Roughly six months ago, RDG+Partners decided to move from Pittsford to downtown Rochester. At the time, the boutique accounting and consulting firm had 40 employees. Much has changed since then.
RDG+Partners has added 30 more people to its roster, affecting the transformation of the building on Winthrop Street, the former site of Hart’s Local Grocers. And Monroe County is in the midst of another COVID-19 wave.
“There was a lot of nervousness to move into a new space, a different location,” says Daniel Matteo, partner at RDG+Partners. “A lot has changed in the past year.”
RDG+Partners, which moved into its downtown offices early this month, serves real estate, construction, professional services, and consulting businesses with personalized tax services, business planning, accounting, auditing, and wealth management.
The company redesigned the 18,000-square-foot space, now called the Winthrop, into offices and conference rooms to accommodate growth. The building is nestled between the Little Theatre and the Ugly Duck Cafe in Rochester’s East End.
“We can fit about 100 people in this space if we needed to,” Matteo says. “We hope that the growth continues.”
Working conditions during a pandemic were taken into account when designing collaborative spaces, with large open rooms allowing for social distancing and “Zoom rooms” for remote meetings.
However, Matteo says, RDG+Partners is also excited to safely transition to a post-pandemic world and bring people back together. In addition to paying attention to its clients, a close-knit workplace culture—which at one time included Nerf gun wars, potlucks, and trivia nights—has helped the RDG+Partners retain its fast-growing status. It ranked 56th on the 2021 Rochester Top 100 list of private companies.
“Our people and our culture thrive by being together. We’re close knit because of that,” Matteo says. “Our employees and clients work best when we come together. So we wanted to make sure we had a space that was safe for us to do that, but also place a heavy emphasis on us being together.”
Future plans include an exercise room and a bar. Matteo also hopes that the neighborhood will be beneficial to the company culture, as it was selected with that in mind.
“We wanted a place that was walkable and that had a lot to offer for us. When they want to go out for lunch or coffee or happy hour, there are a lot of options in the East End,” Matteo says. “Same with our clients. They want a place that doesn’t feel too overwhelming to them.”
Though downtown Rochester has seen changes during the pandemic with some restaurants and bars closing, RDG+Partners is among others like Constellation Brands that have chosen to relocate to downtown Rochester.
“We’ve been really welcomed by the people here; both the leaders and other businesses. So we’re really excited to be in this new space with this community culture,” Matteo says.
Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer.