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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

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

Friday, 03 August 2018 22:42

Kalamazoo DDA seeks to avert ‘crisis’ with new business model

KALAMAZOO — Officials in Kalamazoo hope that a shift in structure for its Downtown Development Authority will spur new projects and encourage continued investment in placemaking initiatives.

Friday, 03 August 2018 13:28

Report highlights immigrants’ role in Michigan’s small biz economy

Immigrants play an outsized role in Michigan’s small business economy, according to a new research from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 09:59

Outdoor retailer REI plans Grand Rapids store

New-to-market retailers continue to focus on the vicinity of the 28th Street-East Beltline Avenue intersection for store locations.


Sunday, 29 July 2018 19:37

Grand Rapids shifts to working with nonprofits for tax foreclosed properties

GRAND RAPIDS — A change in policy implemented earlier this month by the City of Grand Rapids could boost inventory for affordable housing organizations.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 10:27

GR City Commission unanimously adopts medical marijuana ordinance

Grand Rapids City Commissioners on Tuesday night unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance for medical marijuana businesses in the city.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:53

SpartanNash scales back job creation target needed to secure performance-based state grant

SpartanNash Co. will not meet the original employment projections included in a 2013 state incentive package.


Saturday, 21 July 2018 13:11

Milwaukee riverfront benefits from public-private partnerships

MILWAUKEE — As a wide variety of stakeholders push forward with revitalizing the Grand River corridor through downtown Grand Rapids, they have no shortage of other cities they can look to for best practices.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 13:03

Projects take shape along Grand River

In anticipation of a multifaceted effort to restore the Grand River through downtown Grand Rapids, numerous public and private partners are coming together to activate a number of key sites along the riverbanks.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 12:48

Investments flow to downtown GR's riverfront

City planners and other stakeholders are refocusing on revitalizing the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. However, that focus isn’t entirely new. An analysis done by MiBiz finds the Grand River corridor in and around downtown has received around three quarters of a billion dollars in public and private investment since the mid 1980s. Projects like the DeVos Place Convention Center, River House Condominiums and The Homes at River’s Edge have embraced the proximity to the river as an asset, even given its largely passive state. Here’s a look at some of the major projects. 


Saturday, 21 July 2018 11:49

Redevelopment boom expected as part of Grand River restoration

GRAND RAPIDS — Efforts to restore the rapids in the Grand River might be a year or more away from launching, but stakeholders already have started thinking about opportunities the project will create throughout downtown.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 11:36

Commercial real estate industry healthy, but execs expect a slowdown

West Michigan commercial real estate industry insiders see signs of a genuinely healthy market, albeit one that’s likely plateaued. 

Friday, 20 July 2018 13:24

State appeals court ruling offers clarity for medical marijuana laws

A decision handed down this week by the Michigan Court of Appeals could offer some clarity for the state’s municipalities as they evaluate land use and zoning policies for the medical marijuana industry.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018 13:53

Kent County to collect taxes from Airbnb bookings

Under a new agreement with Airbnb Inc., visitors to Kent County who use the vacation rental webite will pay the municipality’s 5 percent lodging excise tax.

Sunday, 15 July 2018 21:43

Pair of GR commissioners favor relaxed rules for medical marijuana businesses

GRAND RAPIDS — Two Grand Rapids City Commissioners have signaled their support for more liberal zoning regulations for businesses in the medical marijuana industry.

Saturday, 07 July 2018 16:46

Q&A: Fernanda Wilson, Ph.D.

The emergence of PFAS contamination in Kent County’s Plainfield Township and at other sites in Michigan and around the world has environmental consulting firms racing to catch up. Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber Inc. (FTC&H) recently opened a new division aimed at addressing PFAS issues. Dr. Fernanda Wilson, the practice’s environmental engineering lead, spoke with MiBiz about the widespread issues with the chemicals, which for decades were used for industrial purposes, fire-fighting foam and consumer goods.


Sunday, 08 July 2018 19:00

Feeling the Heat: West Michigan restaurant industry grapples with labor shortage

A struggle to find dedicated staff willing to work for minimum wage has one Grand Rapids pizza shop shifting to a focus on technology. 

Saturday, 07 July 2018 13:38

Kent County Land Bank pivots to meet growing demand for modular housing

GRAND RAPIDS — Advocates looking to alleviate the city’s affordable housing issues increasingly are turning to modular, pre-manufactured housing as one option. 

Saturday, 07 July 2018 13:30

Proposed zoning offers scant potential for medical marijuana industry in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids officials contend they’re open to bringing the medical marijuana industry to the city, but the zoning proposed for businesses in the new sector seems to suggest otherwise. 


Friday, 06 July 2018 14:16

Investor group seeks new developers for Creston neighborhood site in Grand Rapids

A long-stalled development proposal in the Creston neighborhood north of downtown Grand Rapids is on the hunt for new owners.

Sunday, 01 July 2018 08:00

16-story apartment tower in GR’s North Monroe neighborhood takes shape

A tightening apartment market in and around downtown Grand Rapids hasn’t deterred a New York City developer from moving forward with a more than $50 million project in the city’s North Monroe neighborhood.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 13:23

Ford announces City of Tomorrow mobility pilot project in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is one of three cities nationally to be selected for a pilot program from Ford Motor Co. aimed at addressing the transportation needs of today and in the future.


Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

Q&A Diana Schad: CEO, Family Business Alliance

New Jersey native Diana Schad is now leading the Grand Rapids-based Family Business Alliance as its CEO. The former Washington, D.C. lawyer — whose husband, Matt Schad, runs the family-owned Nucraft Furniture Co. — believes that family-owned businesses tend to operate very differently from other companies and therefore require specialized advocacy and research. Schad spoke with MiBiz on these topics, as well as her desire to diversify the Family Business Alliance’s membership. 

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

ROUNDTABLE: Economic developers, economists push ‘culture shift’ for Michigan

New issues have become top of mind for West Michigan economic developers and economists.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Hinman project aside, Grand Rapids apartment development likely to continue

News that The Hinman Co. plans to move forward with its long-planned tower in downtown Grand Rapids — albeit without 29 floors of residential units — indicated to many observers that the bottom has fallen out of the city’s apartment market.


Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

Proposed ordinance would limit marijuana businesses to 40 sites in GR

 GRAND RAPIDS — A proposed ordinance would limit businesses operating in the medical marijuana industry to approximately 40 sites across the city.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:00

Condo conversion slowly gaining steam in Grand Rapids market

GRAND RAPIDS — Amid Grand Rapids’ ongoing apartment-building boom, commercial real estate developers also are noticing demand for urban condominiums. 

Friday, 22 June 2018 10:51

SCOTUS online sales tax decision ‘levels playing field’ for retailers, advocates say

Thursday’s Supreme Court decision granting states greater ability to collect sales tax from online purchases marks a win for Michigan’s retail community and state coffers, according to real estate executives and business groups.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018 15:10

Amazon officially announces Gaines Township distribution facility

Amazon.com Inc. has made its first official announcement regarding the ecommerce giant’s long-planned distribution center in southeastern Kent County.

Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:28

Hinman scales back plans for proposed tower in downtown GR

A Portage developer is scaling back plans for a 42-story tower in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids that it first announced two years ago.

Monday, 11 June 2018 19:12

Sources: GFS plans grocery store on Michigan Street east of downtown Grand Rapids

Gordon Food Service Inc. plans to open a retail store along the burgeoning Michigan Street corridor, MiBiz has learned.


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