Published in Economic Development

Growth Report: November 23, 2019

BY MIBIZ STAFF Saturday, November 23, 2019 04:52pm

Here is the growth report for November 23, 2019.

M&A

  • Kalamazoo-based Edwards Garment Co. has acquired Vancouver, British Columbia-based Bishop Custom Clothing, according to a report in Promo Marketing Magazine. Edwards Garment, a provider of career apparel for the hospitality, restaurant, casino, hotel, transit and security industries, will keep Bishop’s operations in Canada as part of the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Traverse City-based Forkardt Inc. has acquired the assets of the Soft Touch technology from Saginaw-based General Manufacturing Systems Inc., according to a statement. The deal, which closed in October, will strengthen Forkardt’s workholding capabilities and portfolio of intellectual property to serve clients in the automotive and aerospace industries. The technology is used in aluminum die casting and for thin-walled components that are at risk of deformation in traditional workholding systems. Terms were not disclosed. Forkardt is part of Elmira, N.Y.-based Hardinge Inc., a multinational machine tool builder. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Star Truck Rentals Inc., a truck leasing and maintenance provider, acquired the South Bend, Ind.-based operations of Schilli Nationalease, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Jackson-based private equity firm Fresh Water Ventures closed on the acquisition of  Marshall-based Kidder Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Formed early this year, Fresh Water Ventures targets investments in small businesses in small towns and other rural markets across the state with the intent of maintaining operations in their hometowns.
  • Holland-based Performance Plus Quick Lubes has acquired Farmington-based Colonial Oil Exchange Inc., according to a statement. Performance Plus was advised on the deal by Small Business Deal Advisers, an affiliate of Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Expansion

  • Mercy Health began construction this month on a $20 million, 40,000-square-foot primary care and outpatient medical center in Norton Shores on what had been the site of a Kmart store. The center will consolidate three Mercy Health primary care practices into a single location and house 25 care providers. Brighton-based Lindhout Associates Architects PC designed the facility. Holland-based Elzinga & Volkers Construction Inc. is the general contractor.
  • Access Medical LLC, a durable medical equipment company in Kalamazoo, expanded its office in the North Professional Building on the Ascension Borgess Hospital campus. The expansion enables the company to consolidate staff from three separate locations in Kalamazoo County, and includes private offices for respiratory therapists, a conference room and a shared workspace area.
  • Cedar Springs Brewing Co. plans to open Küsterer Brauhaus, a German-style beer hall, at 642 Bridge Street NW in Grand Rapids. Brewery founder David Ringler expects the location to open in 2020. Weber Developments LLC is developing the site for the beer hall. Cedar Springs Brewing is working with Integrated Architecture to design the location, and is still interviewing general contractors for the project. 
  • Detroit-based Two James Spirits LLC plans to open a tasting room in early December at 740 Michigan St. NE in Grand Rapids. The distillery will occupy a former seating and event space inside 7 Monks Taproom, and have a separate entrance within the building. Two James will offer bottles and a fully-functioning bar that serves craft cocktails.
  • Lambert & Co., a Grand Rapids-based investor relations and public relations firm, has expanded into the Southwest U.S. with the hiring and acquisition of a team of professionals based in Phoenix, Ariz. led by 30-year public relations veteran Michelle Olson. The Phoenix office will function as a platform for Lambert & Co. to serve markets on the West Coast. 
  • Wyoming-based Posh Nails & Spa LLC leased a 2,496-square-foot space at 38 Commerce Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids and opened in early November. Tony Ly, the owner, and his wife have been in the business for about 14 years. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan assisted the salon in leasing the space, and worked with the landlord, MP2 LLC, on the transaction.

Manufacturing

  • Grand Rapids-based Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Corp. settled a lawsuit with Ann Arbor-based Benteler Automotive Corp. about payments Gill was demanding as it prepared to close its Bond Avenue production plant in Grand Rapids by April 2020. In the lawsuit, Benteler alleged Gill was demanding “ransom” from its customers as it dealt with serious financial problems. Last month, Gill told Benteler that it was insolvent, had entered into a short-term forbearance agreement with its lender and was in the process of selling off its plants and operations, according to the court filings. The production in question stems from contracts with the former GR Spring & Stamping Inc., which Gill acquired in 2014. The request was “a normal course of action when automotive manufacturing facilities consolidate operations or shut down a facility — as Gill is doing at the Bond Ave. site,” Gill President and CEO David DeGraaf said in a statement about the settlement emailed to MiBiz

Real estate

  • Spectrum Health purchased a professional office building at the northeast corner of Michigan Street and College Avenue in Grand Rapids from an affiliate of Jade Pig Ventures LLC, a Grand Rapids-based real estate, development and property management firm. Spectrum Health paid $3.9 million for the Medical Mile facility, according to property records. Through a spokesperson, Spectrum Health said it has no current plans to redevelop the location, which houses Northwood Universitys Grand Rapids campus and a clinic for Quest Diagnostics.
  • Magnus Capital Partners of New York City broke ground this month on the $35 million HOM Flats at 28 West project to build a 226-unit apartment community at the former Studio 28 property in Wyoming. Kentwood-based general contractor Rohde Construction Co. Inc. is working on the project along with Grand Rapids-based architecture firm Hooker DeJong Inc., Exxel Engineering Inc. and American Preferred Management
  • Grandville-based The Grand Castle LLC has secured a $48.3 million bridge loan from Maryland-based real estate finance firm Walker & Dunlop Inc. The 24-month, floating-rate loan includes full-term interest-only payments and enables the owner of the Grand Castle to pay off its existing construction debt with time to lease the remaining units at the property, according to a statement. The 522-unit Grand Castle Apartments is 70-percent occupied.

Craft beverage

  • Grand Rapids-based Gray Skies Distillery LLC has rebranded as Eastern Kille Distillery following a trademark dispute with global spirits maker Campari, which owns the Skyy vodka brand. Campari, a global $1.9 billion company, opposed Gray Skies’ trademark application, saying the name was “likely to cause confusion” with its existing mark for Skyy. The two parties started settlement talks in February of this year, with Gray Skies withdrawing its trademark application on Oct. 29.

Health care

  • The psychiatric urgent care center that Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services opened in the spring treated nearly 3,000 people during its first six months, proving a need to improve access to behavioral health care. The patient volume recorded at the urgent care center, located at Pine Rest’s 68th Street campus in Cutlerville, was “right about where we thought we would be,” said Pine Rest CEO Mark Eastburg.
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