Google to Build Michigan Facility

Google Inc. (GOOG) plans to open a new facility in the Ann Arbor area and hire up to 1,000 workers there over the next five years, according to published reports.

The plan, which officials said would boost Michigan's economy, was scheduled to be unveiled at a news conference in Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday morning, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News said.

They said Google would announce plans to build an office for its AdWords unit, which handles "pay-per-click" advertising to users of Google's Internet search engine.

"This is a huge, huge, huge, huge thing," Gov. Jennifer Granholm told Free Press columnist Tom Walsh. "It's a tremendous statement about Michigan having a cutting-edge work force."

Google co-founder Larry Page, an East Lansing native and University of Michigan graduate, was a major supporter of the decision to locate in Ann Arbor, Granholm said.

"It's going to be a blockbuster deal," James Epolito, president and chief executive of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., told The Detroit News. "We have been working closely with Google for a long time on this."

Democrat Granholm is being challenged for re-election by Republican Dick DeVos. She has been criticized for not attracting high-tech jobs to the state.

Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.0 percent in May, compared with a national rate of 4.6 percent that month. Economists have said they expect the state jobless rate to climb until 2008.

Ann Arbor is a city of 113,271 people about 35 miles west of Detroit. It is home of the University of Michigan and of a number of high-tech businesses.

The state offered Google $38 million in single-business tax breaks over 20 years, Epolito said.

"We were competing for this, and we knew it," he said.

Job opportunities with Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's Ann Arbor-area facility were expected to be available as early as Tuesday, Google officials reportedly said.

Google already has a small sales office in Southfield, Mich.