Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: March 17, 2019

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, March 17, 2019 09:38pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for March 17, 2019.


  • Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) has acquired Israel-based OrthoSpace Ltd. for an initial payment of $110 million and future considerations of up to $110 million, according to a statement. OrthoSpace has developed its InSpace technology to treat irreparable rotator cuff tears. The technology is currently going through clinical studies and has been used in 30 countries, but is not presently approved for use in the U.S. Stryker expects the deal to have an immaterial effect on this year’s net earnings.

  • Caledonia-based Opus Packaging Group Inc. is expanding its packaging portfolio with the acquisition of a fourth company, Wabash Container Corp. of Mount Carmel, Ill., a 25-year-old corrugated sheet conversion operation. Owner Steve Burton will become an employee of Opus and continue directing day-to-day operations at Wabash Container. In addition to Wabash Container, Opus operates Ohio-based Safeway Packaging Inc. and Action Packaging LLC plants in Grand Rapids and Jackson, Mich.

  • Douglas-based Saugatuck Brewing Co. plans to acquire Kalamazoo-based Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co. LLC, pending various regulatory approvals. Gonzo’s will be renamed Saugatuck Brewing Company — Kalamazoo, but will maintain several of the former brands. The new owners also plan to expand the brewery’s hours and produce Saugatuck Brewing brands on site in Kalamazoo.

  • The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians-owned DeMawating Development, a property management firm, acquired Shunk Rental Properties for $1.9 million. Through the deal, DeMawating added 87 rental properties in Kincheloe, Mich., located in the eastern U.P. about 18 miles south of Sault Ste. Marie. The deal furthers the tribe’s economic diversification efforts through the addition of revenue-generating properties, according to a statement.


  • Roll covering manufacturer Vail Rubber Works Inc. plans to invest $8.3 million for a new 68,550-square-foot facility in Berrien County’s Royalton Township after outgrowing its longtime space in downtown St. Joseph. Benton Harbor-based Pearson Construction Co. Inc. expects to begin construction on the facility in April and wrap up the project by March 2020.

  • Walker-based floor care product company Bissell Inc. plans to invest $10 million into a 25,000-square-foot office addition at its corporate headquarters at 2345 Walker Ave. NW. The project is expected to make way for about 100 new jobs, the company said. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. supported the project with a $500,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program.

  • Holland-based Composite Builders LLC plans invest over $344,000 to more than double its manufacturing space. The company serves the military, marine, energy, recreation, aerospace and architectural markets and plans to add 15 jobs with the expansion, which will accommodate larger projects, including a new 75-foot America’s Cup sailboat for Stars and Stripes Team USA.

  • Charlotte-based Spartan Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: SPAR) has expanded its dealership network in the southeastern U.S. for its Spartan Emergency Response business unit. Under an agreement, Georgia-based Peach State Emergency Vehicles, a division of Peach State Truck Centers, is now an authorized dealer for the sale and service of Spartan ER vehicles, which includes fire truck chassis, according to a statement.

  • Holt-based Moore Trosper Construction Co. has opened an office in Sault Ste. Marie in an effort to work with the local Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The new office for Native American-owned Moore Trosper, a construction management, general contracting, design-build and concrete services firm, opened at the tribes’ Tamarack Business Center. The firm has previously worked on projects for the tribe.

Venture capital

  • Cultivate(MD) Capital Fund II LP, a venture capital fund operated by Grand Rapids-based Genesis Innovation Group LLC, invested in Embody Inc., a Norfolk, Va. company that developed a collagen-based micro-fiber implant for Achilles’ heel and rotator cuff repairs. Cultivate(MD), which targets early-stage health care companies with a focus on medical devices, particularly orthopedics, led Embody’s $3.6 million capital raise. The funding will go to support pre-launch and pre-commercial activities.

Craft beverage

  • broke news this month that Pabst Brewing Co. is working with Holland-based New Holland Brewing Co. to contract distill a new product: Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey. The report was cited in various national publications, including Fox News, Esquire, The Takeout, Eater, Food & Wine, Thrillist, Bustle, Brewbound, Ask Men and a host of others.

  • Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. has expanded distribution of its beers to the state of Wyoming via a partnership with Teton Distributors, according to a statement. Founders’ beers are now available in 48 states — all but Utah and Hawaii.

Health care

  • Spectrum Health-owned hospitals in St. Joseph, Ludington, Greenville and Zeeland were among eight in Michigan to earn an Excellent Award from the Economic Alliance for Michigan, a business-labor coalition, for consistently receiving high marks and improving patient safety and quality. Eight other hospitals in the state received an Improvement Award in the 2019 Economic Alliance Hospital Patient Safety Awards, including Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids.

  • Reliance Community Care Partners, an affiliate of Holland Home, recently opened the Integrated Wellness Center on Raybrook Street SE in Grand Rapids that provides holistic mental health services to adults. The center offers treatment for depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, mood and palliative counseling with a focus on care for older adults.

Real estate

  • An affiliate of Livonia-based Schostak Brothers & Co. has purchased a 950,000-square-foot distribution facility in Grand Rapids currently occupied by Bunzl Retail Services. The company purchased the facility at 1040 40th St. SE as an investment property, according to the West Michigan office of Colliers International. Schostak Brothers paid $24.1 million for the property, which Minnetrista Investments LLC had owned since 2008, according to property records. The transaction closed Feb. 13.

  • The Kent County Department of Public Works and The Right Place Inc. have announced a development partnership for the Kent County Sustainable Business Park on about 200 acres in Byron Township and Allegan County, adjacent to the South Kent Landfill. Under the terms of a three-year agreement, The Right Place will help with the planning of the business park through business development and infrastructure planning. It will also assist the county with managing community partnerships and identifying new sources of funding for the business park.
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