WUOMFM

Google to celebrate official opening of Ann Arbor space

Sep 21, 2017

Google will host the grand opening of its new Ann Arbor facility tomorrow. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are expected to be there, along with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and state and local officials.

More than 450 Google employees will soon be under one roof in the tech giant's new Ann Arbor space. That's out of 600 total statewide, up from about a dozen employees when the company opened its first Michigan office in 2006.

"We've been thrilled to have been able to grow to the degree that we have over the last 11 years, and we're hoping to grow more," said Charles Scrase, co-director of Google Ann Arbor and Director of Google Technical Services. "We don't have any specific employee projections. But we're here in this space to give us more room to grow."

According to Scrase, the new facility could hold up to 700 employees.

"Anytime that you're selecting a new site and building a new building and giving yourself room for expansion, it's a demonstration of your commitment to be in that location," Scrase said.

"Google has been committed to Michigan in being  a job creator, an investor, and a supporter of businesses," said Karen Godwin, co-director of Google Ann Arbor and Director of Google Marketing Solutions. "We're also very dedicated to our community. Since 2011 we've donated over $3 million in grants to Michigan nonprofits to help support in areas that we're passionate about, including STEM for example."

The new facility's innovative interior design is intended to foster collaboration among Googlers, the company's term for its employees. Amenities include game rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, micro-kitchens, free food, and a wide range of shared work space.

There are Michigan themes throughout the building.  The first floor features Michigan innovators; the second, Michigan destinations; and the third, Michigan musicians.  Free snacks include Great Lakes potato chips and several Michigan micro-brews.