Spark Business Incubator to locate on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Ypsilanti

September 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Breaking News


Mack and Mack Building in Downtown Ypsilanti is site for Ann Arbor Spark Business Incubator.

(September 4, 2008) Sources from Washtenaw County and Eastern Michigan University have told YpsiNews.com that an agreement has been signed for the Ann Arbor Spark Business incubator. The business incubator will be located at the Mack and Mack building at 211 to 215 West Michigan Avenue in Downtown Ypsilanti.

According to sources that asked to remain anonymous, an agreement was executed by Maurer Management and Spark for the Mack and Mack building within the last week. Officials from Maurer Management would not comment for this story and officials from Spark did not return our call.

The Mayor of Ypsilanti, Paul Schreiber, announced last March that Spark was looking at a second location after negotiations with James Pate, owner of Smith Furniture building had stalled.

Smith Furniture, located on South Washington, was Sparks preferred location. However, folks close to the negotiations said Pate was difficult to work with and kept changing his requirements.

Yet their were strong proponents that kept advocating for the Smith building including County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson (Dem, District 6 Ypsilanti) and David Behen at the County. At one point, Behen camped out in front of Pate’s house in Ypsilanti for nearly a day to find Pate after Pate didn’t return phone calls for almost a month.

Mike Finney, president of Ann Arbor Spark, told both the Spark and LDFA boards that he would accept an alternate location such as the Mack and Mack building if it would mean Spark could meet their fall time frame for opening.

According to the sources at the County, negotiations for Smith Furniture broke off in late July after failing to come to an agreement with Pate.

Spark announced in August that they were looking at two new locations in Ypsilanti. One building was Mack and Mack. Spark did not disclose the second location.

Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Spark officials had previously said that they expected to be able to open the business incubator within four months of signing a lease.

The incubator space will be used for start-up companies working with Spark. There will also be classroom space to be used by EMU Business School.

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