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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners voted 7-4 Tuesday to suspend its 2021 funding to Southwest Michigan First as the fallout continues over the organization’s brief hire of former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield as CEO.

GRAND RAPIDS — A planned mixed-use development calls for demolishing a former YMCA building on Grand Rapids’ West Side and replacing it with four stories of retail and 119 apartment units.

KALAMAZOO — Construction recently wrapped up on the $14.7 million mixed-use Creamery development in Kalamazoo, which includes 48 apartment units at affordable rates. 

GRAND RAPIDS — One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom and the nearly century-old Cottage Bar and Restaurant have both sold a year after one of the owners announced plans to retire and find a buyer for the businesses.

KALAMAZOO — A new hotel under the REVERB by Hard Rock brand is planned for the former Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co. building in Kalamazoo.

Twelve Native American tribes in Michigan received $14.8 million in Indian Housing Block Grant funds for affordable housing projects, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday. 

West Michigan community colleges saw thousands of applications through the Futures for Frontliners program unveiled by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year to cover tuition for workers deemed essential during COVID-19 shutdown orders.

BYRON CENTER — It’s hard for Break Room Therapy owner Dawn Levian to tell whether she is getting more customers by word of mouth since opening two years ago or because people are looking for an outlet for pandemic-induced stress. 

KALAMAZOO — Former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield’s weeklong run as CEO of Southwest Michigan First spurred a wave of backlash from the community that has damaged the economic development organization’s reputation, officials say. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A new conceptual plan from Grand Action 2.0 outlines a host of downtown development possibilities along the Grand River and Market Avenue corridors. 

GRAND RAPIDS — When indoor dining was prohibited across the state last year and earlier this year because of COVID-19, Davide Uccello turned to the cannabis industry as a sector that managed to be successful despite lockdown orders. 

HOLLAND — A luxury five-story residential and commercial building planned in Holland received approval Tuesday from the Michigan Strategic Fund board for $2.2 million in brownfield incentives. 

GEORGETOWN TWP. — Hudsonville-based nonprofit Hand2Hand recently purchased a former Aldi grocery store to consolidate its office and warehouse space into one location.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation has dropped its membership with Southwest Michigan First effective immediately as backlash continues over the economic development organization’s hiring of former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield as its CEO.

GRAND RAPIDS — Rockford Construction Co. Inc. added an executive to oversee the company’s health care division as the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Innovation Park project, which includes the Perrigo North American headquarters relocation, gets underway.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously voted to withdraw $10,000 in annual funding for Southwest Michigan First on the same day former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield started as the economic development organization’s CEO.

Advocates for people with disabilities are hopeful that the work from home trend spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic will make employers more open to accommodations workers might need in a post-pandemic workplace.

The West Michigan commercial real estate market has been relatively stagnant during the pandemic-induced shift to remote working, but advisers see some room for optimism ahead of a vaccine rollout and with several recent office deals. 

Local economic development leaders have long sought to bring a global headquarters to downtown Grand Rapids, and it will soon become a reality as  Perrigo Co. plc moves its North American corporate offices to the Medical Mile.

Working in the wedding industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread restrictions on large gatherings has been stressful for Jennifer Elenbaas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed restaurants to adapt and innovate in order to survive. As the architects of the restaurant industry, chefs across West Michigan have tested various experiments to stay afloat during the pandemic and beyond. 

KALAMAZOO — Former Republican Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield has been named CEO of Southwest Michigan First, the economic development agency announced Thursday.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association is partnering with a virtual restaurant management company powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide its members with health screening and contact tracing software.

KALAMAZOO — Julie Byrne was recently appointed as president of CSM Group Inc. after working at the construction management firm for 15 years. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Real estate investor Tim Engen has formed a new company that will focus on construction projects in the office, medical, industrial and retail sectors.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority and the city of Grand Rapids have taken another step to advance plans for an outdoor amphitheater on riverfront property near downtown.

GRAND RAPIDS — GRNoir Wine and Jazz owners Shatawn and Nadia Brigham welcomed the first dine-in customers to their new Grand Rapids club Monday after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have approved United Methodist Community House’s plan to expand its services and construct a new four-story, 93-unit affordable senior apartment facility.

GRAND HAVEN — The West Michigan lakeshore town is experiencing a boom in economic development interest as three key properties around the city’s core are eyed for new projects.

West Michigan economic development organizations are in a transition period — much like the industry itself during the COVID-19 pandemic — as multiple agencies take on new leadership.

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