Global company leasing office to offer rentable workspace for Ann Arbor companies, entrepreneurs
The deal, brokered by Jeff Harshe of MAV Development Co., means the four-story, 97,000-square-foot building at the intersection of South State Street and Oakbrook Drive north of Eisenhower Parkway is now fully leased, Harshe said.
After signing the lease in June, Regus plans to open the workspace in early December, Harshe said.
Founded in 1989, the international company provides flexible workspace for businesses to use temporarily or long-term.
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“We have fully staffed and equipped offices,” said Grant Greenberg, communications manager for Regus. “Businesses can have a rental agreement for space as long as they need.”
Along with acting as a business incubator for start-up companies in need of office space, Greenberg said Regus rents space to large technology companies that are looking to expand into new areas.
“If you’re a start-up company, you can have a little piece of office space,” he said. “It’s good for entrepreneurs to get off the ground. It also helps big corporations trying to save money.”
Regus can also benefit someone who occasionally works in Ann Arbor and needs an equipped office space, Harshe said.
Once renovations are completed at the South State Commons location, the space will have 54 offices, meeting rooms and an administrative area.
As the first Regus location in Washtenaw County, the company has noticed demand from people looking for this type of workspace, Jeff Doughman, regional vice president for Regus, wrote in an email.
“Ann Arbor is just one of many cities where we are receiving requests from local businesses as well as multinational companies for a flexible work environment,” Doughman wrote.
Doughman called the location in South State Commons “ideal” for local businesses.
“There is a variety of strong businesses in the area and this location allows people who use Regus to be near them,” he wrote.
Harshe added that the Ann Arbor office should draw more start-up companies to the area that will eventually expand.
“I think this is good for Ann Arbor in general,” he said. “It’s an excellent way for a smaller company to start and then hopefully outgrow Regus and move into permanent, longer-term leases that are more traditional.”
The arrival of Regus’ new Ann Arbor operation comes as several other local business incubators are reporting success in attracting tenants.
In early 2011, the University of Michigan's Technology Transfer Office opened the Venture Accelerator business incubator to host the university's own startup companies in a former Pfizer building.
Ken Nisbet, executive director of the Tech Transfer Office, said the incubator would be at full capacity by early 2012 — about a year ahead of schedule.
U-M has also reported a flood of interest for space at TechArb, an incubator for student-led companies located in downtown Ann Arbor at The Offices at Liberty Square.
Meanwhile, Ann Arbor SPARK operates office business incubators in downtown Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and a life sciences incubator in Plymouth Township.
A local landlord also offers cheap rental space for small-scale entrepreneurs at the TechBrewery on Jones Drive — and a nonprofit called the Michigan Research Institute offers incubator space on Morgan Road in Pittsfield Township.