MI-HQ acquires Eastern Michigan University College of Business building

The revitalized building will create a downtown life sciences and technology hub Ypsilantiwith medical offices, multiple catering options and state-of-the-art wet lab spaces.

ANN ARBOUR, Mich., June 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Michigan Innovation Headquarters (MI-HQ), a leader in developing innovative workspaces for life sciences and technology, has reached an agreement to purchase for Eastern Michigan University former home of the College of Business, the Gary Owens Building, downtown Ypsilanti. The building will be purchased for $2.6 million and will be subject to further review $10 million renovation to build an innovative co-working space for STEM companies.

MI-HQ plans to completely renovate the 130,000 square foot building to provide functional space for entrepreneurs and scientists while supporting the growth of Ypsilanti. It is estimated that the space will open in the first quarter of 2023 and provide 300 new jobs for the city.

“These additional innovators will bring additional foot traffic to downtown and businesses will recover from the lack of foot traffic during COVID,” said Mark Smith, president of MI-HQ. “With an abundant housing stock near the building, workers have the possibility of locating themselves and getting to work on foot or by bicycle.”

The building will appear on Ypsilanti’s tax rolls for the first time, providing significant additional revenue to the city. Ann Arbor SPARK estimated that the space will provide more $1.1 million net benefits for the City of Ypsilanti in a period of 10 years.

“The building is located in an Opportunity Zone that provides tax benefits to businesses and investors who invest there,” Smith said. “We hope to be a catalyst for the region and stimulate investment, development and growth. By providing significant infrastructure, oversight, investment and collaboration, MI-HQ has seen the benefits of the community model in action.

The acquisition of the building was a collaboration between Ann Arbor SPARK, Eastern Michigan University, the City of Ypsilanti, Washtenaw Countyand the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

MI-HQ will renovate the space into an attractive and modern workspace to include the following features:

  • Free parking on site
  • Wet research and development laboratories
  • Medical practices
  • 160-seat auditorium, accessible to tenants and the public
  • Food truck mat
  • Multipurpose outdoor courtyard for public events and gatherings
  • Coffee
  • Gym, accessible to tenants and the public

This is MI-HQ’s fourth location and one of three building acquisitions planned for 2022 and 2023. The new building is located at 300 W. Michigan Ave., which is a focal point for tenants, offering easy transportation options for the airport and bus, as well as plenty of local dining options.

“MI-HQ prefers to repurpose existing structures. Revitalizing vacant or orphaned buildings often has a positive impact on the area where they are located,” Smith said. “MI-HQ continues to expand and create hard-to-find ‘sticky infrastructure’ to attract and retain science and technology (STEM) teams to the region. Expansion in Ypsilanti provides a profitable space for the continued growth of existing MI-HQ businesses as well as opportunities for new members to join the MI-HQ community.”

MI-HQ is accepting applications for new tenants in preparation for the 2023 opening date. Half of the new building is already occupied by a main anchor company.

About Michigan Innovation Headquarters

MI-HQ is a cooperative high-energy entrepreneurial community. They help local businesses grow by providing functional and affordable space in a collaborative environment that promotes acceleration. They currently have over 160,000 square feet of space on Ann Arbor’s west side and are growing throughout Michigan. To learn more about MI-HQ, visit mi-hq.com

Inquiries about MI-HQ development plans or tenant opportunities can be made at

Mark Smith
[email protected]

Marketing metric for MI-HQ

Isabelle Owens
[email protected]


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