You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 9:38 a.m.

Global company leasing office to offer rentable workspace for Ann Arbor companies, entrepreneurs

By Lizzy Alfs

Regus, a Belgium-based “workplace solutions” company, plans to open an 11,000-square-foot business center in Ann Arbor’s South State Commons complex in December.

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.


Regus, an international workplace solutions company, plans to open 11,000 square feet of rentable office space in the South State Commons.

Photo from

“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.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Tom Teague

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

@hut hut - I doubt MAV wants to be in the business of marketing to and billing individual tenants , some of whom will use the facility infrequently. Regus has a presence in other cities that it can use to promote the Ann Arbor facility.

hut hut

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Let me get this straight. MAV owns the building but isn't renting/leasing to tenants. Regus is renting/leasing from MAV and re-leasing or brokering to tenants. What's up with Regus, the middle man? Is this really necessary? Tenants are paying Regus for doing paperwork instead of dealing directly with MAV?


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

Its my understanding that REGUS is more along the lines of you get to use space when you need it. Everything is included in the cost. You can use it every day, or once in a while. They market it as for the person who is tired of meeting clients at starbucks or panera. Its pretty ingenious as we are going to more and more telecommunting, but still need a way to have face to face interaction. I would imagine if you costed out the REGUS cost vs. traditional lease, regus would be way more expensive, but you are not going to find a landlord who is willing to do a short term transaction, and build out the space, and furnish it, and provide administrative support for that cost. Obviously, I am a huge fan....

Jim Vitek

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Great to see more of this in A2 Agree with Dug on Tech Brewery. In addition to being a great space, there is an established culture that is uniquely attractive to tech startups.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Great! Now... bring on the businesses. I wonder how many tenants they have lined up prior to opening.

Dug Song

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Oops, wrong link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Wish comments were editable here. Wish you could downvote folks also, ala Reddit, Hacker News, etc. Wish would have just used Disqus!

Dug Song

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

Shee, no love for the Tech Brewery, I guess. We were just featured on a regional NPR broadcast yesterday: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> We're currently full, but we are renovating the basement (about 1000 sq ft. with a 16' ceiling) - come by our Halloween party tomorrow for a tour, beer, and live birds of prey (a falcon, owl, and bald eagle)! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Nathan Bomey

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

Dug, Good to hear about the continued success at TechBrewery. As you can see at the end of the story, TechBrewery is mentioned solely because of its success.

Ron Granger

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

I'm bringing my pet squirrel!