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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

Convention centers across West Michigan are gearing up for business following recent orders from state officials, hoping to return as key drivers of economic activity in communities.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nonprofit In the Image is in the process of moving locations after the city of Grand Rapids bought its aging building along South Division Avenue to relocate a fire station. 

ZEELAND — The time and money invested to renovate the MedViron LLC and Industrial Woodworking Corp. offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been more than worth it for President and CEO Brad Davis.

HOLLAND — Owners of a new specialty market pushed back the opening this spring of Market Zero in downtown Holland because of the pandemic, but they are already eyeing an expansion to the storefront next door.

GRAND RAPIDS — Leaders of the Grand Rapids Symphony got creative over the past six months with new ways of sharing music with the community. But as capacity restrictions begin to lift on venues, the orchestra is gearing up again for in-person audiences.

 GRAND RAPIDS — Ann Arbor-based C3 Industries LLC is opening a cannabis dispensary in southeast Grand Rapids on Monday.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP — Hamburger Mary’s is set to open its first Michigan location later this month near Grand Rapids, bringing with it the karaoke, drag shows and drag queen bingo the restaurant franchise is known for.

Two West Michigan affordable housing projects have secured $1.9 million in a recent funding round from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

GRAND JUNCTION — Boutique contractor Integro Builders LLC is moving its headquarters from Chicago to West Michigan where it plans to expand and meet growing demand caused by the pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — New zoning restrictions on cannabis businesses near youth centers in Grand Rapids are “highly likely” to face litigation, the city attorney’s office says.

WEST OLIVE — Ottawa County is considering a plan to dissolve its planning commission, which local officials call an “outdated government layer” that could be repurposed in other areas of county government.

KENTWOOD — Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes has purchased a commercial office building in Kentwood where the nonprofit will consolidate a series of business education programs for K-12 students across West Michigan.

Occupancy rates are slowly inching back up, but regional tourism leaders say it will take years for hotels to make up for lost profits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of That Early Bird Cafe and Little Bird restaurants — like countless other businesses — have taken stock of what works well during the pandemic, both to weather the short-term disruption as well as set themselves up for long-term success.

Grand Rapids Community Media Center — which runs WYCE-FM radio station, GRTV, The Rapidian news outlet and the Wealthy Theatre — continues to serve the community during the pandemic but had to scale back many of its operations this year.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids is developing an inclusion program meant to encourage the contracting of minority-owned, women-owned and micro-local businesses in projects involving public investment through tax incentives. 

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation has added a stronger racial equity analysis to its longtime Impact Investment Loan program.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand River has historically divided the city of Grand Rapids in multiple ways, but as redevelopments have ramped up in recent years, leaders of a restoration plan are stressing the importance of making the river accessible to all residents. 

The owner of two industrial properties in West Michigan has launched a new joint venture with a boutique Saudi investment firm to take ownership of the commercial real estate. 

FREMONT — The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a 10-year Renaissance Zone tax abatement for Gerber Products Co.’s $36 million expansion at its Fremont facility.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids City Commission has approved a brownfield tax incentive plan for a 10-unit apartment project in the city’s East Hills neighborhood.

GRAND RAPIDS — As fall and winter weather approaches, city of Grand Rapids officials are examining ways to make outdoor seating that restaurants have relied on during the COVID-19 pandemic into a year-round option. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Former Second Lady Jill Biden and congressional candidate Hillary Scholten visited the Kids’ Food Basket headquarters on Tuesday in Grand Rapids to highlight the growing issue of food insecurity.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Opportunity for Women is accepting applications through Sept. 26 for its ReStart Kent loan program. 

SAUGATUCK — Business and civic leaders along the West Michigan lakeshore realized in March that COVID-19-related shutdowns could have a devastating effect on the already short summer tourism season that fuels the beach towns’ local economies.

GRAND RAPIDS — Local housing nonprofits are beginning to vet dozens of vacant properties made available through the state’s Land Bank Authority in an effort to fill the city’s need for affordable housing.

GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of Brewery Vivant have gotten creative out of necessity when it comes to virtual schooling for their two children, sharing the responsibilities with two other families in their neighborhood.

Housing nonprofit leaders say the temporary halting of residential evictions issued recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a positive short-term move, but could cause a large wave of evictions at the end of the year.

GRAND RAPIDS — Interior design company and Haworth Inc. dealer Interphase Interiors is relocating its downtown headquarters to the ground floor of a $5 million office building under construction along the Leonard Street business corridor on the city’s West Side.

GRAND RAPIDS — Genesis Non-Profit Housing Corp. is planning a multi-family housing development with 38 apartment units earmarked for affordable housing on the city’s West Side.

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