SPARK East in Downtown Ypsilanti

Ann Arbor SPARK settles on Ypsilanti business incubator site

by Nathan Bomey | Ann Arbor Business Review

Wednesday May 21, 2008, 5:16 PM

Economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK expects to open its long-anticipated Ypsilanti business incubator in the fall at the former Smith Furniture building on South Washington Street.

SPARK’s board this afternoon officially authorized the signing of a lease for the 13,000-square-foot first level of the 24,168-square-foot facility, said Elizabeth Parkinson, SPARK’s director of marketing and public relations.

SPARK CEO Michael Finney said the new business incubator, which is being called SPARK East, would open in the fall with plans to house 10 to 15 startup companies at a time.

The organization will also relocate the Michigan Innovation Equipment Depot – a collection of used life sciences equipment, mostly donated by Pfizer Inc. – to the Smith Furniture building. The equipment, previously stored at a secluded warehouse near Eastern Michigan University’s main campus, will take up about 1,500 to 2,000 square feet.

"This will allow us to consolidate it there and be able to manage everything out of one location," Finney said.

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