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COMSTOCK PARK — The owners of the West Michigan Whitecaps want to market Fifth Third Ballpark as a venue for big-name acts like Eminem or Bruce Springsteen, perhaps for shows as soon as this fall. 

The list of most-read stories on MiBiz.com for the first half of 2016 has a decidedly real estate and retail-related theme.  

West Michigan developers in the last week have unveiled plans for hundreds of new housing units spread around the city. From proposed new skyscrapers in the central business district to infill projects in Heritage Hill to affordable housing on the west side, developers this week ramped up the pipeline of new projects in Grand Rapids.  

Omni acquires Texas tire distributor

Written by | Friday, 01 July 2016 10:58 |

Omni United has acquired A to Z Tire & Battery Inc. of Amarillo, Texas.

Documents released this morning by the city’s Planning Commission outline further details of a proposed redevelopment project along the burgeoning Bridge Street corridor.

Backed by state incentives, developers could bring a new 52,000-square-foot mixed-use project to the north side of downtown Kalamazoo.

JR Automation Technologies LLC plans to invest $5.6 million to purchase a new facility in Holland Charter Township that will accommodate growth among its executive, engineering and other support staff.

Rockford Construction Company Inc. today formally announced plans for a redevelopment project that aims to bring 70 units of affordable housing to the northwest area of Grand Rapids.

With its share price down more than 13 percent since the Brexit vote, appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. looked to calm investors this morning by reaffirming its guidance for the 2015 fiscal year.

ZEELAND — When news of a lawsuit questioning the legality of Herman Miller Inc.’s acquisition of Design Within Reach made headlines this month, few people in the industry understood the complexity of the case. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan venture initially launched to connect college entrepreneurs across the U.S. with prospective alumni investors has merged with a U.K.-based crowdfunding platform for the education sector.

MiBiz Growth Report: June 27, 2016

Written by | Sunday, 26 June 2016 11:18 |

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for June 27, 2016.

• M&A: German company Kion Group AG, an industrial truck, material handling and logistics automation equipment manufacturer, plans to acquire Dematic Corp. for approximately $2.1 billion in what executives described as a “landmark” transaction. The deal values the logistics and automation firm, whose North American operations are based in Grand Rapids, at an enterprise value of $3.25 billion, according to a joint statement. Dematic generated $1.8 billion in revenues and $166 million in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes during the calendar year 2015. Kion Group will acquire Dematic from funds managed by New York City private equity firm AEA Investors LP and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter pending regulatory approval, also carves out “certain liabilities,” according to a statement.

Stock prices of West Michigan’s publicly traded companies tumbled on Friday as Wall Street succumbed to the uncertainty caused by the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union.

While Steelcase Inc.’s first quarter earnings largely met executives’ expectations, the company projects a decline in revenues and orders in its second quarter, driven largely by uncertainty in the global market.

A combination of a rebounding North American market and robust performance from niche categories led to a strong finish for Herman Miller Inc.’s 2016 fiscal year.

The Right Place Inc. President and CEO Birgit Klohs has one word to describe her reaction to the United Kingdom’s decision yesterday to leave the European Union: Disappointment.

Neighborhood cafe and roastery Rowster Coffee Inc. is planning to introduce a new concept to the city’s West Side.

Grand Rapids law firm Varnum LLP has pledged another $1 million in free legal services to startups in Michigan.

A wedge-shaped parking lot in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids could be transformed into the site of the tallest building in Grand Rapids and one of the tallest in the state.

Grand Rapids-based Blandford Nature Center has launched the public phase of its $10.3 million expansion, renovation and endowment campaign.

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