Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: June 21, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, June 21, 2020 09:14am

Here is the MiBiz  Growth Report for June 21, 2020.


  • The assets of Lansing-based H2O Hydroponics LLC have been acquired by Denver-based GrowGeneration Corp. (Nasdaq: GRWG), a chain of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers with 27 locations. GrowGeneration previously acquired the assets of Grand Rapids Hydroponics Inc. in September 2019. The company cited Michigan’s legalization of cannabis for recreational use, including the ability to grow up to 12 plants within a residence, as a driver for its continued push into the market. Terms of the H2O deal were not disclosed. 
  • The planned $21.9 million merger of Community Shores Bank Corp. into ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. heads to a close after earning shareholder approval. Shareholders at Muskegon-based Community Shores Bank approved the deal June 17. The two banks will consolidate in the fourth quarter with Community Shores taking on the ChoiceOne name. ChoiceOne presently has 29 offices in West and Southeastern Michigan with about $1.5 billion in assets. Community Shores has about $220 million in total assets with three offices in Muskegon County and one in Grand Haven in neighboring Ottawa County.
  • A pair of Indiana cooperatives have formed a strategic joint venture to acquire an Allegan County agricultural retail business owned by CHS Inc. Crawfordsville, Ind.-based Ceres Solutions and Avon, Ind.-based Co-Alliance LLP expect the deal to close later this year and are currently conducting due diligence at the business, located at 4671 E. Washington St. in Hamilton, southeast of Holland.


  • Grand Rapids-based Red Cedar Investment Management is a sub-advisor for the fixed income North Square Strategic Income Fund launched by Chicago-based North Square Investments. The portfolio managers of the North Square Strategic Income Fund are Red Cedar’s John Cassady III, David Withrow, Michael Martin, Jason Schwartz, and Julia Batchenko. Red Cedar has 13 employees and $1.3 billion in assets under management.

Health care

  • Spectrum Health, the largest care provider in Western Michigan, has committed at least $100 million over the next decade to address racial and ethnic disparities and improve equity in health care. That amount represents a 40-percent increase in what Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health now spends on initiatives to improve health equity and reduce disparities. The health system’s commitment includes $20 million to $25 million over a decade at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, which it expects to generate and spend annually through the creation of a $50 million capital fund to support initiatives on health equity across its market in Southwestern Michigan.
  • Ascension Borgess and Ascension Medical Group Michigan opened a new pediatric care office at 1428 Milham Road in Portage. Ascension Medical Group Borgess Pediatrics opened on Monday, June 8 and is currently accepting new patients. The 3,100-square-foot clinic has eight exam rooms, one procedure room and four providers: Dr. Mary Avendt-Reeber, nurse practitioner Emily Geldersma, and physician assistants Emily Putnam and Kristy VanBeek.
  • Holland Hospital completed a three-year expansion and renovation of the Boven Birth Center, which now includes 21 private mother-baby rooms, eight labor-delivery-recovery rooms, two operating suites, four private triage rooms, a well-baby nursery, and a special care nursery. The birthing unit has space to accommodate 2,200 births annually.
  • True Women’s Health, a menopause and sexual health wellness clinic, opened in the Grand Rapids area at 2144 East Paris Ave. The clinic offers a wellness program and a concierge program. Both offer comprehensive individualized care including an annual physical, basic wellness assessment, treatment of menopause symptoms and guidance on reaching health goals.
  • Allegan-based Perrigo Co. plc plans to enter the CBD market through a strategic investment and long-term agreement with Colorado supplier Kazmira LLC. Under a deal, Perrigo plans to make a $50 million investment for a 20-percent stake in Kazmira. Perrigo will pay Kazmira $15 million when the deal closes, and the balance within 18 months.

Higher education

  • The founding dean at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo plans to retire early next year. The medical school, known as WMed, launched a national search for a successor to Dr. Hal Jenson, who came to Kalamazoo nine years ago and plans to retire in early 2021. WMed directors will accept nominations and resumes for the dean’s position through the summer to present to the search committee in September. The search committee aims to name a new dean in early 2021.


  • Citing a growing customer base along the Lakeshore, Grand Rapids-based I.T. firm The KR Group opened a new office in Spring Lake. In addition to its Grand Rapids location on Front Avenue, the company, which specializes in designing, implementing, managing and maintaining I.T. infrastructures, is now also located at 424 Oak St. in Spring Lake.

Economic development

  • A youth employment program is slated for launch this summer, employing 1,000 Grand Rapids residents ages 15-21. The city is facilitating the program in partnership with dozens of local businesses and organizations, including Spectrum Health, Meijer Inc. and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and plans to offer 50 positions across city departments as part of the GRow1000 initiative. Participating businesses and organizations will offer young people 120-hour work experiences over six weeks starting July 13.
  • Michigan lost another 1,000 clean energy jobs last month, bringing the state’s total losses to 31,000 in the sector since the coronavirus pandemic spread in mid March, according to an analysis of federal labor statistics. The analysis from BW Research Partnership on behalf of business and environmental groups is the latest documenting the clean energy job losses as a result of COVID-19. Since mid March, more than 620,000 workers — mostly in the energy efficiency sector — have filed for unemployment.

Real estate

  • The former B.C. Cobb coal plant on Muskegon Lake is anticipated to be “one of the top marine port terminals” on the Great Lakes after officials announced the site’s remediation and sale to new owner Verplank Dock Co. Verplank will use the site to consolidate its Muskegon Lake commercial dock operations after acquiring the property from North Carolina-based Forsite Development Inc.
  • The Hinman Co.’s 13-story, 140,000-square-foot hotel located at 10 Ionia Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids is expected to be completed two months later than anticipated because of construction delays stemming from COVID-19. When construction began in early 2019, the Residence Inn by Marriott extended-stay hotel was scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1. This date has changed to Nov. 1 because non-essential construction work was forced to temporarily shut down as part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order.
  • The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts plans to relocate and sell its building at 2 Fulton St. SW in downtown Grand Rapids after financially struggling to maintain the facility over the last few months during the COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated shutdown. The UICA will put its building up for sale this fall and move its operations to the Woodbridge N. Ferris building at 17 Pearl St., which is on the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. The organization has been on a hiatus since mid March.
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