Two new construction projects at the Domino's Farms office park in Ann Arbor Township may help ease the Ann Arbor area's office space crunch.
Domino's Pizza is launching a major expansion, building a 33,000-square-foot new building on the north side of Domino's Farms, near the complex's iconic bison pasture. Arbor Research is also building a brand-new corporate headquarters on the east side of Domino's Farms.
Domino's Pizza is already considered Domino's Farms' signature tenant, as the complex's largest single tenant and the reason Domino's Farms was originally built and opened in 1985.
John Petz, director of real estate and public affairs for Domino's Farms Corp., says Domino's Pizza wanted to expand, but the company was unable to cobble together enough square footage of existing Domino's Farms office space for its needs. Only about 5,000 square feet out of nearly 1 million square feet in the entire complex are unoccupied. The pizza company decided to build on a space close to the north end of its main building, and broke ground in early September.
Petz says the new building, designed by Troy-based IDS, will allow the company room to create mockups for new store designs and focus on other projects the company has been putting off due to space restrictions.
Petz says construction is on an "aggressive schedule" and is expected to conclude by the end of April 2019, with staff moving in shortly after that.
Petz says health research firm Arbor Research began discussing and planning its move to Domino's Farms a couple years ago.
Arbor Research is currently operating out of the building at 340 E. Huron in downtown Ann Arbor that formerly housed the Ann Arbor News and now is home to the University of Michigan Credit Union.
"They approached us about having their own standalone headquarters, and we looked around our portfolio and suggested the space on the east side of Earhart near the petting farm," Petz says.
The new construction, a 49,500-square-foot building, is just the first phase of a planned expansion. Two local firms were hired to design and build the new headquarters, with Hobbs & Black serving as architect and J.S. Vig doing the construction. Arbor Research broke ground in May and expects to complete construction in May of 2019, moving into its new headquarters in summer 2019, Petz says.
The company currently has about 110 employees and plans to expand to 140 initially. Petz says that the company will have the opportunity to build up to an additional 40,000 square feet on the site in the future.
"We find it gratifying to be able to help Ann Arbor-based companies to grow in our region," Petz says.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the interim project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She has served as innovation and jobs/development news writer for Concentrate since early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to Driven. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renderings courtesy of Domino's Farms.