Staff writer, covers real estate, economic development and small business.
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Investor-backed firm to acquire Fox 17 in Grand Rapids
A new investor-backed media company has signed a deal to acquire the West Michigan Fox television affiliate.
Studio Park development receives $5.5 million in state loan support
The state has approved a loan for the developers of the mixed-use Studio Park project in downtown Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Mayor Bliss receives national award for small biz support
The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday awarded Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss its Partner America 2018 Small Business Advocate Award.
Q&A: Bruce Barcott, Deputy Editor of Leafly, Guggenheim Fellow in nonfiction
As a veteran long-form journalist and the deputy editor of Leafly, a marijuana-focused news organization, Bruce Barcott closely tracks the states and municipalities legalizing cannabis and the various issues that come along with it. Barcott will be the guest speaker at an event in Grand Rapids on Friday, April 20 hosted by marijuana consulting firm Canna Communications LLC. Prior to his talk, Barcott spoke with MiBiz about several of the industry trends he’s watching, as well as what states should be doing when it comes to regulating recreational marijuana, an initiative that’s likely to appear on Michigan’s November ballot.
West Michigan tech execs discuss maturing industry, attracting new workers
West Michigan-based technology executives increasingly view the industry as an up-and-coming star of the region’s economy.
Housing starts inch up in GR area
As developers have largely focused on apartment projects around Grand Rapids in recent years, many housing advocates say the demand for single-family homes and ownership options have gone unmet.
Catalyst Development plans 7-story, mixed-use building in downtown Kalamazoo
Developers are planning a multi-story, mixed-use development in downtown Kalamazoo that could begin to take shape this summer.
Franklin Partners puts North Monroe industrial building on the market
The owner of a 370,000-square-foot vacant industrial building north of downtown Grand Rapids has decided to put it on the market.
Clark Hill law firm merges with Texas firm
Detroit-based law firm Clark Hill PLC, which has offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing, announced that it will merge with a Texas law firm effective Wednesday.
Younkers plans to close Grandville store
The Younkers department store in Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville will close later this year.
Former East Hills art gallery owner takes temporary downtown GR space
Following the February closing of his longtime art gallery in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood, Richard App plans to open a new space in the central business district — at least temporarily.
Report: West Michigan economy continues to create jobs
The economy in West Michigan continues to chug along even as companies start to feel the pricing effects of steel and aluminum tariffs.
Cyclical construction industry creates unique challenges for succession planning
In the middle of an extended construction industry expansion across West Michigan, most contractors are focused on running their businesses, rather than transitioning them to new ownership.
Organizations support minority entrepreneurial initiatives in West Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS –– An array of organizations in West Michigan have launched new initiatives aimed at bridging the wealth gap in a region characterized by vast income disparities.
With new investment, Urbaneer spins out on its own
Urbaneer LLC, a provider of home furnishings geared toward smaller living units, has spun out of Rockford Construction Co. Inc.
Reports show minimal growth for Michigan economy
New economic reports show Michigan’s economy making flat to minimal growth.
Owner of two West Michigan malls to be acquired in proposed $15 billion deal
The Chicago-based owner of two West Michigan malls has reached an agreement to sell in a deal that would reportedly create one of the largest retail property companies in the country.
Atlanta firm identified as developer of reported Amazon distribution center
GAINES TOWNSHIP –– An industrial property firm with ties to retailer Amazon.com Inc. is the developer behind “Project Rapids,” a massive fulfillment center proposed for southern Kent County.
Kalamazoo Mayor Hopewell to step down next year
Bobby Hopewell, mayor of Kalamazoo since 2007, announced on Monday evening that he won’t seek re-election next year.
Grand Rapids apartment management firm makes Minneapolis acquisition
GRAND RAPIDS –– Trillium Ventures MSV LLC, a Grand Rapids-based multifamily investment and property management firm, has acquired a 112-unit apartment property in Minneapolis.
HopCat plans second Grand Rapids-area location
GRAND RAPIDS –– BarFly Ventures LLC, the Grand Rapids-based parent company of the HopCat chain of craft beer-focused restaurants, announced Monday that it plans a second location in the area.
Q&A: Marisa Kwiatkowski, Investigative Reporter at The Indianapolis Star
In 2016, reporters from The Indianapolis Star began publishing the “Out of Balance” investigative series that looked into years of sexual abuse allegations involving the USA Gymnastics organization. The investigation helped uncover the crimes of Larry Nassar, an athletic doctor at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University who is now serving essentially a life sentence for child sexual abuse and child pornography charges. Since the proceedings started, more than 250 former patients have said Nassar abused them. Marisa Kwiatkowski, one of The Indianapolis Star reporters who helped to expose Nassar, graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2005 and previously worked for the Grand Haven Tribune. Kwiatkowski returns to her alma mater on March 26 to discuss her involvement in the series at an event at Loosemore Auditorium. She spoke with MiBiz about the need for strong investigative journalism and other topics.
New codes add to construction cost, could offer returns
In an era of increasing labor and material costs, Michigan contractors and building owners now face another issue that is sending construction costs higher.
Boyne Resorts acquires 7 properties across North America
Boyne USA Inc., the Petoskey-based ski resort company that does business as Boyne Resorts, plans to acquire seven properties it currently leases and operates around North America.
Small West Michigan towns get proactive with redevelopment plans
HUDSONVILLE –– While the redevelopment of traditional small downtowns across Michigan may look different than the activity in larger, urban settings, municipalities increasingly are defining their visions and attracting investors.
Sources: Amazon in talks for distribution center in Kent County
GAINES TOWNSHIP –– Developers representing an online retail behemoth are considering a 100-acre site in southern Kent County for a “massive” distribution facility, MiBiz has learned.
Consumers Energy plans $20 million regional HQ on Grand Rapids’ west side
Jackson-based energy provider Consumers Energy plans to build a six-story, $20 million regional headquarters on Grand Rapids’ west side.
Gov. Snyder calls for more employer involvement in new workforce development initiative
As Gov. Rick Snyder works to secure a $100 million commitment for his “Marshall Plan for Talent,” he also wants to tear down silos between the education and business communities.
West Michigan’s pitch for Amazon HQ2 project included over $2 billion in state, local incentives
In choosing sites other than West Michigan, Amazon.com Inc. walked away from more than $2 billion in incentives offered by three West Michigan municipalities to the Seattle-based online retailer to locate in the region.
Meijer planning more smaller format urban stores
Meijer Inc.’s 39,000-square-foot Bridge Street Market being built west of downtown will serve as a “proof of concept” for the company’s planned expansion of smaller format urban grocery stores.