Ann Arbor Area Community News
Some of you might have seen Arbor Networks in the news lately. Arbor Networks is a global network security firm with their Research and Development arm based in downtown Ann Arbor.
They are a home grown, rapidly expanding company with 72 employees. Their offices are in the at the City Center Building on Huron Street.
They have well-paid workers, just received a tax break from Michigan Economic Growth Authority board, and are going to be adding 56 more jobs to the area.
On all accounts they are a great company that deserves press and all the love are currently getting
And they’re moving . . . to South State Street over by Wolverine Tower.
They are not moving because they don’t like downtown. I went over to visit Arbor Networks last year. The Office Manager did an informal poll of workers and found that many of them eat lunch at a downtown restaurant 3-4 times a week. Many, many of the employees love being downtown because it’s a great place to work, with close proximity to shops, places to eat and . . . public transportation. More on that in a moment.
The big challenge for growing companies like Arbor Networks is that there are just not enough downtown spaces that will accommodate them. So they look for larger spaces elsewhere, often outside of the downtown, which I am sure are often cheaper.
This usually means these companies move to locations that have limited access to public transportation compared to the downtown.
This is definitely the case with Arbor Networks. In the downtown, Arbor Networks has access to 16 bus routes and the Link. In their State Street Location, they have access to one route (the 36).
From a downtown location, Arbor Networks employees have access to a variety of bike lanes (like the ones on Packard and Liberty) and many employees can potentially walk to work because there are many houses within easy and safe walking distance to the downtown. While I’ve biked on State Street to places like Howard Cooper, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable going all the way to Wolverine Tower by bike and I’m not sure how walkable it is.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that I want companies like Arbor Networks to stay in the downtown because being downtown allows workers to take advantage of all sorts of commuting options, reduce carbon footprints by not having to drive, etc. The downtown is truly a great place because you don’t have to drive to get there.
But the reality is our downtown has a hard time accommodating these large companies, so they sometimes move out.
So what is a downtown to do?
« Previous Article Library Renovations and the Library Lot
Next Article Ann Arbor: The YouTube Experience »
New Comments(twitter feed)
Arbor Update Topics