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Design Build (139)

GRAND RAPIDS — While Michigan State University’s future $88.1 million biomedical research facility is expected to have an impact on the region’s scientific research community, the project also demonstrates the strength of the real estate market in Grand Rapids.

A pair of Grand Rapids-based companies involved in the construction and development industry now have a way to show they practice what they preach about green building and design.

The planned merger of two international cement producers will result in a new owner for a Grandville-based operation and could lead to more competitive pricing for the commodity in the West Michigan market.

To diversify from casino gaming, Dowagiac-based Mno-Bmadsen, the private equity and economic development arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, is extending its reach into the fields of construction management and design-build services. The company recently created 7 Generations Construction LLC, with offices in Kalamazoo and South Bend, Ind. The firm, led by construction industry veteran Robert Farkas, will work alongside partner organization 7 Generations Architecture and Engineering LLC (7GenAE). Farkas spoke with MiBiz about the firm’s goals for skilled trades training as well as a new joint venture to pursue federal contracting work with Wisconsin-based construction management firm Greenfire Management Services LLC.

Students hold the overall aesthetic experience of a college campus on par with the quality of the education it offers, and that is leading to new construction and development projects at higher educational institutions in West Michigan.

The mixed-use projects beginning to take shape around Kalamazoo’s central business district and its nearby neighborhoods point the way forward for the city’s growing commercial real estate market.

Businesses frequently run into challenges when they look to upgrade to more efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC equipment. Namely, the new systems can be really expensive to purchase and the payoff for the investment can take years.

There aren’t many landlords hanging up “For Lease” signs these days in greater Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids has the lowest vacancy rate for apartments of any U.S. metropolitan market, and savvy developers see that as a business opportunity. As evidence, they have more than 1,400 residential units committed or currently under construction across the city.

Heading into its second year, West Michigan Design Week hopes to build on the success the program had in its inaugural year. Architect Greg Metz, a principal at Lott3Metz Architecture and a co-founder of West Michigan Design Week, spoke with MiBiz about what design culture means to the region and how architecture has an impact.

When general contractor Triangle Associates Inc. wants to survey tall buildings or provide customers with an aerial perspective of their projects, the firm can now turn to a new piece of technology: an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), better known as a drone.

The recent announcements of a proposed speculative office tower and the unveiling of plans for Michigan State University’s long-anticipated Biomedical Research Center in Grand Rapids point to heightened demand for modern facilities in the city’s central business district.

When Bill Kirk signed on to work as mobility manager for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., he had the option to use a company-supplied, assigned parking space.

Despite numerous headlines in recent months touting the death of the traditional American shopping mall, West Michigan developers have been fortunate to have their projects avoid an untimely demise.

Contractors in the greater Grand Rapids area maintain a positive outlook at the start of the new year.

Kendall College of Art and Design thinks that for West Michigan to continue ramping up its reputation as a hub for design-based companies, it must make clear what “design-centered thinking” is all about.

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