Barracuda Networks is looking to fill some big shoes in downtown Ann Arbor, signing a lease for most of the space of the old Borders store on Liberty next to the University of Michigan's Central Campus.
The IT company will lease 45,000 square feet on three floors of the building that not only once housed Borders flagship store No. 1 but also the Jacobson's department store before it moved to Briarwood Mall in the early 1990s. The retail section of the building is still for lease while Barracuda works to quickly fill the rest of it this year.
"We're growing very rapidly," says Sean Heiney, director of new products for Barracuda Networks
. "We need a lot of space that we can build out."
has been growing in Ann Arbor since 2007. It has spent the last few years filling out a large office space at 201 Depot St., just north of downtown Ann Arbor, before taking on this move. Barracuda now employs 180 people in Ann Arbor after hiring 75 in the last year. "We're hiring 3-4 employees per week," Heiney says. "We're not slowing down."
The firm specializes in email and web security protection, along with server load balancing and message archiving appliances. It choose downtown Ann Arbor to be closer to the city's emerging tech cluster, anchored by Google. The vibrancy of downtown Ann Arbor appealed to the company's executive team and makes it easier to recruit new employees to the firm.
"The downtown culture is important to us," Heiney says. "This is the largest space we could get and maintain our downtown culture."
Source: Sean Heiney, director of new products for Barracuda Networks
Writer: Jon Zemke
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