Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: March 31, 2019

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, March 31, 2019 10:17pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for March 31, 2019. 


  • Grand Haven-based Klever Innovations, which designs, produces and sells a line of concealed bladed safety cutters, was acquired by Irvine, Calif-based Pacific Handy Cutter Inc., according to a statement. The deal complements Pacific Handy Cutters’ line of safety cutting tools for the grocery, industrial and retail markets.

  • Allendale-based Jimdi Plastics Inc., a plastic injection molder, sold to individual investor Reed Lawrie in a deal that closed Dec. 31, according to a report in Plastics News. Grand Rapids-based Praxis Business Brokers LLC represented the sellers. The company serves customers in the office furniture supply chain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lawrie said in the report that he plans to move from Troy to Grand Rapids to be closer to the company.

  • Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co. (Nasdaq: SSP) plans to acquire eight television stations, including Grand Rapids-based Fox 17 WXMI, in the most recent arrangement to come from the mega-merger of Texas-based Nexstar Media Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) and Chicago-based Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO), which owns the local station. Under the proposed deal, Scripps will pay $580 million to acquire WXMI in an eight-station deal spanning seven markets. The sales would close at the completion of the Nexstar deal for Tribune.


  • Lansing-based Green Peak Innovations LLC, a medical marijuana company, secured more than $30 million in mezzanine debt financing and announced expansion plans. The largest holder of Class C medical marijuana cultivation licenses, Green Peak Innovations plans to open 19 provisioning centers to sell medical marijuana under the Skymint brand. The first center could open within a few months. CEO Jeff Radway called the financing “an important step” in the company’s plans. The financing round was oversubscribed, he said. Green Park also plans to significantly expand an R&D facility and its 60,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Eaton County’s Windsor Township.

  • Family Financial Credit Union plans to open an office at High Point Flats, an eight-story mixed-use apartment building at West Western Avenue and First Street in downtown Muskegon. The credit union will lease 3,500 square feet from Parkland Properties of West Michigan LLC. Headquartered in Norton Shores, the credit union also has branches in North Muskegon and Hart. Family Financial had $112.3 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2018, and more than 16,000 members, according to a quarterly report filed with federal regulators.

  • Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers LLC hopes to open a new satellite tasting room at 102 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven. The initial plans call for a 1,000-square-foot tasting room and possible outdoor seating. If the Grand Haven plans come to fruition, the tasting room will be the second for Long Road, which also operates a tasting room in Boyne City. The distillery has a full-service bar and restaurant at its main Grand Rapids operations.


  • Grand Rapids-based Priority Health earned more than $137 million across all business segments in 2018, led by strong growth in the bottom line of its core HMO business. A significantly higher gain on underwriting health policies pushed Priority Health’s HMO business to $123.8 million in net income for 2018, according an annual financial statement filed with state regulators. The result compared with $78.6 million in net income in 2017 for the HMO business, which is by far Priority Health’s largest segment. Priority generated $3.18 billion in total revenues for the HMO business, which recorded a $102.5 million net underwriting gain, an increase of 67 percent from the prior year, and $20.6 million in net investment income.
    Health care

  • Spectrum Health-owned hospitals in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Zeeland and St. Joseph are among seven facilities in Michigan ranked in an annual list of the 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. The Grand Rapids-based health system’s Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals rated among the top 15 major teaching hospitals in the annual list prepared by IBM Watson Health. Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph, which Spectrum acquired last October and is now known as Spectrum Health Lakeland, ranked among the top 25 top teaching hospitals for the second time. Zeeland Community Hospital made the list of top 25 small community hospitals for the 10th time.


  • The state of Michigan received $10 million from New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of a national initiative to address the opioid crisis. The New York City-based Bloomberg Philanthropies chose Michigan and Pennsylvania as the first two states to receive funding through a $50 million initiative aimed at the fast-rising opioid overdose death rate. Michigan ranks eighth in the U.S. in the number of overdose deaths from opioids. The state recorded 2,694 drug overdose deaths in 2017, a 14-percent increase from the 2,335 deaths in 2016, according to an announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office. Opioids were responsible for more than three-quarters of the drug overdose deaths.

Real estate

  • Grand Rapids-based Madison Lofts LDHA LLC, co-owned by Brad Gruizinga, Nick Lovelace and Tom Ralston, plans to convert the vacant former Faith Ministries Center Church at 200 Madison Ave. SE into 22 affordable apartments. The developers expect to apply for low-income housing tax credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in the April funding round. The partners, who acquired the property in December via public auction, also signed a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the city of Grand Rapids. The 22 apartments would be a mix of 14 two-bedroom units and eight one-bedroom units, as well as a community room. If the Madison Lofts project successfully secures LIHTC funding, the developers hope to break ground in October and wrap up construction about a year from then.

  • Ohio-based MVAH Development LLC, a development, construction and property management firm, is working with Grand Rapids-based LINC UP on the proposed mixed-use Eastern Lofts project at 623 Eastern Ave. SE. The proposal involves the construction of a four-story building and three two-story townhomes to create a 70-unit affordable rental development, located on Eastern Avenue between Sherman Street and Thomas Street at the current site of Brother Love’s Towing LLC. The developers are seeking more than $14 million in capital contribution through Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in the April funding round. The total estimated cost of the project is more than $17 million.

  • Mall owner Brookfield Property Partners LP has purchased the former Younkers store at RiverTown Crossings in Grandville. The purchase came as part of A&G Realty Partners’ auction of 10 department store properties formerly owned by Milwaukee-based The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018. The Younkers location at The Lakes Mall in Fruitport Charter Township near Muskegon was also included in the auction. According to property records, the two-story 150,081-square-foot anchor store at RiverTown Crossings sold for more than $4.4 million. Bon-Ton originally purchased the Grandville facility for $16.4 million in 2006. Great Neck, N.Y.-based Namdar Realty Group, the owners of The Lakes Mall, purchased the 106,131-square-foot former lakeshore Younkers facility, which was situated on a more than 9-acre site. A purchase price for the lakeshore site was not immediately available.
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