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Category Archives: Ann Arbor Businesses

Ann Arbor Forecasted to Add 8000 Jobs

Is Economic Recovery Beginning in Ann Arbor?

In an article published in the Annarbor.com Business Review, according to University of Michigan economists George Fulton and Don Grimes, the Ann Arbor area will be adding more than 8000 new jobs in multiple sectors over the next 3 years. They estimated that Washtenaw County added over 4000 jobs in 2010 after 4 consecutive years of job losses, supporting a slow, but steady economic recovery. The unemployment rate in Washtenaw County is expected to decline to 6.7% by 2013 from an average of 8.6% in 2010.

A few of the major sectors slated to add jobs include:

  • Local Manufacturing, including Automotive
  • Health Care Service Providers
  • Private Ambulatory Care Services
  • Regional Government
  • Professional & Business Services
  • Restaurant Services

Many small businesses are beginning to hire, but still remain very cautious. While we are far from a full recovery, these are steps in the right direction for the Ann Arbor area. You can view the full report here: The Economic Outlook for Washtenaw County in 2011-13.

We are beginning to see recovery in the Ann Arbor real estate market as prices begin to stabilize and even increase a bit under $400k. Spring is right around the corner, housing inventory remains low, and mortgage interest rates are at historic levels making this a great time to sell your home. To learn more about what’s happening with prices and inventory in your specific Washtenaw County neighborhood, visit our Subdivision Hotline or contact us today at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com.

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is Here Again

One of the best things about living in Ann Arbor is Restaurant Week, which runs from January 16-21 this year. Ann Arbor is home to a wide variety of fantastic restaurants and this is your chance to try out that new place you’ve been hearing about, or visit your old favorite spot and enjoy a delightful meal at a low fixed price. Lunches are $12, with many places offering 2 for $12, and are one to three course meals. Dinners are $25 for three course meals and most offer a choice of selections for each course. Regular menus are also still available if the fixed price special isn’t your game.

Participants in this winter’s Restaurant Week are:

Downtown Ann Arbor Restaurants

Deals of the Year Awards Highlight Ann Arbor Business Successes

Friday night, Ann Arbor‘s sixth annual Deals of the Year awards dinner (hosted by AnnArbor.com Business Review) brought area business leaders together. They noted that local successes are helping lead Michigan out of the recession. They were also optimistic that Ann Arbor will continue to serve as an example of economic vibrancy for the region, state, and country. The event highlighted business decisions that have had the most impact in the region over the previous year.

As he opened the awards portion of the program, Stephen Forrest, University of Michigan’s vice president for research, recalled how 18 months ago, the “economy of this nation was in a free fall.” He noted that in Michigan, the “economy was limping along, to say the least. Eighteen months later, we are seeing recovery here.” He credited local entrepreneurs as the primary drivers for that recovery.

“Michigan,” Forrest reminded the crowd, “really did build the American economy in the 20th century. “It can do it again, and I think it’s on this path.” Continue reading

Chelsea Antique Mall is a New, Thriving Venture

Chelsea, located in Washtenaw County, offers Ann Arbor residents a location with small town charm and easy commuting to all of southeast Michigan’s major areas. Chelsea is home to the Daimler Chrysler Proving Ground and Chelsea Milling Company’s “Jiffy Mix.” The latest addition to the area’s unique business offerings is the Chelsea Antique Mall, home to 27 antique and collectible vendors, located at 1178 S. Main Street.

Owners Ed and Kathy Greenleaf purchased the space in the Chelsea Lanes building, which had stood vacant for two years, and opened 3,000 square feet at the front of the building to vendors. When that space quickly filled, Greenleaf expanded to the back of the building, hosting 10 more booths. This has created a total of 4,100 square feet of vendor space with booth sizes ranging from 5 by 8 feet to 9 by 12 feet.  Continue reading

Ann Arbor – Not Just Another Pretty College Town

If you have ever wondered if Ann Arbor was more than a small, pretty town anchored by the University of Michigan, a recent article by Tom Walsh in the Detroit Free Press set the record straight. Far more than being the temporary academic home for 41,000 students, the town’s permanent residents include big names in business, industry, and politics as well as education. In addition, the economy of Ann Arbor is becoming ever more diverse, so it can attract the type of young talent that passes through the University.

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Ann Arbor Is Becoming Michigan’s Center of Power

For those “in the know,” the place to call home in southeast Michigan is Ann Arbor . We’ve recently pointed out a number of reasons why people of all walks of life enjoy living here, but the number of affluential (and influential!) people and companies choosing our city may come as a surprise.

Proximity to the University of Michigan plays a role in this influx. According to Lou Glazer, president of the Michigan Future think tank, 80% of all jobs being created in the US economy are knowledge jobs – those that require higher education and skill levels. “If place matters, and it does, in attracting talented young professionals, Ann Arbor is the leading edge of such places in the state,” Glazer said. Of course, Ann Arbor offers a lot more than just the UM connection, but it’s an important one.

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Returning Students Provide Options for Ann Arbor Homeowners

A new academic year is upon us, and with it, thousands of University of Michigan students are returning to Ann Arbor. And returning students means an increased need for housing. In this two-part blog, we’ll look at two different scenarios which could conceivably affect you, as a homeowner.

First, consider this statement: I’m a homeowner, who’s thinking of renting a room in my home.

Does this describe you? If so, you probably have at least one extra bedroom (or more), and are willing to share other areas of your home (like the kitchen and living room) in order to bring in some extra money. It’s a common practice, especially in cities like ours with major universities, and can provide a host of benefits in addition to the income boost. You should be aware, however, of the fact that there are laws pertaining to the ways in which you advertise and interview for possible boarders in your home.

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Ann Arbor’s Swift Biosciences Receives $3 Million for Development of Genetic Analysis Products

Swift Biosciences, a small Ann Arbor start-up company, has been awarded $3 million in venture capital from Houston-based DFJ Mercury to pursue its work in molecular biology reagents.

DFJ Mercury is joined in the Swift funding by several Michigan-based individual investors, who also helped launch Swift Biosciences with seed funding in January 2010. Swift Biosciences is developing molecular biology reagents – substances which allow identification of specific genetic characteristics to help scientists and doctors conduct genetic tests to identify whether patients are susceptible to specific diseases.

As a firm which invests in information technology, advanced materials, and bioscience companies, DFJ Mercury partners with entrepreneurs to build competitive businesses around the world. Their focus is on the midcontinental US, particularly in the states of Texas, Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan.
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XSeed Energy to Install Solar Panels at Michigan Theater

The Ypsilanti-based Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) is the parent organization for the newly-formed XSeed Energy, “Ann Arbor‘s Community Power Project.”  XSeed’s inaugural project, approved at their August 12 meeting by the Historic District Commission, will be the installation of solar panels at the Michigan Theater at 603 East Liberty Street.

Using funding from community donations and grants, XSeed Energy was created with the goal of developing renewable energy projects in Ann Arbor. Profits will be recycled back into an ‘Energy Bank’ to fund ongoing renewable energy installations. The goal – and hence, the name – is to ‘seed’ community funded, and possibly community owned, power projects in Ann Arbor.

For this first project, a set of 60-foot solar panels will be placed on the south-facing wall of the Michigan Theater, then connected to the local power grid. According to Bonnie Bona, project manager for XSeed Energy and former chair of Ann Arbor’s planning commission, the Michigan Theater was selected for XSeed’s first project “because of the public visibility of the solar panels, the theater’s willingness to participate, its community involvement, and the fact that it is already pursuing other renewable energy solutions.”

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