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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

As national trends show a rapid decline in the value of shopping malls, West Michigan commercial real estate experts are most worried about the fate of RiverTown Crossings in Grandville.

Opening a cannabis dispensary comes with significant barriers, but West Michigan entrepreneurs are looking at opportunities other than retail storefronts to get their foot in the door of the burgeoning industry.

Men and women both experienced steep declines in employment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but on average, the workforce for men is back to pre-pandemic levels in Michigan while women have left the workforce at disproportionate rates. 

Have Mercy, the state-funded shelter for Montcalm and Ionia counties, recently received a $500,000 grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis as well as $5,000 from Mercantile Bank of Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Four new housing options located in downtown Grand Rapids will be available to first year and transfer Grand Valley State University students in the fall.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Western Michigan University Cooley Law School building in downtown Grand Rapids is on the market for $19.8 million.

GRAND RAPIDS — Wolverine Building Group has expanded its footprint to Southeast Michigan with the acquisition of Brighton-based construction firm Contracting Resources Inc.

GRANDVILLE — Kerkstra Precast Inc., a producer of precast and prestressed concrete products in Michigan, has new owners. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Two years after it rejected a similar plan, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission has approved a developer’s 30-unit apartment complex over objections from some nearby residents.

WALKER — Developers are planning a 552-unit apartment complex at the English Hills Country Club property in Walker.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city’s first cannabis dispensary has launched a business incubator called Fluresh Accelerator, which aims to increase access and equity in the growing cannabis industry.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Brix at Midtown Apartments in Grand Rapids has sold for $68.25 million to a New York City-based real estate and development firm, the buyer announced Friday.

Several Michigan communities are at risk of losing crucial federal funding under proposed changes to their designation as metropolitan areas, which local officials say would negatively affect services and economic development efforts.

KALAMAZOO — Kalamazoo County is determining how to allocate funding from a recently approved housing millage after a failed attempt to turn the vacant Lakeside Academy campus into a much-needed housing development.

West Michigan housing experts say a program recently rolled out by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority will help stabilize renters and landlords who have been struggling financially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kent County restaurant owners will get a break from paying food service licensing fees for 2021 after county commissioners approved the one-time waiver on Thursday.

State economic development officials on Tuesday approved brownfield incentives and performance based loans for three mixed-use apartment projects in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Middleville. 

GRAND RAPIDS — New City Neighbors is in the process of relocating its operations from Fourth Reformed Church following a dispute last year over the church’s position on sexual orientation and gender identity.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Detroit-based real estate development firm plans to renovate the historic Sligh Furniture Co. building to create 753 housing units and 22,647 square feet of ground floor retail space.

ROCKFORD — The owner of prime downtown property along the Rogue River is suing city officials over “unlawful, discriminatory, unreasonable and confiscatory zoning practices” that are allegedly preventing successful developments there.

The COVID-19 vaccine is “the ticket out” of the pandemic and will play a key role in employees’ return to the workplace, state officials said Monday while announcing a workgroup to provide recommendations for office safety.

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP — A 280-unit apartment complex near Kalamazoo has sold for $19.65 million to Bender Companies, a Chicago-based multi-family real estate investment firm.

In a typical year, around 40,000 office workers a day are in downtown Grand Rapids buying coffee or lunch, or sticking around to shop or attend an event. 

The West Michigan lakeshore office market has remained relatively stable during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to larger cities like Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago, according to city officials and real estate experts. 

Venue owners celebrated in late December when the $900 billion federal stimulus package was passed and included $15 billion earmarked for live venues. But more than two months have passed and funding applications still haven’t been released, pending guidance from federal officials.

GRAND RAPIDS — The first phase of the trunk sewer relocation project that will allow for redevelopment along the city’s Market Avenue SW corridor was approved Tuesday by the Grand Rapids City Commission.

GRAND RAPIDS — A medical cannabis dispensary under construction on the city’s northwest side is expected to be finished by mid-June.

GRAND RAPIDS — Owners of indoor event centers are pushing state officials for expanded capacity limitations and a clearer reopening timeline as key COVID-19 metrics continue to decline and vaccines become more widely available.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners voted 7-4 Tuesday to suspend its 2021 funding to Southwest Michigan First as the fallout continues over the organization’s brief hire of former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield as CEO.

GRAND RAPIDS — A planned mixed-use development calls for demolishing a former YMCA building on Grand Rapids’ West Side and replacing it with four stories of retail and 119 apartment units.

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