Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses
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Factory Yards developer to seek up to $103M in ‘transformational brownfield’ funding for Grand Rapids project
GRAND RAPIDS — Developers behind the $150 million Factory Yards redevelopment south of downtown Grand Rapids plan to seek rarely used state tax incentives to offset substantial costs of the project.
Lakewood Construction acquires Royal Glass, aims to grow construction footprint
HOLLAND — Lakewood Construction Co. plans to learn from a recently acquired glazing business to expand its project scope and its footprint into new geographies.
Tribally owned Mno-Bmadsen’s acquisition of Indiana real estate firm built on years of collaboration
DOWAGIAC — Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of an Indiana commercial real estate firm.
Grand Rapids architect going ‘back to my roots’ with purchase of Leonard Street building
GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids architect plans to relocate his firm to a corridor near his childhood home on the city’s northwest side that he sees as the next bustling district in the city.
Holland residents to determine future of waterfront in May election
HOLLAND — A May ballot initiative in which city voters will determine a potential land swap will make or break decades-long efforts to redevelop industrial waterfront property near downtown Holland.
West Michigan housing organization may have to cut services as funding flatlines
GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan housing services and education nonprofit may have to cut back services this year as public funding support flatlines while costs and needs increase.
Grand Rapids advances relocation plan to clear path for downtown amphitheater
GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have approved a $2.2 million contract with the architect designing a new public services facility, which will help to facilitate the development of a downtown amphitheater.
MEDC awards $1.1M to grassroots Kalamazoo housing, daycare project
KALAMAZOO — The Michigan Strategic Fund board has approved gap and brownfield funding for a highly anticipated, years-long effort to redevelop a vacant property near downtown Kalamazoo into housing and a child care facility.
‘Unique’ mixed-use housing project pitched for northwest Plainfield Township
PLAINFIELD TWP. — Developers have introduced plans for a mixed-use housing project in northwest Plainfield Township that local officials say is a “different way of thinking, … unique” and aligned with broader goals around growing housing density.
Developer plans $9M spec industrial project in Gaines Township
GAINES TWP. — Robert Grooters Development Co. plans to break ground in April on a nearly 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial facility just south of Kentwood in Gaines Township.
State of the City: Mayor Bliss outlines ‘next version of Grand Rapids’
GRAND RAPIDS — Mayor Rosalynn Bliss outlined the “next version” of Grand Rapids during her eighth State of the City address, emphasizing the need for more housing density to meet demand, completing major riverfront projects and improving policing.
State, local leaders ‘lay the groundwork’ for statewide housing plan
GRAND RAPIDS — State and local housing leaders are beginning to collaborate on ways to accomplish goals established in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Statewide Housing Plan.
Ronald McDonald House West Michigan plans $2M expansion to meet growing needs
GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan nonprofit that provides free temporary housing for families of children receiving medical care plans to renovate and expand its Grand Rapids campus after experiencing pandemic-related delays.
Grand Rapids residents prioritize housing, transportation, sustainability in next master plan
GRAND RAPIDS — Sustainability, transportation and placemaking are top priorities for Grand Rapids residents as city officials prepare a 20-year master plan to guide future development.
DeVries Jewelers plans to redevelop west side Grand Rapids eyesore
GRAND RAPIDS — DeVries Jewelers plans to tear down the abandoned Lannings’ restaurant on Grand Rapids’ west side to make way for a new storefront for the fourth-generation, family-owned jewelry retailer.
Housing developer seeks to replace units at Grand Rapids project with daycare center
GRAND RAPIDS — The developer behind a Grand Rapids workforce housing project that recently broke ground seeks to replace 10 ground-floor apartments with a daycare center to help address the widespread shortage of child care options.
$8.5M Grand Rapids spending plan calls for affordable housing, neighborhood investments
GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have released a plan for spending $8.5 million in federal funding primarily on repairing or building hundreds of affordable housing units and creating homeownership opportunities.
Workforce development leaders seek state funding for community, short-term training
GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan workforce development leaders say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest budget proposal should include a greater focus on short-term training programs and community organizations currently excluded from state-funded talent initiatives.
House Rules Board Game Lounge expanding Grand Rapids bar, adding kitchen
GRAND RAPIDS — House Rules Board Game Lounge plans to add a kitchen and expand its space to accommodate busy weekends at the bar, which features a collection of board games for customers as well as weekly trivia nights.
Grand Rapids neighborhood rebounds from failed developments with new sense of optimism
GRAND RAPIDS — Less than a decade ago, the Creston Neighborhood was positioned to be “that next hot spot” in the city of Grand Rapids. A developer planned two mixed-use housing projects in the neighborhood’s business district, spurring other businesses to plan for expansion or relocating to the neighborhood.
Local governments use cannabis tax revenue to offset budget deficits, promote equity
Some Michigan municipalities are getting creative with how they spend tax revenue coming back from their licensed cannabis businesses, while others are using the annual funding for core services and resolving budget deficits.
Grand Rapids amphitheater design progresses, will appeal to ‘younger generation’
GRAND RAPIDS — Developers are making progress on the design and overall vision for a Grand Rapids riverfront amphitheater, which they call “the largest proposed redevelopment of a riverfront in the nation at this point.”
West Michigan firm working to reverse trend of ‘too few minorities in construction’
A portfolio of West Michigan businesses has tapped a longtime statewide policy advocate to help lead its strategy to bring more people of color into construction and related sectors.
Muskegon’s Rake Beer Project to relocate to former Pigeon Hill taproom, expand with new coffee concept
MUSKEGON — Rake Beer Project LLC is moving its brewery and taproom across downtown Muskegon to the former Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. space, where owners also plan to debut a new coffee concept.
DeVos family sells historic Peninsular Club building in downtown GR for $6.4M; University Club moving in
GRAND RAPIDS — A DeVos-owned building with a “long, storied history” in downtown Grand Rapids recently sold for nearly $6.4 million, and is set to once again house a private social club.
Apartments to replace vacant commercial space at 15-story Exchange Building in Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO — The developer of a 15-story mixed-use project in downtown Kalamazoo will now fill one floor with 21 apartments instead of initially planned commercial space, which became “extremely challenging” to fill as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grand Rapids Trans Foundation moves into offices with full-time executive director
GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Trans Foundation plans to grow its programming via new office space and a full-time, paid executive director position for the first time in the nonprofit’s seven-year history after being entirely volunteer-run.
Twisthink completes ESOP transition, readies HQ move to Grand Rapids
From transitioning to being an employee-owned company and moving its headquarters, Twisthink LLC is going through many changes as the digital consulting firm aims to attract more people to its team.
Magnus Capital Partners navigates financial obstacles to deliver workforce housing project
Despite construction cost escalations and a range of delays, real estate development and investment firm Magnus Capital Partners broke ground in December on a 240-unit, $51.5 million multifamily housing project in Grand Rapids.
Substitute staffing firm Edustaff attracts PE backing to propel national growth
Grand Rapids-based Edustaff LLC has quickly grown over the last dozen years from a regional company to the third-largest staffing organization in the country for substitute teachers.