Zingerman's training division to expand in 6,400-square-foot space in Pittsfield Township business park
Zingerman’s wants to convert a vacant 6,400-square-foot space in the Airport Plaza business park in Pittsfield Township into a permanent training facility for its ZingTrain division, which provides consulting and teaching of Zingerman’s business techniques to clients.
ZingTrain holds two-day business seminars for $995 a person, according to its website. It also develops customized training workshops at rates of $1,500 to $3,000 for 1 to 2 hours, $3,000 to $4,000 for a half day or $5,000 to $6,000 for a full day.
But until now, the seminars and workshops haven't had a permanent — or large enough — space, said Pete Sickman-Garner, a marketing manager for Zingerman’s.
The classes used to be held above Zingerman’s Next Door in Ann Arbor and then moved to the company’s administrative offices in the Airport Plaza business park, located off Airport Road in Pittsfield Township, said Zingerman’s co-founder Paul Saginaw.
In order to expand the ZingTrain division, the company recently leased a 6,400-square-foot space in the same Pittsfield Township business park, and has applied for a conditional use permit to use the building for training and conference purposes.
“That business is growing quite a bit and the managing partners have a desire to expand and offer more seminars,” Saginaw said.
Because five Zingerman’s divisions - the Bakehouse and Bakeshop, Creamery, Coffee Company, Candy Manufactory and Zingerman’s Service Network - are located in the business park, Sickman-Garner said this space made sense for a ZingTrain expansion.
“They’ve been looking for room to grow it seemed logical to join the rest of us down there and make that space even more vibrant,” he said.
He added: “An important part of our seminars involve showing the attendants our business and the work we’re doing. We always want them to see the deli, but that location has a critical mass of businesses.”
Saginaw said the space will need “extensive” renovations to convert it from a warehouse to conference rooms. The conditional use application calls for 4,495 square feet of business space and 1,905 of training and conference space, with a maximum occupancy of 130 people.
The Pittsfield Township Planning Commission will consider the conditional use permit request from Zingerman’s at its March 1 meeting.
Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the township is in support of the request, but she wants to be sure it won’t create traffic congestion issues in the area.
“We want to make sure they have thought through very carefully issues related to traffic and parking,” she said.