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ANN ARBOR, MI-A $35-million technology center that will house two pioneer Internet firms and an Internet museum is scheduled to open its doors in January. Project coordinators say the Michigan Information Technology Center’s emphasis will be on high-speed technology, as the futuristic center will house two nonprofit Internet pioneers, Merit Network Inc. and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, also known as Internet2.

The 120,000-sf center also boasts first-floor conference and business-incubator space; a $10-million, 10,000-sf data center in the basement; an Internet museum and a coffee shop. MAV Development Co. of Ann Arbor, builder of the center, is leasing the four-floor building–phase two of South State Commons–to the Michigan Information Technology Foundation for $18.25 per sf, triple net.

The foundation, funded initially by $10 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will oversee the building. Merit and Internet2 are the building’s two largest tenants.

Merit will take over the building’s second floor, abandoning 25,000 sf on two floors on Plymouth Road that it has rented from the University of Michigan for about 10 years. Internet2, now in 18,000 sf just around the corner at Eisenhower Parkway and Boardwalk, will take over the building’s third floor.

The fourth floor has not yet been rented. But Washtenaw Development Council is also likely to move into 1,500 sf on the first floor. Scio Township-based digital archiver ProQuest Co. has also looked atsubleasing the data center, which could hold up to 300 computer racks with up to 40 blade-style servers on each rack, officials say.

“The whole concept is getting [these organizations] together in one space so they can collaborate,” says MAV Development vice president Ron Thomas.

When the building is fully leased it will be home to about 300 employees, Thomas says. Merit and Internet2 will use about 2,000 sf of the data center and the rest will be available for lease, Thomas says.

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