With the advent of Google and their Adwords division coming to Ann Arbor, this books seems to be particularly timely. If, as Richard Florida hypothesizes, the creative class is attracted to regions of diversity, tolerance and the possibility of being professionally challenged, then the arrival of Google to Ann Arbor is a good leading indicator of what this region will see in the next decades.
Google’s famous work environments appear to foster the creativity in their employees and in turn fosters a community to grow up inside and around the internet giant. As the Ann Arbor area is digesting the news of Google’s arrival, I believe we need to be focused on what we can do to foster more of these kinds of businesses and employees. The state and local tax breaks/abatements definitely help make the businesses’ decision easier. What will solidify a business coming to a particular area will be the pool of talent immediately available. Again, it is great to see Google investing in the Ann Arbor area; they obviously see an adequate pool of employable personnel as they have stated they want a majority of the Ann Arbor Googleplex employees to come from the area.
Google coming to town is the leading edge of a new kind of worker for SE Michigan; the Knowledge worker. This state needs this worker. As the Google community settles in, other firms will have taken note of their location and surroundings. In essence, Google will attract other, like minded, businesses and workers to the Ann Arbor area, and likely the SE Michigan area…again, we need those workers.
Google and Ann Arbor Real Estate
So, if Google plans on hiring directly out of the University and/or from surrounding communities, why is this a topic on a blog about real estate?
If someone would like a near sure bet in real estate, it will be property in and around Ann Arbor for the forseeable future. Prior to Google, the Ann Arbor housing market gave the appearances of being more stable than other communities in SE Michigan. Simply, this is due to the UofM and research firms like Pfizer with their respective staff coming and going.
Now with Google coming to town, more UofM graduate students will likely stay in the area…they’ll have to find a place to live. Other businesses will likely come into town…they need office space….and employees….For Ann Arbor, this is a huge deal. For the whole region, I believe we need to do all we can to capitalize on this opportunity.