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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

Staff writer, covers real estate, economic development and small business.
Twitter: @nickrmanes
Email: [email protected]

Friday, 28 September 2018 22:06

Founders Brewing to remain a Chamber member, despite endorsement controversy, prior statements

Nine days after a social media announcement that it would leave the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce over a controversial endorsement of Bill Schuette, Founders Brewing Co. has changed its mind.

Friday, 28 September 2018 20:32

GR officials plan ahead for emergence of e-scooters

Dockless electric scooters could soon become available on the streets in Michigan’s second-largest city.

Friday, 28 September 2018 20:30

Q&A: Andrew Johnson, President & CEO, The Rapid

As the new President and CEO of Grand Rapids-area Interurban Transit Partnership, known as The Rapid, Andrew Johnson hopes to leverage existing business support to grow the operation. Having previously served as the COO of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District in central Illinois, Johnson views West Michigan’s “diversified” economy as a perfect place to start in working toward better transit service. He spoke with MiBiz about the future of The Rapid and how bus service fits into mobility in West Michigan.


Friday, 28 September 2018 19:43

Transit planners push for options amid uncertainty over ridership

As transportation advocates and urban planners push new mobility strategies, they’re also working to see how new tools may affect the future of traditional mass transit.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 14:48

Officials hopeful work will resume quickly on stalled West Michigan construction projects

Contractors and operating engineers have found a temporary solution to a labor dispute that’s affected more than 150 road construction projects around the state — and three in the greater Grand Rapids area.

Monday, 24 September 2018 12:44

Schuette addresses GR Chamber endorsement controversy

Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette on Monday morning signaled further willingness to expand the state’s civil rights law following an endorsement controversy last week.


Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:35

Controversy mounts over GR Chamber endorsement of Schuette in race for Michigan governor

The backlash against the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce over its controversial endorsement of GOP Michigan gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette continues to percolate.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:40

GR Chamber faces backlash over LGBT concerns after Schuette endorsement

Over the last several years, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has sought to make diversity and inclusion a key part of its mission and culture.

Monday, 17 September 2018 11:11

Essence Restaurant Group closes Rockford location, shifts to event space

ROCKFORD — Just months after rebranding its downtown Rockford location as Rockford Riverside Grille, Essence Restaurant Group has announced it will cease restaurant operations and reopen temporarily next month as an events and banquet facility.


Saturday, 15 September 2018 20:23

Hour Media makes statewide play with acquisition of GR publications

The acquisition this month of Gemini Corp.’s assets by a Southeast Michigan publisher comes amid a broader consolidation trend in the media industry.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:09

ABC West Michigan announces Excellence in Construction Award winners

The West Michigan chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) held its 32nd annual Excellence in Construction Awards on Thursday evening.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:12

DDA to provide financial support for Hinman hotel project in downtown GR

The Hinman Co.’s scaled-back hotel project in the city’s central business district received a financial boost this morning.


Sunday, 09 September 2018 21:47

HopCat’s 2nd GR location aims to shine light on local brewing industry

GRAND RAPIDS — HopCat’s 17th location overall — and its second in Grand Rapids — comes as an “experiment” of sorts for the growing chain of craft beer-focused restaurants.

Sunday, 09 September 2018 21:30

Reporter’s Notebook: Construction crane vantage offers new views of GR’s expansion

GRAND RAPIDS — The first thing you should know about me is that I really dislike heights. I didn’t make it 200 feet into an attempt to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and I once nearly had a nervous breakdown on an outdoor patio of a 36th-floor condo.

Tuesday, 04 September 2018 16:59

GRBJ, GR Magazine acquired by Detroit-area firm

A Southeast Michigan publisher has acquired the Grand Rapids Business JournalGrand Rapids Magazine and other titles from Gemini Corp.


Friday, 31 August 2018 21:20

Q&A: Mark Nettleton - Attorney and member, Mika Meyers PLC

As a veteran attorney representing Michigan cities, townships and villages, Mark Nettleton says his clients mostly find themselves on solid fiscal footing these days. The Mika Meyers PLC attorney believes the state’s municipalities have learned the lessons of the Great Recession and are now investing conservatively in large infrastructure projects and working to ensure they’re complying with increased state mandates around the proper funding of legacy benefits. He spoke with MiBiz about the fiscal health of the state’s many local units of government.

Friday, 31 August 2018 21:07

Municipal leaders, state officials differ over emphasis on local government funding

While Detroit’s record-setting municipal bankruptcy may be a distant memory, many business leaders around the state still view the financial health of Michigan’s municipalities as a potential ticking time bomb.

Friday, 31 August 2018 20:22

BUY LOCAL: New REIT targets $90M fund for West Michigan deals

A recent investment in a Grand Rapids office complex could serve as the template for what executives hope will become a new platform for West Michigan real estate investment.


Friday, 31 August 2018 20:17

Apartment project proposed for long-vacant corner of Division and Weston

GRAND RAPIDS — A development group hopes that a small mixed-use project will fill a long-time hole in the city’s Heartside neighborhood south of downtown, MiBiz has learned.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:30

Meijer opens Bridge Street Market, announces similar store in downtown Lansing

At the opening today of Bridge Street Market, Meijer Inc.’s first foray in decades into smaller, neighborhood grocery stores, company executives say they’re “bullish” on the format and plan more similar stores, including in Michigan.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018 11:25

Amway Grand tower to overhaul exterior

One of downtown Grand Rapids’ signature skyscrapers will be given a new look in the coming years.


Sunday, 26 August 2018 19:29

West Michigan retail sites active among buyers, attract out-of-state mone

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP — West Michigan’s retail sector continues to attract investment from outside the state amid an active real estate market.

Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:34

Stately quarters or royal mess? Polarizing Grand Castle embodies developer’s dream for luxury living

GRANDVILLE –– Amid an apartment building boom across West Michigan, the Grand Castle stands out in ways few other projects do.

Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:31

Q&A: Tim Bartik - Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

The number of companies that relocate or expand in a specific area because of economic development incentives is largely “exaggerated.” That’s according to a new report from Tim Bartik, senior economist with the Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo.


Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:26

New development could transform Walker’s Standale district

WALKER — City planners hope to encourage downtown-style urbanism in the years ahead along a key suburban commercial corridor northwest of Grand Rapids.

Friday, 17 August 2018 13:20

A.J. Veneklasen one of many firms adding to industrial capacity

With extremely limited inventory for growing manufacturing and industrial users in West Michigan, developers increasingly are focusing on new construction.

Friday, 10 August 2018 12:40

Fox 17 to remain under Tribune ownership after media giant scraps deal with Sinclair

The dissolution this week of a proposed mega-merger between two media giants means the local Fox affiliate will remain under its existing corporate ownership, at least for now.


Saturday, 04 August 2018 15:51

Q&A: James Hallan, President and CEO, Michigan Retailers Association

A new report by Lansing-based research firm Public Sector Consultants Inc. determined that Michigan consumers sent $18.5 billion out of state with their growing use of e-commerce. The report, commissioned by the Michigan Retailers Association, was released in conjunction with the debut of the group’s Buy Nearby campaign that aims to educate consumers on the benefits of shopping locally. The PSC report found that if consumers switched just one out of every 10 purchases to a local retailer, Michigan would stand to gain $1.2 billion annually in increased economic activity and 10,600 new jobs in the retail industry, which already employs one in five Michiganders. MRA President and CEO James Hallan spoke with MiBiz about the trade group’s focus on the benefits of shopping locally. 

Saturday, 04 August 2018 15:00

West Michigan grocery retailers shift to tech-driven marketing initiatives

Spurred on by changing consumer shopping habits, West Michigan grocery retailers want to make the task of shopping less of a “chore” by leveraging new technology-driven initiatives.

Friday, 03 August 2018 23:09

West Michigan construction industry remains bullish as costs surge

The rising price of steel and other building materials might cause sticker shock for some developers, but the costs are doing little to curb building activity around West Michigan.


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