Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses


Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 22:27

State of the City: Mayor Bliss outlines ‘next version of Grand Rapids’

GRAND RAPIDS — Mayor Rosalynn Bliss outlined the “next version” of Grand Rapids during her eighth State of the City address, emphasizing the need for more housing density to meet demand, completing major riverfront projects and improving policing.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 20:47

State, local leaders ‘lay the groundwork’ for statewide housing plan

GRAND RAPIDS — State and local housing leaders are beginning to collaborate on ways to accomplish goals established in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Statewide Housing Plan.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 16:19

Ronald McDonald House West Michigan plans $2M expansion to meet growing needs

GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan nonprofit that provides free temporary housing for families of children receiving medical care plans to renovate and expand its Grand Rapids campus after experiencing pandemic-related delays.

Thursday, 16 March 2023 15:49

Grand Rapids residents prioritize housing, transportation, sustainability in next master plan

GRAND RAPIDS — Sustainability, transportation and placemaking are top priorities for Grand Rapids residents as city officials prepare a 20-year master plan to guide future development.

Thursday, 16 March 2023 10:35

DeVries Jewelers plans to redevelop west side Grand Rapids eyesore 

GRAND RAPIDS — DeVries Jewelers plans to tear down the abandoned Lannings’ restaurant on Grand Rapids’ west side to make way for a new storefront for the fourth-generation, family-owned jewelry retailer. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 16:15

Housing developer seeks to replace units at Grand Rapids project with daycare center

GRAND RAPIDS — The developer behind a Grand Rapids workforce housing project that recently broke ground seeks to replace 10 ground-floor apartments with a daycare center to help address the widespread shortage of child care options.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023 19:36

$8.5M Grand Rapids spending plan calls for affordable housing, neighborhood investments

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have released a plan for spending $8.5 million in federal funding primarily on repairing or building hundreds of affordable housing units and creating homeownership opportunities.

Monday, 13 March 2023 17:21

Workforce development leaders seek state funding for community, short-term training

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan workforce development leaders say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest budget proposal should include a greater focus on short-term training programs and community organizations currently excluded from state-funded talent initiatives.

Friday, 10 March 2023 17:48

House Rules Board Game Lounge expanding Grand Rapids bar, adding kitchen

GRAND RAPIDS — House Rules Board Game Lounge plans to add a kitchen and expand its space to accommodate busy weekends at the bar, which features a collection of board games for customers as well as weekly trivia nights.

Thursday, 09 March 2023 19:44

Grand Rapids neighborhood rebounds from failed developments with new sense of optimism

GRAND RAPIDS — Less than a decade ago, the Creston Neighborhood was positioned to be “that next hot spot” in the city of Grand Rapids. A developer planned two mixed-use housing projects in the neighborhood’s business district, spurring other businesses to plan for expansion or relocating to the neighborhood.

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 15:41

Local governments use cannabis tax revenue to offset budget deficits, promote equity 

Some Michigan municipalities are getting creative with how they spend tax revenue coming back from their licensed cannabis businesses, while others are using the annual funding for core services and resolving budget deficits.

Tuesday, 07 March 2023 13:55

Grand Rapids amphitheater design progresses, will appeal to ‘younger generation’

GRAND RAPIDS — Developers are making progress on the design and overall vision for a Grand Rapids riverfront amphitheater, which they call “the largest proposed redevelopment of a riverfront in the nation at this point.”

Tuesday, 07 March 2023 12:53

West Michigan firm working to reverse trend of ‘too few minorities in construction’

A portfolio of West Michigan businesses has tapped a longtime statewide policy advocate to help lead its strategy to bring more people of color into construction and related sectors.

Monday, 06 March 2023 16:28

Muskegon’s Rake Beer Project to relocate to former Pigeon Hill taproom, expand with new coffee concept

MUSKEGON — Rake Beer Project LLC is moving its brewery and taproom across downtown Muskegon to the former Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. space, where owners also plan to debut a new coffee concept.

Friday, 03 March 2023 10:32

DeVos family sells historic Peninsular Club building in downtown GR for $6.4M; University Club moving in

GRAND RAPIDS — A DeVos-owned building with a “long, storied history” in downtown Grand Rapids recently sold for nearly $6.4 million, and is set to once again house a private social club.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023 13:14

Apartments to replace vacant commercial space at 15-story Exchange Building in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO — The developer of a 15-story mixed-use project in downtown Kalamazoo will now fill one floor with 21 apartments instead of initially planned commercial space, which became “extremely challenging” to fill as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday, 25 February 2023 12:44

Grand Rapids Trans Foundation moves into offices with full-time executive director

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Trans Foundation plans to grow its programming via new office space and a full-time, paid executive director position for the first time in the nonprofit’s seven-year history after being entirely volunteer-run.

Sunday, 26 February 2023 18:22

Twisthink completes ESOP transition, readies HQ move to Grand Rapids

From transitioning to being an employee-owned company and moving its headquarters, Twisthink LLC is going through many changes as the digital consulting firm aims to attract more people to its team.

Sunday, 26 February 2023 18:04

Magnus Capital Partners navigates financial obstacles to deliver workforce housing project

Despite construction cost escalations and a range of delays, real estate development and investment firm Magnus Capital Partners broke ground in December on a 240-unit, $51.5 million multifamily housing project in Grand Rapids.

Sunday, 26 February 2023 18:00

Substitute staffing firm Edustaff attracts PE backing to propel national growth

Grand Rapids-based Edustaff LLC has quickly grown over the last dozen years from a regional company to the third-largest staffing organization in the country for substitute teachers.

Thursday, 23 February 2023 20:07

Neighborhood, planning concerns stall affordable housing project in Belknap Lookout

GRAND RAPIDS — A 52-unit affordable housing development proposed in Grand Rapids’ Belknap Lookout neighborhood faces opposition from nearby residents and a city planning board about whether the project fits in the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 14:15

Honeycrisp Ventures closes on Zeeland property to add nearly 1M square feet of industrial space

ZEELAND — Ada-based developer Honeycrisp Ventures LLC recently closed on a former 45-acre agricultural site in Zeeland that will be converted into nearly 1 million square feet of much-needed industrial space.

Monday, 20 February 2023 21:15

Catalyst Partners opens ownership opportunity to employees in ‘company-affirming’ restructuring

GRAND RAPIDS — Leaders of environmental consultancy Catalyst Partners LLC started transferring ownership of the firm to a group of its employees in December in what has been a years-long journey. 

Friday, 17 February 2023 16:11

Grand Rapids cannabis operators ask city to rethink ‘impossible’ social equity goals 

GRAND RAPIDS — Cannabis operators want Grand Rapids officials to provide more education and clarity around the city’s Cannabis Social Equity Policy, as well as make policy changes so more operators can comply with their social equity promises.

Friday, 17 February 2023 11:43

Retailer Tuesday Morning to close Grand Rapids, Portage locations amid bankruptcy filing

Discount home goods retailer Tuesday Morning plans to close more than half of its U.S. stores, including locations in Grand Rapids and Portage, after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. 

Thursday, 16 February 2023 15:02

Adelaide Pointe moves ‘full steam ahead’ after Muskegon OKs project changes

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon City Commission approved amendments on Tuesday that will pave the way for construction to begin on the $250 million Adelaide Pointe development along Muskegon Lake.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023 16:27

Affordable housing developers plan second 52-unit project in GR’s Belknap Lookout neighborhood

GRAND RAPIDS — A group of affordable housing developers plan to construct a three-story, 52-unit apartment building next to the Union Suites on Coit housing project that is currently under construction in Grand Rapids’ Belknap Lookout neighborhood. 

Sunday, 12 February 2023 18:00

State invests $275M to create new tools for housing projects, blight elimination

Advocates are awaiting details on how to access $275 million in new funding programs to address the state’s housing shortage.

Sunday, 12 February 2023 18:00

West Michigan downtowns show signs of resilience, despite lagging office market

With the exception of a shaky office market, business leaders in West Michigan are reporting largely healthy downtown city centers with increased visitors, an influx of businesses opening and new projects under construction.

Thursday, 09 February 2023 16:51

‘We come in peace’: Rezoning OK’d for $150M GR development over concerns from industrial neighbor

GRAND RAPIDS — The city Planning Commission has signed off on rezoning key parcels to facilitate a $150 million mixed-use redevelopment, despite concerns from a nearby business about whether the project conforms to surrounding industrial uses.

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