Ann Arbor’s 4M campus to mix health living, working and mobility practices

Innovative work/live ecosystem combines environmental efficiency, healthy collaboration

A rendering of the 4M campus at 830 Henry St, Ann Arbor. Courtesy of Eric Zughaib. (Prentice 4M)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Leverage the share economy while saving money and living with your team in Ann Arbor’s latest collaborative space. 

4M, pronounced forum, blends coworking, co-living and healthy collaboration together in Ann Arbor’s Lower Burns Park neighborhood. 

Eric Zughaib, one of the four founders of Prentice 4M, said the ecosystem, made up of over 10 townhomes and several coworking spaces, can act as an incubating space for startups or a convenient space for freelancers and larger corporate teams. It offers residents a cheaper way to live and work as they grow their projects through on-site amenities and mobility options.

Residents can enjoy the bonuses of the share economy while living and working in a space focused on healthy collaboration. 

4M and its founders want to support residents, so they have included all of the bells and whistles freelancers or remote working teams may need.

Fiberoptic internet, attached to a commercial-grade firewall system, will be available throughout the campus, as well as bookable conference rooms, a podcast studio and an on-site video stage. 

Professional staff will also be available to help residents with needed insight, a network of investors and space for meetings or to pitch demos.

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A rendering of a workspace at the 4M campus. Courtesy of Eric Zughaib. (Prentice 4M)

But 4M also focuses on a healthy environment and has taken health-conscious precautions, like the purposeful use of antimicrobial surfaces or sanitizing UV lights in coworking spaces. Residents will be asked to wear masks in shared spaces, which will be regularly cleaned, and cleaning stations will be available for residents to sanitize desks or workspaces.

Additionally, there will be an air pumping system in 4M’s Flex space, a large lower level multipurpose space, that adds oxygen to the environment while reducing pollutants, odors, bacteria and viruses.  Zughaib said that in-unit air systems are also top of the line in terms of hygienic cleansing.

Large spaces, like conference rooms, or the on-site podcasting studio will be cleaned in between uses and residents will have touchless entry into their townhomes and private suites. 

“We want our residents to excel, rather than just view us as a landlord. We like to view ourselves as providing Housing as a Service,” Zughaib said, adding that 4M will work with its residents if, for example, they get sick with the coronavirus. He doesn’t anticipate all of the campus’ townhomes to be fully booked right away, so suites can be set aside for isolation or quarantine if needed.

While construction stopped for many months because of the current coronavirus pandemic, Zughaib said that allowed the 4M team to refocus and prioritize.

“But also, the pandemic boosted the perception of working remotely and working in spaces that allow you to save money, as opposed to burning all this cash on owning a car, you don’t use because you can’t go anywhere right now,” said Zughaib. “You also use your car far less than the time you own it, making it a stranded asset for most of the time you own it.”

“I think that people have restructured their finances and how they think about things.”

4M will offer transportation to those living on the campus as one of its amenities. Cars powered by internal combustion engines won’t be allowed in the Flex space but a shuttle bus will be available to residents. Other mobility options at 4M will include Spin scooters and bookable electric vehicles.

Each 4M townhome includes private resident suites, private bathrooms, a large kitchen and a great room equipped with a conference-call ready tv. 

The campus is currently under construction but Zughaib said it will go live some time in the fall. 

Learn more about the campus and its collaborative spaces here. 

A rendering of a 4M workspace. Courtesy of Eric Zughaib. (Prentice 4M)

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.