Behind a graffiti-covered door, at the end of the alley next to the Michigan Theater and one floor below street level, a handful of entrepreneurs are working at all hours in some pretty unusual office space.
Under the umbrella of TechArb, a coworking space for University of Michigan students, 10 start-up technology companies have set up shop in 30,000 square feet of commercial basement space that has been vacant for years. With 18-foot ceilings, imposing columns and no natural light, there is feeling of total isolation from the hubbub of Liberty Street, just one story up. The seclusion allows the 30 entrepreneurs to focus intensely on building their businesses.
They’re hard at work because the clock is ticking. They’ve got the rent-free space for this summer, and this summer only.