'PBS NewsHour' highlights Ann Arbor's economy, digital media, dining scene
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman told PBS that the university's $108 million acquisition of the 174-acre ex-Pfizer campus in Ann Arbor was an example of the university's strategy of investing during the economic crisis.
"To build that kind of lab space costs $600 a square foot. We got it for less than $50 a square foot. So for us it was a huge bargain," Coleman said. "We’re making investments in the future and we’re making the investments at a good price that we believe is going to be an enormous return."
U-M's student entrepreneurial movement, which spawned the TechArb student-led business incubator, was held up as an example of the area's economic vitality.
The segment also focused on Ann Arbor's "gourmet dining" scene, including Zingerman's.
"The city is like a life preserver, floating in a state whose economy has been sinking for a decade," PBS reporter Ray Suarez said in the 8-minute segment, part of a regular series called "Patchwork Nation," which is exploring how various communities are addressing the nation's economic crisis.
Among the local officials interviewed: U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, U-M College of Engineering Associate Dean for Entrepreneurial Programs Thomas Zurbuchen, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje and RPM Ventures partner Marc Weiser.
Here's the video of the segment, provided by PBS:
PBS also posted an online-only segment on Ann Arbor's evolving digital media market. The 2-minute segment featured a discussion of the Ann Arbor News' closing, the launch of AnnArbor.com and the launch of AnnArborChronicle.com. Here's the video of the segment:
Finally, PBS also discussed Zingerman's success in Ann Arbor in another online-only segment. In the segment, Zingerman's co-founder Ari Weinzweig said his 500-employee company's business plan does not include expanding outside of Ann Arbor: