City officials will review a request from Royal Oak-based Vectorform LLC. The rapidly expanding technology firm is hoping to relocate its 3905 Rochester Road headquarters into the second floor space at 500 S. Main Street.
"In an effort to maintain this company and its employees in Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has extended a cash grant offer of $375,000 under its Business Development Program to Vectorform LLC.," wrote City Manager Don Johnson in a memo to commissioners.
One of the program requirements is local government participation, he said.
Vectorform is requesting the city provide 75 parking permits at no cost during the first year of its lease and install two EV (electric vehicle) charging stations at the site, according to Johnson.
Vectorform currently has 70 employees in Michigan and plans to double that number in the next three years, according to Jason Vazzano, president and CEO of Vectorform. Headquartered in Royal Oak, the global design and technology firm also has studios in Seattle, New York, Munich and Hyderabad, India.
"As we continue our rapid expansion, our leading plan is to keep our global headquarters in Royal Oak, Michigan by moving our facility into the downtown area," wrote Vazzano in an overview to city officials. "Our goal is to build a world class facility that will provide a revolutionary work environment and attract top talent prospects from around the world."
Students at Upton Elementary recently had the chance to see what Vectorform does when Kevin Foreman, director of product vision at Vectorform, showed off his pair of Google Glass to students. The wearable computer with a head-mounted display will be available to the public next summer.
Vectorform was the only Michigan company chosen to take part in Google's Glass Explorer Program.
Vectorform's clients include Coca-Cola, Mircosoft, Walt Disney, New York Times, Estee, Lauder, American Express, Nike, the United States State Department, Chrysler GroupKelly Services, DTE Energy, 3M, Cargill, Red Bull, Nokia and many others, according to Vazzano.
What's the future of Barnes & Noble?
One month ago, residents learned the future of the Barnes & Noble was on shaky ground when a petitioner requested to transfer a Class C license to 500 S. Main Street and convert the book store into a 270-seat Italian restaurant and night club on the first level and office space on the second level.
The petitioner, SV One, LLC., ultimately sent a letter via electronic mail to city officials withdrawing the request without explanation. For many, it was good news.
However, the building's owner, Tim Blum, told commissioners that Barnes & Noble's sales performance was lackluster.
"I can't keep subsidizing that space forever," Blum said.