Press enter after choosing selection

'Incubator' Building Planned For Research Park

'Incubator' Building Planned For Research Park image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

‘Incubator’ Building Planned For Research Park

A new building, planned as an "incubator" to attract more research firms into Greater Ann Arbor Research/Industrial Park, is to be constructed in the spring by Carl A. Brauer Jr., sales agent for the organization, said William J. Bott, one of the directors.

Brauer, recently given brokerage responsibility for the west section of the park and part owner of the east section, confirmed the proposed plans. He said that the 7,500-square-foot building would be the first of "campus type complex.” The building will be located in the west section of the park.

Both men also announced that preliminary development of east section of the park would also begin in the spring. "The east will be improved with sewer and water facilities, paved roads, and curbs and gutters said Bott. “The development would be similar to the initial development of the west section of the park's inception,” he said. Bott is president of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce which initiated the Research Park program.

Brauer added that the project has been approved by the city's Planning Commission and would also include a railroad siding from the Ann Arbor Railroad, the dividing line between east and west sections of the park.

The east has recently been rezoned from research to light manufacturing, which both men see complimenting research in the west. Although the park is still known as Greater Ann Arbor Research Park, Brauer promotes it as Greater Ann Arbor Research/Industrial Park since the rezoning in the east, said Bott. Although they e actually separate, they have common identity, he said.

The east section will be divided into a total of 30 lots, ranging in size from one to 27 acres, said Brauer. The land will sell for $13,000 an acre in two-and-a-half acre parcels, although smaller parcels can be arranged, he said.

The new building is to be built in the west (research) section of the park, although similar building "complexes" are planned for the east (manufacturing) section once it is developed with sewer, water, and road facilities, the realtor said. 

It will have a total area of 7,500 square feet with offices on the outside perimeter, said Brauer. The space in the center may be used either as work area or for the installation of more offices, he pointed out. Cost of the building with air-conditioning and central heating will be about $15 a square feet, he noted. 

It will be the first of a complex in a series of lease buildings, according to Bott. Construction of a second building will begin once the first one has been leased, he said. 

Brauer said that the occupants can expand within the the complex or they can develop another site of their own choosing. The building are primarily intended for one occupant, but their flexibility allows the possibility of two or more in each unit, they said. Brauer pointed out that the proposed complex of the buildings did not preclude the possibility of attaching buildings within the complex if this would be more convenient for the prospect.

Brauer said that it was too early to disclose any names but that "if negotiations continue as they have, the building may be leased before construction begins." In any event, he said, the building will still be constructed in the spring. No contract has been let for construction at this point, but plans for the building have already been designed by Atwell-Hicks, Inc., he noted.

Brauer said that the ability provide buildings and land offers a new approach to the development of the park—one unavailable to the Greater Ann Arbor Research Park management. He pointed out that this approach has been a key factor in such development in the past. 

Bott agreed that the new approach offers more flexibility. "All we could do was sell the land. Carl can sell the land, build buildings, or put them together in a package." He also pointed out that Brauer is a member of the Society of Industrial Realtors -- one of the few in the area. 

Brauer said that emphasis will be concentrated more on "young research firms which are constantly being started as offshoots of work being done on campus.” He said that appeal to major firms will not be ignored but that "there are a lot more small firms to draw from and interest in the park's possibilities."

"The smaller firms are you and uncertain of how they are going to grow in the next six months, so they don't want to commit themselves. All of a sudden they develop the need for a place and can't wait for it to be built. Our proposed situation fits them perfectly", he said. 

There are now eight companies occupying the six buildings now in the west portion of the park, according to Bott. They include three separate divisions of Federal-Mogul (each in its own building in keeping with the company policy of autonomy of divisions), 
Tecumseh Products, Berry Electronics, Digital Equipment Corp., Datamax Corp., and the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.

The combined facilities covered about 30 acres of the western the park, said Bott. This leaves about 70-acres still to be developed, including parcels with options for lease.

Of course, there are no occupants in the east part now, but Brauer predicts confidence in the development once the improvements have been completed. 

Both men mentioned other improvements in the area which will also make Research/Industrial Park more attractive to future prospects. 

Brauer pointed out that Ellsworth Rd. will be paved in the spring from State to Stone School Road. He indicated that this will provide better access to the east and west sections of the park since Ellsworth is the southern boundary for both.

The Ann Arbor Municipal Airport will be a "facility for business - executive aircraft,” according to Bott. He noted proposed construction of new hangars, a control tower, and an administration building plus the paving of secondary runways among the improvements there.

Both Bott and Brauer said that the Statler-Hilton Inn, service station facilities, and the I-94 interchange at S. State all make it more practical for settlement in Greater Ann Arbor Research/Industrial Park and will give added impetus to its future development.