He says the firm’s lease of the third floor at 8300 E. Thorn expires at the end of this year.

Grant Thornton will occupy a ground-floor space at the Hinkle building, a seven-story structure that opened last fall when Hinkle moved some of its operations there.

Plans for the design of Grant Thornton’s space are being finalized, but Powers expects work on the build-out to begin in August.

He says the space will incorporate many of the same features that other Grant Thornton offices around the country are moving toward, such as an open layout with offices toward the interior of spaces, smaller meeting rooms and areas designed to promote collaborative working.

“The new (location) is going to allow us to build our space according to our standard,” Powers says. “We believe it will help us retain top talent.”

The space will be significantly smaller than the than the roughly 24,000 square feet Grant Thornton occupies now.

Powers says the digitization has lessened the need for large amounts of storage space within the office. Earlier consolidations of the Grant Thornton’s health care and community banking practices also lessened the amount of space the firm needs, Powers says.

Grant Thornton employs 56 people locally, but the new space will be able to accommodate up to 80 people, he says.

“The new footprint has a more efficient use of space,” Powers says.

Grant Thornton leaders considered six different locations before determining the Hinkle building would be the best fit. There, the firm also had the opportunity to choose between first- and sixth-floor options.

Patrick Ahern, an office advisor with NAI Martens, helped Grant Thornton with its site selection. Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield then brokered the deal on behalf of the firm. That’s the company Grant Thornton typically uses for its real estate transactions across the country.

The local Grant Thornton office will be part of a premier office building in Wichita. Securities brokerage firm Morgan Stanley will relocate there later this year.