Downtown Businesses

Overview of Businesses in Downtown Ann Arbor

Nichols Arcade, Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor’s unique and award-winning downtown continues to attract mixed-use residential development and new office tenants. This growing residential and employee density is increasing the demand for downtown goods and services, supporting independent, one of a kind businesses that help give Ann Arbor its personality. The array of outstanding restaurants is stronger than ever before and demand for retail space is at an all time high. New parking spaces and the DDA-sponsored go!pass program are helping to support this increased activity. The four downtown area associations report that their commercial districts are strong and area realtors agree that downtown is the place to be.

1,318Total downtown businesses

A Growing Foodie Population

Ann Arbor residents spend 60% more than the national average on dining out and entertainment

A Hub for Information Technology

Downtown Ann Arbor is home to over 220 tech and venture capital businesses. Click here to see a map of all the downtown IT businesses. Many of these businesses are aided by Ann Arbor SPARK, a downtown organization whose goal is to attract, develop, strengthen, and invest in driving industries to help our region thrive. Click here to view SPARK’s website for more information.

A Niche for Unique Retail

A listing of some of the new businesses coming to Downtown Ann Arbor.
New Business Address Date Opened
KouZina Greek Street Food 332 S. Main St. May 2016
Bon Bon Bon 307 S. Fifth Ave. July 2015
Which Wich 301 E. Liberty St. July 2015
Dick Tyler’s Cavern 1300 S. University St. July 2015
Back2roots Bistro 108 S. Main St. August 2015
eve the restaurant 300 S. Thayer St. December 2015
Nagomi Nigou-ten 241 E. Liberty St. December 2015
Piada Italian Street Food 311 S. State St. April 2016
Fjallraven 213 S. Main St. November 2015
Spun 407 N. Fifth Ave. December 2015
Pretzel Bell 226 S. Main St. April 2016
Pure Barre 539 E. Liberty St. June 2016
RoosRoast 117 E. Liberty St. April 2016
Fred’s 1113 S. University Ave. March 2016

An Expanding Downtown Workforce

List of the largest Downtown Ann Arbor employers, listed by full time employees (FTEs)
Largest Downtown Employers FTEs downtown (2016)
University of Michigan 14,714
Washtenaw County 1,332
City of Ann Arbor 850
DTE Energy 500
Google Ann Arbor 400
Barracuda Networks 267
Llamasoft 200
Duo Security 154
Bank of Ann Arbor 140
Prime Research 110

Accolades Since 2010

  • 2010 “Best Places for Business and Careers,” Forbes Magazine
  • 2010 “Wall Street Journal Recruiters Survey” University of Michigan BBA No. 1 for business, No. 1 for finance, No. 3 for computer science
  • 2010 “20 Most Innovative Cities in the Nation (and Canada)”, Ann Arbor #12
  • 2010 “Top Digital Cities,” Ann Arbor #6, Center for Digital Government
  • 2011 “Top Art Destinations,” Ann Arbor #6 midsize city, American Style Magazine
  • 2011″10 Most Educated Cities,” Ann Arbor #2, US News and WorldReport
  • 2011 “Top 10 Turnaround Towns – Midwest” Ann Arbor #10, Realtor.com
  • 2011 “America’s 20 Geekiest Cities,” Ann Arbor #16, Forbes
  • 2012 “Best State to Make a Living in” –Michigan #6, MoneyRates.com
  • 2012 “Best Cities in America to Find a Job”–Ann Arbor #7, US News
  • 2012 “Most E-Literate Cities in the America”–Ann Arbor #2 TheAtlantic.com
  • 2012 “Most Creative Cities”– Ann Arbor #4 The Daily Beast
  • 2012 “America’s Best Small Cities”– Ann Arbor, Money Magazine
  • 2013 “10 Coolest Cities in the Midwest” Ann Arbor, MSN Travel
  • 2012 “Top 25 Graduate Entrepreneurship Programs” Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Michigan Ross School of Business #2, The Princeton Review & Entrepreneur Magazine
  • 2013 “Best Destination for Green Travelers” (top 10)- Travel Nerd
  • 2014 “Top Community Well-Being” #6 – Gallup- Healthways ranking
  • 2014 “Top 10 Best City for New College Grads” # 7- Livability.com ranking
  • 2014, Ann Arbor ranked #1 Swim City
  • 2014, “Top 10 Intelligent College Towns in America” #1- ZoomTens.com
  • 2014, “Best Midsize Cities to Raise Children” #3- mylife.com
  • 2014, “Great College Towns to Retire To”- Kiplinger.com
  • 2014, “One of the Best Food Towns in the Midwest”- Midwest Living Magazine
  • 2015, “Michigan’s Top 25 School Districts” #1 and #21- Bridge Magazine
  • 2015, “Top 100 Best Places to Live” #13- Livability.com
  • 2015, “Top 25 Bike-to-Work Cities” #18- treehugger.com
  • 2015, “Top 50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever” #20- collegeranker.com
  • 2015, “Small American Cities of the Future Human Capital” #1- fDi magazine
  • 2015, “Small American Cities of the Future Overall” #10- fDi magazine