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Posted on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Dexter landmark sold to University of Michigan health care software startup for expansion

By Nathan Bomey

University of Michigan startup health care software firm MedHub Inc. acquired the 22,000-square-foot "old grain mill" in downtown Dexter for its expansion.

The 112-year-old building, which is located at 3515 Broad St. and across from the Dexter train station, had been mostly vacant for about a decade.


MedHub bought the 22,000-square-foot "old grain mill" in downtown Dexter.

Photo courtesy of MedHub


MedHub, led by co-founders Peter Orr, left, and Thomas May, plans to hire at least five software developers in 2012.

Angela J. Cesere |

MedHub CEO Peter Orr estimated that his firm would invest about half a million dollars to renovate the building's interior. He said the historic character of the landmark — which has been used as a grain mill, general store and lumber storage facility — would be maintained.

MedHub — which employs five software developers and is based out of a building at Orr's 20-acre property — expects to move to its new space by late spring or early summer. Orr said MedHub plans to hire at least five new software developers in 2012.

The company had been searching for new space for about a year.

"We definitely wanted something unusual, not an office building or anything like that," Orr said. "We really liked the vibe of Dexter."

Alison Holcombe of Edward Surovell Realtors represented MedHub on the purchase. Swisher Commercial's John Evans represented the building owner, United Bank & Trust.

"They were the perfect fit, they want to do something with it, they’ve got money and it’s just a good deal all the way around," Evans said. "It’s a win-win situation."

The building contains 4,300 square feet of finished office space that is currently being leased by a California-based startup called GeekNet. The other 17,700 square feet of space must be renovated.

The facility is much bigger than small software companies typically need, but Orr and co-founder Thomas May were seeking plenty parking and ample space to allow workers to spread out.

The acquisition also fits with a general trend of startup software companies seeking nontraditional work-spaces to house their operations — which is generally attractive to young talent.

"That is part of it," Orr said. "The other part of it is we're used to some breathing room since we're out here in the middle of a field. We liked the space."

MedHub develops and sells residency management software to major health care systems and hospitals, including U-M, Stanford University, Yale University, Duke University and the University of Wisconsin.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

They did get a 1.7 million tax abatement, but if the Dexter Village Council figures it's good business to get MedHub into town, they're probably right. Can't be a vibrant community without change. As much as I miss the "old" Dexter, the updated version is looking pretty sharp. Just hope I don't hit one of their BMWs when I come flying over the railroad tracks in my pickup.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

This is fantastic for the Dexter community, the local economy and the prestige of Michigan overall. Software companies-more than any other type of entity-can make their headquarters anyplace they please. The fact that Medhub chose this area should be applauded. There seems to be some confusion around what it is to be a UofM "startup" or "spinoff". Typically this means some portion of some technology or some University resource was identified as contributing to the initial launch of the business. It could be something in a lab or contribution by a professor. The contribution could be significant or not important to the current state of the "startup" at all. but because some University resource contribution was identified, the company has a relationship with the Office of Technology Transfer and - if the company ever becomes viable (most do not) - the University (or UM contributor) may receive a royalty for their contribution based upon sales. The University has no ownership or management involvement in these companies other than the peripheral connection with the inventor(s). Capital expenditures made by these "spin outs" are no different than a mom and pop hotdog stand: they pay all costs, taxes, etc. Nothing is removed from the tax roles. Quite the opposite, they are restored to the tax roles. Although Technology Transfer offers optional commercialization assistance services, these businesses whether Medhub, Forsee Results or many others, operate as wholly independent for-profit organizations with zero University involvement, left to sink or swim on their ideas and ability to market them. Whether 22,000 sq.ft. is "too large", "too small", or "just right" is obviously a business decision made by a purchaser

Scout Finch

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Well said.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

Why 22,000 square feet of space for only 10 employees? Where do they get the money for this? Is this a U of M company? I don't think you can say U of M and Start Up company in the same sentence. Is there any public money involved here? Too many unanswered questions in this article. I certainly hope they plan to be good stewards in the Dexter Community!

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Why take such a negative reaction to a positive story. They will hire additional people, they will pay taxes. Spin off means "move away from".

Seasoned Cit

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Obvious that 15Crown00 didn't read enough of the story to realize that his distaste for the UM not paying taxes had him shooting from the hip. Somewhat Concerned has the correct attitude that we should look at the many positive ways that UM's presence aids the community vs its negative impacts on the local economy.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

And he/she fails to remember that all those employees of UM pay taxes, buy products, and participate in their communities. In this case, the UM doesn't own the building, the company does.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

That really does look like a win-win. Neat old building and folks who want to keep it that way. Welcome to Dexter, MedHub.

Somewhat Concerned

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:41 a.m.

15crown00 is right: the University does not pay property taxes. It does spin out companies like this one that employ people and put property like this in Dexter back to productive use, saved from demolition, and on the tax rolls.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

say goodbye to property taxes.the U DON'T PAY EM.

Left is Right

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

MedHub is a private, for-profit company. If it's not clear from other comments here, they will pay property tax on both the building and "personal property" associated with the company.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Now maybe with the U moving in they might get their City tax appeal?

Anthony Clark

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

Scared me for a minute. Thought this historic structure would be lost. So glad they are going to restore it.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

I agree fully with the first comment. This is a wonderful site and it should be utilized. It is especially nice that it is going to be used by a very stable tenant. Great news.

Scout Finch

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

This is great for Dexter. Glad the company is keeping the character of the property intact! Good for them!