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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

GRAND RAPIDS — A year after starting her boutique real estate law firm, Sara Lachman is moving operations to leased office space in an iconic downtown Grand Rapids building.

KALAMAZOO — A grant program launched last year to provide crucial relief to small businesses in Kalamazoo at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic will offer a second round of funding to 90 additional businesses.

Kalamazoo County and the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council are receiving a total of $900,000 in federal grants to assess commercial and industrial brownfield properties.

MUSKEGON — Agri-Med LLC’s three dispensaries — which operate as Park Place Provisionary in Muskegon, Edmore Provisionary in Edmore, and Exit 9 Provisionary in Nunica — will be rebranded and operate as New Standard stores under an agreement announced this week. 

WALKER — The Walker City Commission has approved plans for a new 285,000-square-foot speculative industrial manufacturing building and the creation of an industrial development district on the property.

GRAND RAPIDS — Construction is expected to start next spring at the historic Sligh Furniture Co. factory near downtown on what would be one of the city’s biggest housing developments in recent years.

It’s been a year since social media timelines were filled with Black Lives Matter hashtags, messages of solidarity with people of color, and promises to address racism as organizations responded to the national racial justice movement.

Jazz McKinney started as executive director of the Grand Rapids Pride Center on March 15 after previously serving as the organization’s interim director and chair of its Transgender and Gender-Non-Conforming Committee. Originally from Detroit, McKinney — who uses they/them/their pronouns — is a Grand Valley State University graduate and longtime Grand Rapids resident.

PORTAGE — For years, Le Nails owner Jennifer Nguyen provided manicures for some of her regulars on a strict two-week schedule. 

Multifamily and industrial are the two hottest commercial real estate markets in West Michigan while the outlook for office and retail is comparatively less optimistic, according to a new first quarter commercial real estate trend report.

GRAND RAPIDS — New York City-based Magnus Capital Partners LLC is proposing to build 47 affordable apartments on the city’s west side. The site plan for the HŌM Flats development at 960 Bristol Ave. NW includes five separate buildings and would be available for households earning wages of 40 percent to 80 percent of the area median income. 

Restaurant owners can start applying today for $28.6 billion available under the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

PLAINFIELD TWP. — The Plainfield Charter Township Planning Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of the Reimagine Plainfield Plan, which recommends ways to build vibrant places, encourage green space, and make Plainfield Avenue north of I-96 more of a destination.  

GRAND RAPIDS — The two-year redevelopment of the former Grand Rapids Christian High School building into a variety of uses, including 40 affordable apartment units, is now complete.

GRAND RAPIDS — The autonomous shuttle that runs through downtown could transition to an on-demand format with new vehicles under a proposal before city officials to renew the pilot program that’s set to expire on April 30.

While Millennials are the largest generation by population and the largest group of homebuyers, the 25-to 40-year-old demographic also faces some of the steepest challenges to buying a home. 

GRAND RAPIDS — When the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold of the country last year, Kevin Chaperon took the at-home bread baking trend to the next level and opened a ghost kitchen concept called Blacklist Bagels LLC. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids is partnering with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation on what has been a years-long process of creating a fund to increase the amount of affordable housing.

GRAND RAPIDS — Conceptual plans for a massive mixed-use redevelopment on the block of the Sligh Furniture Co. building received Grand Rapids Planning Commission approval Thursday. 

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has launched Black, Asian and Latinx business councils within its organization to better serve businesses owned by people of color.

WAYLAND — The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe, will add a hotel and resort amenities as part of a $300 million expansion planned at its Gun Lake Casino, the tribe announced today.

The retail industry was among the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns, but West Michigan’s commercial real estate sector is showing signs of recovery and creating optimism among experts.

WALKER — The city’s Planning Commission approved the rezoning of the former Lincoln Country Club Wednesday, the first step in the new owner’s plan of constructing a mixed-use development on the site.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Cleveland-based logistics and data security company is the future tenant of a vacant industrial site on the city’s south side.

WYOMING — The owners of the Garage Bar & Grill are selling the bar to the owners of India Town, a restaurant located adjacent to the bar along South Division Avenue.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Pennsylvania-based civil engineering firm that specializes in the design, inspection and rehabilitation of bridges is opening an office in Grand Rapids. 

MUSKEGON — Grand Rapids-based RedWater Collection has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire its eighth golf course in West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Chris Wawee, owner of MWS Wholesale Auto Outlet in Grand Rapids is expanding operations just north of his business after acquiring property that houses Al’s Trailer Mart.

As national trends show a rapid decline in the value of shopping malls, West Michigan commercial real estate experts are most worried about the fate of RiverTown Crossings in Grandville.

Opening a cannabis dispensary comes with significant barriers, but West Michigan entrepreneurs are looking at opportunities other than retail storefronts to get their foot in the door of the burgeoning industry.

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