Staff writer, covers real estate, economic development and small business.
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Business Leaders for Michigan ramps up marketing to push vision for state’s future
Leading Michigan business executives view the state as having reached “basecamp two” in its climb up the mountain of becoming a top 10 state in terms of jobs, personal income and economic health.
Kent County releases RFI for sustainable business park
The Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW) has taken a step forward in its goal of exiting the landfill business over the next decade.
Q&A: Rob Collier, President and CEO of Council of Michigan Foundations
After nearly 20 years, Rob Collier plans to leave the role of president and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations, which is based in Grand Haven. But before Collier departs the position by the end of 2018, he’s still got “a lot of mischief that has to be created yet this year.” In his final months, Collier says he hopes to focus on a couple of key policy issues that are top of mind not only for the Council’s nonprofit and foundation membership, but also for its corporate philanthropic partners. In an interview with MiBiz, Collier also talked about how to prepare the next generation of leadership at the Council.
Construction could start on Grand River restoration next year
GRAND RAPIDS –– The Grand River helped to make Grand Rapids “Furniture City” more than a century ago, and now many believe that Michigan’s longest river will soon revert from a largely passive asset back to an active one.
HighPoint Flats, other projects helping lead the market-rate surge in downtown Muskegon
MUSKEGON –– It’s taken years, but demand for rental residential units in downtown Muskegon appears to be on the upswing.
Gubernatorial candidates differ on economic development strategy
LANSING –– The crowded field of candidates seeking to become Michigan’s next governor offer distinctly different views for how they would shape the state’s economic development policy.
Deal expands multifamily brokerage capability for Colliers in Grand Rapids
In a new deal, the Grand Rapids office of Colliers International Inc. seeks to expand its multifamily business.
Downtown Market reports sales growth as it continues to restructure debt
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market continues to restructure long-standing debt tied to a state economic development incentive as it attempts to stabilize its finances.
Two West Michigan TV stations up for sale as Sinclair looks to close Tribune Media deal
The path to regulatory approval for a mega-merger of two broadcast television conglomerates could result in the sale of one of their stations in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Plaza Roosevelt plans approved by Grand Rapids City Commission
A collaborative real estate development project on Grand Rapids’ southwest side received its final city approval on Tuesday night and now plans a fall groundbreaking.
Kentwood senior living facility acquired by Chicago firm
Pathway Management LLC, a Chicago-based senior housing real estate firm that does business as Pathway to Living, has acquired a Kentwood senior living and memory care facility.
Land deal would clear way for city-owned riverfront park in downtown Grand Rapids
A long-discussed park on the banks of the Grand River just north of downtown Grand Rapids could take a couple steps closer to reality this week.
Workforce development initiatives show signs of progress
By focusing on an internal culture that favors employee retention and support for external training initiatives, some West Michigan executives say they’ve largely avoided any problems associated with labor shortages.
Take two: National experts say Grand Rapids a good prospect for city manager candidates
GRAND RAPIDS –– As city officials retool their efforts to find a new top executive for Grand Rapids, national experts say there’s a ripe market nationally for talent.
Density at what cost? Zoning proposals spark tensions between Grand Rapids policymakers, neighborhoods
GRAND RAPIDS — Proposals to upzone several Grand Rapids neighborhoods in an attempt to address housing issues have exposed deep divisions among local stakeholders.
GR Mayor discusses economic development issues in 3rd State of the City address
In her third State of the City address on Thursday evening, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss presented the city as being open for business, but acknowledged it also needed to address various economic disparities.
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. appoints new top executive, board members
The nonprofit organization that administers the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority and several downtown events has new leadership.
Sources: Lighthouse Insurance plans to move nearly 150 employees to downtown GR
Lighthouse Insurance Group Inc. plans to move between 130 and 150 employees to an office in downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz has learned.
The Rapid secures federal funding for Laker Line
The Rapid’s second enhanced transit line connecting downtown Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus can now move forward after clearing a key bureaucratic hurdle.
Grand Rapids to leverage open data for better policy making
GRAND RAPIDS –– The city of Grand Rapids over the next year will join the growing ranks of cities around the world seeking to enhance their data management practices.
Rockford Construction expands Detroit presence with historic redevelopment project
With a historic renovation project in Detroit, a Grand Rapids-based construction management firm is positioning itself for the next step in its regional expansion.
Franklin Partners unveils plans for proposed GR office tower
GRAND RAPIDS –– When developer Franklin Partners LLC brings its proposed seven-story downtown office tower to market in the coming years, it will offer tenants Class A office space that’s currently in short supply across the city.
West Michigan startup scales up blockchain mining operation
WYOMING — Tucked away in a nondescript warehouse in a Grand Rapids suburb, hundreds of custom-built computer servers are at work 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Meritage Hospitality on lookout for future deals, CEO says
With a string of acquisitions completed early in the year, executives at Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU) say they will be on the lookout for the right transactions, but also take some time to integrate their recent deals.
Studio Park developers acquire downtown GR parking lots for movie theater project
One of the largest proposed developments in downtown Grand Rapids in recent years took a significant step forward on Thursday.
Trio of Grand Rapids affordable housing projects receive federal tax credits
Three proposed Grand Rapids developments have received more than $2.7 million in federal tax credits for the creation of affordable housing units.
Downtown Market extends its development incentive loan repayment
For the fourth time since 2014, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market has asked permission to keep paying only the interest on its loans tied to a state economic development incentive as it seeks to restructure its debt load.
Q&A: Ryan Kilpatrick, Ottawa Housing Next
Ryan Kilpatrick hopes to lend his experience in economic development to a new housing initiative in Ottawa County. After four years as a senior community assistance specialist at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Kilpatrick departed from the organization this month to become the first executive director of Ottawa Housing Next, a public-private partnership tasked with bringing more affordable housing options to Ottawa County, the state’s fastest growing municipality. Before making the transition, Kilpatrick spoke with MiBiz about how the organization hopes to tackle the need for affordable housing in the lakeshore community.
ICCF takes ‘leap of faith’ in acquiring massive residential property portfolio
The $14.5 million acquisition of 177 homes in the Grand Rapids and Lansing areas required a “leap of faith” from Ryan VerWys and his team at the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF).
New report shows ‘cultural’ economic development a top priority for Michigan cities
Mayors and city officials across Michigan consider economic development a top priority in their communities, but they tend to put more emphasis on placemaking and quality of life than jobs and entrepreneurship.