Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith

Staff Writer, covers real estate and economic development
Twitter: @BizSyd
Email: [email protected]

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Planning Commission postponed talks about allowing recreational marijuana businesses in the city to hold more discussion on separation requirements and other aspects of the ordinance.

Thursday, 23 January 2020 08:07

Kids’ Food Basket expands in Holland

HOLLAND — Kids’ Food Basket, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that distributes meals for children, is expanding its efforts in Ottawa and Allegan counties.

BATTLE CREEK — New Holland Brewing Co. LLC will begin construction next month on its third brewery and taproom in West Michigan after securing a final funding source from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Wheeler Development Group has proposed transforming a city-owned parking lot into a $55 million 24-story tower in downtown Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS — After getting the first step in the approval process from the city, nonprofit developer Amplify GR still has more steps to take before beginning a large-scale development proposed in the Boston Square neighborhood.

BATTLE CREEK — A grant for real estate projects is bringing needed development and activity to downtown Battle Creek.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Mid-Michigan property management firm has acquired Hopson Flats, a mixed-use property in Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tribally owned Gun Lake Investments and Waséyabek Development Co. have jointly acquired McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz has learned.

GRAND RAPIDS — Partners including the founder of now-bankrupt 616 Lofts LLC have launched a new venture that is proposing a mixed-use housing development in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood.

GRAND RAPIDS — Compass Insurance Agency is proposing a Class A office expansion along the Grand River north of downtown Grand Rapids.  

GRAND RAPIDS — Bazzani Building Co. has started construction on a new housing project in the city’s Belknap Lookout neighborhood that will run entirely on renewable energy. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Planning Commission today approved a conceptual plan for a large-scale mixed-use district in the city’s Boston Square neighborhood.

BATTLE CREEK — Battle Creek-based Jay Andrew Development Co. has been awarded a $250,000 grant to support its plans to rehabilitate a downtown Battle Creek building.

The various pockets of development in Allegan County make the area difficult to define in broad strokes. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The 308 solar panels installed atop St. James Apartments and Townhomes will help reduce electricity costs included in the rents for residents in the project’s 36 affordable housing units. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Amplify GR is proposing a large-scale mixed-use district in the city’s Boston Square neighborhood. 

As consumers’ shopping habits change and the retail sector reacts to new technology-driven disruptions, retail industry watchers in West Michigan remain optimistic about the year to come. 

Following a busy year for real estate transactions across the region, NAI Wisinski of West Michigan Partner Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely, who specializes in the office market, expects more of the same in 2020. She projects strength across all commercial real estate segments, especially in the area surrounding downtown Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids-based Integrated Architecture LLC is coming off a year with many transformative development projects, including Studio Park and Bridge Street Market. While being as diversified as possible, the firm also will focus on how it can contribute to solutions to the housing crisis in 2020, said Mike Corby, executive vice president at Integrated Architecture. Overall, he feels optimistic, yet cautious, for 2020.

Companies working in the marijuana industry are expecting a busy year in 2020, as more licensed businesses open and additional communities begin regulating recreational operations. 

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce continues to seek out ways to address the persistent talent issues that local companies are facing. Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber, said the organization is advocating for ways to attract talent at the local and state levels, including by expanding programming in 2020. 

After unseating the two-term incumbent in the November election, Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks got right to work after being sworn into office. Holland is in the midst of several large projects, including brainstorming the framework that will inform the development of its waterfront, increasing affordable housing in the region, considering an anti-discrimination ordinance and rewriting its zoning. All of these projects will move along in 2020, as Bocks and city officials also keep an eye on the economy.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) has agreed to pay $5.5 million to resolve allegations that it failed to disclose on federal grant applications that Chinese government grants that funded two of its researchers, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

After a deposition leaked in the racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co., the brewery again made national headlines when Graci Harkema, its diversity and inclusion director, publicly resigned after less than a year in the position. Founders went on to settle the lawsuit, although the case has remained a topic of conversation in the craft beer industry. Meanwhile, Harkema has started her own business, Graci LLC, to focus on sharing diversity and inclusion best practices within the adult beverage industry.

Four proposed affordable housing projects in West Michigan have been awarded federal tax credits.

GRAND RAPIDS — An affiliate of Grand Rapids-based RDV Corp. is exploring adding a boutique hotel to a 13-story downtown apartment building.

OSHTEMO TWP. — Ascension Borgess plans to build a $20 million new cancer center on one of Western Michigan University’s campuses near Kalamazoo.

MUSKEGON — The state of Michigan is providing funding assistance for a new mixed-use development in downtown Muskegon.

CASCADE TWP. — Cascade Township officials have voted to purchase a facility to use for its consolidated township offices.

Plainfield and Algoma townships have reached a tentative $69.5 million settlement in the case filed by the state of Michigan against Rockford-based Wolverine World Wide Inc. over PFAS contamination.