VG stays put in Ypsi

Remember how I mentioned a week or so ago that our local screen-printing shop VG Kids was looking to relocate to Ann Arbor? Well, I have good news. It looks as though, as of a few minutes ago, they’ve just signed a deal with local developer Bill Kinley to move into 8,000 square feet that he owns near the EMU campus, and very close to SPUR Studios.

As much as I’d like to, I can’t take sole credit for saving the day. While I reached out to Kinley, and Marks, the owner of VG Kids, suggesting that they work together, I wasn’t the only one to do so. The same day that I made my post about the situation, I’m told that both Mayor Paul Schreiber and Amanda Edmonds, the executive director of Growing Hope, made similar calls to both parties.

It seems as though the planets were aligned this time… We saved a dozen or so jobs, and kept a cool, arts-centric company here in town. I think that’s is something worth celebrating.

And, I think this demonstrates, among other things, the power of blogs, and the power of community. The fact that VG is staying in town is a testament to the power of this little network that we’ve put together here. Five years ago, that might not have been the case. And that’s something to be thankful for.

One last thing… I’d like to thank Bill Kinley. I didn’t know Bill a few years ago. I didn’t know him until I posted something here about a local project that he was involved in, that I didn’t see the value in. (I think I may have used the phrase “elevator to nowhere.”) Bill held the opposite view, and, instead of choosing to fight it out online like most folks, he proposed that we meet over oatmeal and bacon. I don’t think we came to any agreement about the project in question, but I liked Bill and we kept in touch. And, a year or so later, he invited me out to look at his property, which had been outfitted as an institutional kitchen, and discuss possible uses. Well, as you might have surmised, that property is the one that VG will now be moving into. And it happened in part because Bill is a stand-up guy who took the time to get to know a local gadfly who had pissed him off.

Here’s wishing Bill and James the very best… If you don’t already, give your printing business to VG!

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19 Comments

  1. tim
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Great to hear the good news! But what will that mean to downtown now that VG is moving out? I know James and VG was pretty involved with helping the revitilization of downtown. What if any impact/input will there be from the young and creative ideas they had for the vision of downtown?

    *Really excited about Shadow Art Fair on Saturday!

  2. Oliva
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Excellent demonstration of the practical good that can come from heart-fueled civic energy and engagement. Our town, so full of promise and some very special people . . . bravo!

  3. Candace
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I am SO happy to hear VG found a bigger locale IN ypsi that will allow them to stay here! i was very concerned about losing such a presence and quite jealous to think A2 might get one of our cool/funky business owners!

  4. Jules
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Great news. May something really cool pop up in the vacated space. A yarn shop would be nice.

  5. kjc
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    excellent.

  6. Jennifer
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Hooray! Yay for Ypsi! Thanks to everyone who helped to find a solution.

  7. MLT
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Where are the comments from that guy who said they’d never stay here in Ypsi?

  8. Movin' Out
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Good to hear. Best of luck with the move.

  9. Kim
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Now we need to find a good retail business to take their spot on Michigan Ave. Any ideas?

  10. Citizen Blogger
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I need some clarification. VG has two current spaces in town – one is the storefront space on Michigan Avenue. Several commentors above seem to think this is the space in question. The other is their nearly-invisible basement production space close to the edge of town. That’s the one I thought they were looking to move. Or would both current spaces be consolidated into the new space?

    Just so everybody knows what we’re talking about…

  11. EE Bubble Legs
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    It’s my understanding that VG would consolidate customer service and production in the new facility, vacating the Mich Ave storefront as well as their space beneath the plasma center.

  12. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Hell Yes!

  13. Suzie
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Sweet!

  14. What's In a Name
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Here’s for a win for Bill Kinley, indeed a great guy who’s done more for Ypsi development than most, a win for VG Kids and a win for Ypsi.

    It will be interesting to see what happens along Railroad St. there. I’ve always found that street interesting and full of potential because it has no real definition currently and no plans for the future.

  15. dp in ypsi
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I wish you had a “like” button, as on facebook.

    Good show!

  16. Posted December 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Citizen Blogger, EE Bubble Legs was correct. The store on Michigan Ave will be closing, and they’ll be running customer service and production together. It’s a great space that they’ll be leaving, and I hope that someone is able to take advantage of it. That strip of downtown could benefit from a lively little store of some kind (home goods, practical clothes, etc.).

  17. rex
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    the new vg kids space will have a commercial kitchen?

  18. Woody Lefurge
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    On the one hand, I’m a firm believer that the right space exists in Ypsi for VG Kids. On the other, I hope they know what they’re doing by locating on what I assume to be one of the hardest to find and access spots in Ypsilanti. Try giving directions. Try taking a left at that light. In or out.

    It would be great, great for production. But for sales? Might as well locate at the corner of Short and Bell.

    I fret that VG Kids’ good intentions may lead to them being sold on a street to nowhere…

  19. Posted December 5, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Yes! :) This is awesome news! Where’s that super negative anon commentator now? That’s what I thought.

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  1. […] open: Supino’s Pizzeria, GGGTP crepes and Leopolds, and City Bird. The Supino story echoes the VG Kids story – he had almost given up on finding a spot in Detroit, he came to the first Open City meeting, met […]

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