The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township announced it now has site-ready real estate for the development of a Technology Park at Willow Run. The space will provide opportunities for mobility companies to co-locate next to the center’s already established Smart City Test Center.
Since opening two years ago, more than 50 global automotive and mobility companies have come to test and evolve their technologies through projects at the center. Research also has been conducted in conjunction with the U.S. government.
Willow Run once was the site for Henry Ford’s World War II bomber plant.
“The American Center for Mobility is proud to continue to build on that legacy of innovation by opening the American Center for Mobility Technology Park, where we can enable a new ecosystem of people and companies to build on their ideas, to be inspired, and to change the world,” says Mark Chaput, interim CEO of the center.
The technology park is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Site Readiness Program. It is designated as a Renaissance Zone through 2031, providing abatement of about 85 percent of real and personal property taxes. It is also located on a state of Michigan Opportunity Zone, providing deferral of reinvested capital gains.
“Our state has long been known for its innovative ideas and its can-do attitude because Michigan is where big ideas are born,” says Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “No other state in the nation provides the breadth and depth of entrepreneurial support to high-tech and mobility companies like Michigan. We’re proud to continue building on our entrepreneurial spirit and mobility leadership through innovative spaces like ACM’s Technology Park.”
The addition of the park is expected to further stimulate collaboration between the public and private mobility industry through events and demonstrations as well as increase regional business attraction.
The center expects to build 350,000 square feet of multi-tenant space and says up to 1,200 jobs could be created. Potential uses for buildings include offices, labs, startup incubators, conference and event space, and education and workforce development labs.
“The Ann Arbor region is a hot bed of mobility innovation, where global leaders like Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, and Subaru have located their North American research and development facilities,” says Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “Emerging companies like Navya, May Mobility, and Refraction AI are creating and testing new mobility technologies here, too. We know that mobility companies from around the world are looking at the region as a destination where they can grow, and having the option to be located at ACM is certainly a benefit as a proof point that we are committed to providing what these companies need to be successful.”
The center is a test area that provides a safe platform for the integration of emerging mobility technologies in intentionally challenging environments. It is a collaborative effort comprised of government, industry, and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry through research, testing, standards development, and education programs.