Ypsilanti investment firm Revalue is moving into its own downtown office, with plans to offer a community space and more classes focusing on its socially responsible investing model.
The six-year-old business has moved out of the SPARK East incubator and into a new home at 220 W. Michigan Ave. Employees are currently finishing up renovations, including paint and new carpet, ahead of a grand opening planned for 4-8 p.m. May 3.
Currently, Revalue's seven employees mostly work remotely, but the new office space will bring most of that workforce downtown and allow them to work together, according to Revalue founder Angela Barbash. The business will also start hiring interns for the first time.
More importantly, though, the larger office space will allow the Revalue team to get creative in programming and public outreach. The front room of the new space will be a community training room that can fit 30 to 40 people comfortably, Barbash says. Revalue will use the space for its own purposes but Barbash also plans to allow community groups to rent out the space.
"We'll be able to teach workshops and collaborate with other people out of state on educational initiatives," she says.
Barbash says community members can come in to learn not only about finance in general but about the sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing model. That model emphasizes environmental, social, and corporate governance to make investments that generate both a personal financial return and a broader positive social impact. Barbash says the office will be "like an interactive finance gallery," including custom art that charts the history of the SRI movement and a display of currencies from around the world.
"There are a couple spaces where the community can vote on what they would do with money, and a variety of other questions, or they can write on a chalkboard wall," she says. "It's an opportunity for people to come in and see what the rest of the community thinks. That's not how financial advising offices look. There's no other place in Michigan that does this."
The May 3 grand opening will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the A2Y Chamber, entertainment by a local musician, and free chair massages.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the 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 email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Angela Barbash.