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Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Staff Writer, covers real estate and development and small businesses

 

Twitter: @BizCarlson
Email: [email protected]

SPARTA — Adhesive tape manufacturer Tesa Tape Inc. recently started construction on an expanded facility in Sparta, which is expected to bring at least 25 new jobs to the area.

GRAND RAPIDS — The state’s new fiscal year budget that began Oct. 1 includes $10 million to study the reconstruction or potential reconfiguration of the Wealthy Street interchange on US-131 that officials have referred to as the most dangerous intersection in the state. 

West Michigan’s industrial real estate sector continues to outpace expectations amid record-high demand for space, leading to some new construction despite high materials costs, substantial lead times and employers struggling to fill vacant positions.

The thriving and consistently crowded industrial real estate market has recently had to accommodate an increasing number of cannabis growing and processing plants in the municipalities that allow them.

Low industrial real estate vacancy rates and ongoing construction backlogs are pushing industrial projects to more rural and outlying areas.

GRAND RAPIDS — Hope Network has purchased the Fulton Manor property in Grand Rapids for $4.1 million with redevelopment plans that call for about 120 affordable housing units.

GRAND RAPIDS — Jo Ellyn Clarey, former president and director of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, has worked to promote the often-overlooked roles that women have played throughout local history.

WALKER — The former MLive Media Group and Grand Rapids Press printing facility in Walker that once printed 375,000 newspapers a week has been sold to a Pontiac-based industrial contracting company for $9.75 million.

When Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids canceled LaughFest a few days into the festival in March 2020, it marked one of the first major events in West Michigan that was sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Local roads, fire departments, parks and development projects are just some of the ways that Michigan municipalities allowing retail recreational cannabis sales are spending their first yearly allocation of cannabis excise tax revenue.

The retail sector of West Michigan’s commercial real estate market is seeing heavy activity despite many business owners struggling to stay fully staffed.

Michigan passed a dark, historic threshold on Sept. 22 when the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases surpassed 1 million people since the pandemic onset here in March 2020.

GRAND RAPIDS — Hope Network is taking over D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s former campus on Leonard Street Northeast, continuing nonprofit services at the property as DABJ consolidates to a new site.

A majority of Michigan small businesses oppose President Biden’s recently announced vaccine mandate as staffing shortages and rising costs remain the biggest obstacles for business owners, according to a new survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday to sell the school’s 11-acre property located along East Beltline Avenue Southeast for $6.25 million. 

NORTON SHORES — Kentwood-based First Companies Inc. and Zeeland-based Town & Country Group Inc. have been recognized by a regional trade group as the top companies in West Michigan for jobsite safety and instilling values throughout their corporate culture.

GRAND RAPIDS — The stalled redevelopment of a vacant church into apartment units on Grand Rapids’ west side is back on track.

GRAND RAPIDS — Education-focused furniture manufacturer MiEN Co. plans to consolidate its Walker-based operations into a new headquarters at the former Baker Furniture property along the Grand River in Grand Rapids.

BYRON TWP. — Disability Advocates of Kent County is launching the public phase of a $2.5 million fundraising campaign to move its headquarters and create an accessibility showroom at a nonprofit hub under development in Byron Township. 

KALAMAZOO — Construction on the downtown mixed-use Warner Building that houses several prominent organizations and dozens of apartments is now completed, developers announced Monday.

GRAND RAPIDS — Rental rates are rising for prime downtown Grand Rapids office space, but vacancy rates are also up significantly compared to previous years, according to a recent report from global real estate services firm JLL.

GRAND RAPIDS — Alyson and Mallory Caillaud-Jones were planning to open a bakery in a shared kitchen space when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing the sisters instead to search for a singular brick-and-mortar location for their small business.

When Jermale and Anissa Eddie opened Malamiah Juice Bar LLC in 2013, the couple aimed to be role models not just for their three sons, but also for the rest of the Black and brown community.

KALAMAZOO TWP. — Cloud Cannabis Co. has acquired a 70,000-square-foot commercial grow facility in Kalamazoo from cannabis company KKind.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Local Development Finance Authority has approved an agreement for Spartan Innovations L3C and Start Garden Inc. to collaborate and manage the city’s SmartZone business incubator and related tech business support services. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A hub for talent recruitment, skills development and job placement is expected to open early next year in Grand Rapids in hopes of filling the workforce pipeline for West Michigan construction jobs.

GRAND RAPIDS — Housing advocates are hopeful for a multi-million dollar infusion from Michigan’s share of federal stimulus money that would go toward a range of housing developments. 

Michigan’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and submission rates decreased for the second year in a row by nearly 5 percent, indicating lower college enrollment and ongoing challenges for the already sparse talent pipeline. 

WYOMING — Linus and Renata De Paoli left their corporate lives working as engineers in Germany and have opened a new brewery to introduce a range of international food and beer culture to West Michigan.

Leslie Wyman has led the West Michigan Cannabis Guild since May after serving as the organization’s treasurer. Before the Guild officially formed in 2019, its founding members played a role in getting the Proposal 1 ballot initiative in front of voters that was eventually successful in legalizing recreational cannabis in Michigan.

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