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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

Prices and lead times for construction materials continue surging to historic levels, yet local architecture and construction firms say their workloads aren’t being adversely affected.

With fewer COVID-19 restrictions on in-person shopping and rising consumer confidence, retail experts and small business owners hope to see an increase in holiday shopping compared to 2020

BYRON TWP. —  Pam Liggett isn’t sure whether the nonprofit she leads would exist today if it wasn’t for Special Olympics Michigan Inc.’s new headquarters that’s anchoring a hub for several West Michigan nonprofits south of Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — Wheeler Development Group LLC is planning a 52-unit townhome community northeast of Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS — Construction has started on an $18.6 million, mixed-use development with 120 apartments on Grand Rapids’ west side. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Rapids-based South East Market LLC have received a nearly $127,000 federal grant to help fund a program addressing food insecurity. 

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have taken another step toward approving $22 million in brownfield incentives for Spectrum Health’s Center for Transformation and Innovation campus.

KENTWOOD — Midwest Air Filter Inc. recently consolidated its Lansing and Grand Rapids locations into a 60,000-square-foot facility in Kentwood.

GRAND RAPIDS — Terra Bagels LLC is expanding with a second location, branching out from the city’s Eastown neighborhood to a downtown Grand Rapids storefront at the Michigan Trust Building that was previously occupied by Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.  

West Michigan’s commercial office market is in a lull as companies remain hesitant to bring back workers while offering more flexible schedules, leading to worsening vacancy rates and a lack of investment in new construction.

Kevin Farhat has a fully staffed Garage Bar & Grill near downtown Grand Rapids, and he’s hired about 30 more people to work at a new location opening soon in Ada.

Women have been slower than men to return to the workforce over the past year and a half. They are more often held back by childcare complications from the pandemic and are likely being dissuaded from returning to frontline positions with low pay.

Jessa Challa’s interest in geographic information system (GIS) mapping led her to start working in 2019 as a software engineer at Grand Rapids-based tech firm Mallowfields LLC. In September, she became CEO of the company.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved a special land use request Thursday for a developer’s plan to construct a three-story, mixed-use building that will include a new expanded location for The Peoples Cider Co. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Construction recently started on a $12 million, 50-unit apartment complex that’s been in the works since 2017 in the city’s Belknap Lookout neighborhood. 

GRAND HAVEN — Architecture and engineering firm TowerPinkster is expanding in West Michigan with plans to open an office in Grand Haven.

GRAND RAPIDS — A music school that operates under the same name and a similar style to the movie “School of Rock” is coming to Grand Rapids. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The owner of southern-style restaurant The Candied Yam LLC is eyeing an expansion with a new banquet hall and restaurant along South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids. 

PLAINFIELD TWP. — The side wall of the Witmark building came crashing down Thursday as workers began demolishing the blighted building that has sat vacant for about 20 years.

HOLLAND — Fifth Third Bank is looking to sell its historic branch building in downtown Holland.

KALAMAZOO — State officials have approved a loan and brownfield incentives for a $13.2 million, five-story mixed-use development planned at a former industrial site north of downtown Kalamazoo. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Nonprofit housing developer Dwelling Place is planning to construct nearly 50 single-family condominium units in Grand Rapids that would be permanently affordable under a community land trust model.

BYRON CENTER — Among the dozens of retailers at Tanger Outlets outdoor shopping mall in Byron Center, a husband and wife duo are looking to capitalize on the growing movement of dedicated selfie destinations.

GRAND RAPIDS — Five years ago, Jason Richardson couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy a tricycle freezer cart he found on Craigslist. It was the first step in starting artisan popsicle business Any Colour You Like Treats LLC with his wife, Korin Hollinshead.

Plainfield Township-based architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE Inc. recently grew its team with Vlad Torskiy, who has more than 25 years of experience in health care architecture and strategic planning.

Multi-state retailer JARS Cannabis has announced plans for two more West Michigan dispensaries following the recent completion of a store in Grand Rapids.

KALAMAZOO — Plans for a Career and Technical Education Center in Kalamazoo County are moving forward following anonymous gifts of $100 million and property for the project, economic development officials announced today.

GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of Butcher’s Union and O’Toole’s Public House are planning another restaurant just off of Bridge Street on Grand Rapids’ west side. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health has filed a Brownfield Plan Amendment for its new Center for Transformation and Innovation, an eight-story office tower planned for the Monroe North neighborhood near downtown Grand Rapids. 

TowerPinkster and Indiana-based Kovert Hawkins Architects Inc. are merging to create a more geographically diverse design firm, the companies announced today.

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