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Gazelle Sports to open branded Lole women's athletic wear store in East Grand Rapids

A new Lolë brand store offering women's athletic wear will open soon in East Grand Rapids thanks to local athletic store Gazelle Sports. The shop is only the second Lolë shop in the United States for the Montreal, Canada-based brand.

The store is under construction in the former Smooch Beauty Boutique space at 2213 Wealthy St. SE. Lolë, which stands for Live Out Loud Everyday, approached Gazelle Sports to open and operate the store.

"Lolë is one of the brands Gazelle Sports became familiar with five or six years ago, and it aligned very, very nicely with our female clients," says Gazelle's Director of Retail Stores Nancy Greer. "We have continued to grow and develop that line, and when the opportunity came, they approached us to talk about opening the store."

Lolë's only other U.S. location is in Salt Lake City, UT.    
 
Beyond offering women's athletic apparel and shoes, the shop aims to partner with local fitness studios, yoga studios, personal athletic trainers, and nutritionists to offer weekly athletic clinics and classes geared to improving women's health.

Greer says Gazelle is not ready to announce who those community "ambassadors" are, and is still working to seal the deal on the final relationships. She did say that Gazelle seeks 12 ambassadors throughout Greater Grand Rapids to hold the events at the Lolë store, events at their own studios, and larger community-wide events at offsite locations.

The store will open at the end of March or first part of April. Gazelle seeks 12 part-time retail associates to operate the store. For more information, contact Gazelle Sports.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Five months in, going strong, Baby Mine celebrates with grand opening

Five months after the first customer walked in its doors, East Grand Rapids' Baby Mine has weathered its first fashion season and will celebrate with a grand opening event.

The baby and children's boutique at 2237 Wealthy St. SE in Gaslight Village offers boys' and girls' clothes sizes newborn to 5T, unusual gifts for new moms, soft toys for toddlers, and more. Many items are unique to the store and not found in other stores in the area, says co-owner Kimberly Gill, who opened the store in October 2013 with her daughter Bethany Smith.

Gill spoke to Rapid Growth between appointments at an East Michigan buyer's show this week, where she and Smith were busy selecting fall 2014 fashions and toys for the store. The spring selections will start filling the racks next month.

"When we started Baby Mine, we didn't know how much inventory to buy," Gill says. "We started a little late for winter inventory, so we had a bit more than if we'd opened in August, but we had to fill the store. We're getting a lot of people buying baby gifts.

"The toys have been selling great, the Constructive Eating has been selling really well; Rubbabu soft cars and trucks have been selling really well, and the Valco Doll Prams have been selling really well," she adds. "We cater to the kids (while Mom shops), have snacks for them, cars and strollers they can play with, and they fill up the doll pram with things like a shopping cart and they love it."

And Gill says they've had many requests for kids' shoes, so summer shoes will be part of the shop's spring and summer offerings, along with clothing, bathing suits, hats, and Babiators, a line of sunglasses for infants and children.

"We are not outrageously priced," Gill says. "We try to find clothing that appeals to everybody's taste and wallet, and try to have price ranges so that anybody that comes in can find a gift."

The grand opening event is Thurs., Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Baby Mine.

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Cool kids' clothes, cuddly toys, trendy gifts for moms - Baby Mine brings it all to Gaslight Village

A year after purchase, Seva Yoga owners expand yoga school, add classes, start mountain biking team

It's been a year of passion and inspiration, says Melissa Tungl when she speaks of the purchase of East Grand Rapids' Seva Yoga studio and retail shop. Tungl and her husband Tobi bought the business in January 2013.

Since then, Melissa, who manages the business, has put heart and soul into adding classes at 2237 Wealthy St. SE, expanding the yoga certification school, and offering classes to benefit local charities. Next up is the 2014 sponsorship of a mountain biking team.

"Tobi is a mountain biker and, starting next year, Seva will sponsor Seva Cycling," Tungl says. "It's interesting how my passion for teaching yoga has blended so nicely with his passion for mountain biking."

The number of daily classes for gentle yoga, Hatha yoga, and Vinyasa has grown. This week, the studio has 26 classes on the calendar, which Tungl says is a typical number for any given week.

Along with an increased demand for classes comes a heightened demand for registered yoga teachers. Tungl has expanded the existing school, now offering prospective teachers the ability to become a registered yoga teacher with the 200-hour RYT program or an optional 500-hour RYT program.

"There are a lot of opportunities for yoga teachers in West Michigan. Seva graduates are teaching at gyms, studios, and schools," she says, adding that she got her own certification through Seva Yoga and became an instructor before buying the business. "I had always practiced yoga, and getting my certification was calling to me. I took my training at Seva Yoga, so I feel that I have roots here. When I'm teaching, it's such a unique experience. I feel a very deep connection to everyone in the room."

Throughout the year, Seva Yoga has sponsored special donation-only classes to benefit specific charities. The studio donates the space for the classes and the yoga teachers donate their time. These classes generated nearly $3,000 for the Humane Society of West Michigan, Kids’ Food Basket, and Purple Community.

"Seva means 'selfless service,'" Tungl says. "That's been one of the big highlights for me and makes it so rewarding. It's very satisfying to go to work and to just love it. I don't know how many people can say they get to show their passion to people every day."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy of Seva Yoga

Mosaic Properties bringing new mixed-use development to East Grand Rapids

Mosaic Properties, with a portfolio that includes the rapidly growing "new urbanist" Celadon neighborhood near Knapp Street and Leffingwell Avenue in Grand Rapids, received preliminary approval from the East Grand Rapids Planning Commission on December 2nd to build a new mixed-use development in East Grand Rapids near Gaslight Village.

The project, the first of its kind in East Grand Rapids, will include twelve residential units, 2000 square feet of office space, and 1200 square feet of ground floor retail. Ten of the residential units will be three-story townhouse units surrounding a courtyard with enclosed parking facing the rear of the buildings. The project will also feature a 2000-square-foot penthouse with an elevator and a three-story live-work unit.

Mosaic currently owns the four homes on Croswell Avenue just South of Gaslight Village, which will be removed to make way for the development. The property backs up to a townhouse project that was completed last year on Bagley Avenue.

As property becomes more and more scarce in this highly sought after community, builders and developers are getting more creative and pushing for more dense, urban-style projects. Several of the Planning Commisioners raised concerns about parking and the density of the project, but eventually gave approval to move forward to the site plan review process in early 2014.

Writer: Jeff Hill, Publisher
Images courtesy of Mosaic Properties

Cool kids' clothes, cuddly toys, trendy gifts for moms - Baby Mine brings it all to Gaslight Village

Knit owl hats, brown tweed blazers, soft coats with giant roses for buttons, and spoons and forks shaped like bright yellow bulldozers -- the world of children's fashions and toys inside Baby Mine goes way beyond traditional pink and blue.

Baby Mine, a cozy boutique filled with cool boys' and girls' clothes sizes newborn to 5T, unusual gifts for new moms, soft toys for toddlers, and much more, opened last week at 2237 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids -- just a few steps from the playful splash fountain that attracts kids of all ages.

Mom and daughter duo Kimberly Gill and Bethany Smith bring their personal experiences of being moms and being a grandma (Gill) of toddlers to the fore when selecting merchandise: nearly everything in the store is not only soft, but is organic, eco-friendly, or made in the USA.

"We wanted clothes that were unique and soft," says Gill as she smoothes a blanket made from silky bamboo. "We're very kid-friendly and let the kids play with all the toys."

The store is both kid- and mom-friendly, with a private breastfeeding area for shoppers who need it and a restroom with a diaper-changing table -- amenities not often found in small boutiques.

The shop's Michigan-made items include Uncle Goose (Grand Rapids) wooden building block sets of Christmas themes, nursery rhyme images, or Braille; and Constructive Eating (Ann Arbor) utensils and plates.

USA-made items include Haute Baby clothing, City Threads boys' fashions, Bamboosa blankets, and others.

Organically produced and eco-friendly products range from GroVia cloth diapers to Kushies clothing to Sweet Peanut baby essentials.

Current hours: Mon. - Sat. 10 - 6; holiday hours beginning Nov. 29, Mon. - Sat. 9:30 - 8.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos: Deborah Johnson Wood

Bagley Townhouses aim to bring easy living to East Grand Rapids' Gaslight Village neighborhood

Just a half a block from East Grand Rapids' chic Gaslight Village business district, 16 new townhouses rise on connected properties that used to have just six single-family houses. Bagley Townhouses -- eight units in two all-brick brownstones -- offer condominium living within walking distance of Reeds Lake, the lakeside Collins Park, and some of West Michigan's best restaurants, salons, and shopping.

Spearheaded by developer and lifelong East Grand Rapids resident Joe Hooker, the project extends from 727 to 797 Bagley Ave. SE. Main floor units offer front porches and 1,300-square-feet of living space with an optional basement buildout to 2,600 square feet. The units have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an optional third bedroom and bath in the basement level.

Above, the second floor units feature a front balcony, 1,600 square feet, two bedrooms, and two baths, with an option to add a Murphy bed in a possible third bedroom/office combination.

Standard finishes include granite countertops and hardwood floors in the kitchens. First buyers can customize and select upgrades.

"I started buying single-family homes in 2001, and bought six single family homes over six years and rented them out," Hooker says. "[The brownstone project] was originally approved by the city of East Grand Rapids in 2007, but due to the overwhelming forces of the economy, we couldn't move forward. About eight months ago, we decided to finally move forward and demo the buildings so we could start construction."

The project was re-approved in late 2011. Greenridge Realty (2213 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids) has a showroom with finishes options. Interested buyers will get help selecting their finishes from the Bagley Townhouses interior designer.

Hooker says seven of the units in the first building and two of the units in the second building are sold, leaving seven units available. The first building will be complete in January 2013; the second building will follow in February. Prices range from $289,000 to $319,000.
    
Source: Joe Hooker, Bagley Townhouses
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

East Grand Rapids home to new urban bicycle showroom, repair shop

A new oasis for urban cyclists is open for business near East Grand Rapids' Gaslight Village. Grand Rapids Bicycle Company renovated the former The Moving Company building (644 Lovett Ave. SE) into a hip cycle showroom offering pedal transportation for everyone from pre-pedal age through adult.

The showroom is the company's second location and follows the spring opening of its main store, Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Trailhead Café, at 1200 East Paris SE, near Bill & Paul's Sporthaus.

"We can repair, maintenance, and tune anything out there," says store manager Thomas Fish. "The quality of personalized service is the main thing we're trying to differentiate ourselves with. No matter if you have a kids' bike or an expensive road bike, we're going to make sure it fits and that you're happy with it."

Fish is a United Bicycle Institute-certified bike mechanic. He says the Bicycle Company's other two mechanics, Eric Fisher and K. C. Trotter, have a combined 46 years of cycle repair experience and a number of certifications.

Besides maintenance and repair, the shop carries U.S.-made Jamis Bikes and Felt Bicycles, Cervelo Cycles high-end racing bikes, and Surly "fat bikes" for winter riding. The shop also offers a selection of kids' bikes from wooden, pedal-free balance bikes for tiny riders to kickbikes, to frames sized for 8-, 10-, and 12-year-olds. And the store carries a variety of accessories, including clothing, gloves, Burley products, and more.

Fall/Winter hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat.

Source: Thomas Fish, Grand Rapids Bicycle Company
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Dear Prudence offers unusual jewelry finds in small, chic East Grand Rapids shop

What's black and white and chic all over? Dear Prudence, a fun new jewelry haven in East Grand Rapids.

Dear Prudence, owned by Prudence Kauffman, is a diminutive 400-square-foot boutique with a black and white color scheme that allows the intriguing jewelry and gifts inside to take center stage. The store (701 Bagley St. SE, East Grand Rapids) carries jewelry and items that Kauffman hopes can be found only at Dear Prudence.

"We mostly carry jewelry, mostly made in the U.S., but we do have one fair trade line to support women and their families in Central and South America," says Kauffman, 40, who says both she and the store are named after the Beatles tune, "Dear Prudence." "We made sure we're carrying things that are different than anyplace in town, and have agreements with some of the artisans to be the only store in Grand Rapids carrying these products."

Besides unique Chanel button jewelry by Chicago artist Patti Lynch and Luminous Creation mixed metal jewelry by Grand Rapids artist Jaclyn Dreyer, the store also carries one-of-a-kind fingerprint jewelry made from customers' fingerprints. Customers press their fingerprints into a wax mold, and Dear Prudence sends it to the manufacturer to be dipped in silver and fashioned into necklaces, bracelets, cuff links or tie tacks.

"We just did one for a friend who had twins, and we took the babies' prints and made them into jewelry," Kauffman says.

Kauffman and her husband, Brad, relocated to the Grand Rapids area after 20 years in Winston-Salem, NC, because Brad's job was transferred here. The dream of the store has been percolating for years and became reality after Kauffman recovered from uterine cancer.

"Brad said if we get through this, we're going to do every single thing we ever wanted to do," Kauffman says. "I'm cancer free now, so we started researching the store and putting together every idea we had."

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun. noon to 5. Online shopping at DearPrudence.com will be available soon.

Source: Prudence Kauffman, Dear Prudence
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Sacred Roots combines visual art, hair styling to create unique salon in East Grand Rapids

Local artists have a new outlet for displaying their work surrounded by Hollywood Glam décor at East Grand Rapids' new Sacred Roots Salon.

The salon (2237 Wealthy St. SE, Suite 150), situated between Derby Station and Hot Mama's in Gaslight Village, caters to clients' hairstyling needs and doubles as an exclusive art gallery where one local artist a month can showcase his or her works without competing with other artists.

"I love art and supporting local artists," says owner James Garnant. "So the first Thursday of every month we have a cocktail party and a new installation by a new artist goes in."

Zeeland artist Katherine Throne is there through July, says Garnant. Beginning August 2, the salon will feature photographer Mike Kelley, with another artist following in September.

Garnant says he has been a hairdresser for 20 years and the salon helps him fulfill his dream of bring art to the public in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.

"Hair is an art form in itself, and like attracts like and so it attracts artists," Garnant says. "I'm really big on making this a community gathering space where people feel they're not just getting their hair done but can come and hang out."

Hours: Weekdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Source: James Garnant, Sacred Roots Salon; Carey Potter, Brick House Marketing Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Instructional painting studio offering food, drinks opens in East Grand Rapids

Aspiring artists can try their hand at acrylic painting over a glass of wine or beer at the newly opened Brush Studio (2213 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids).

The 1,600-square-foot instructional art studio offers two-hour instructional painting classes that take students from a blank canvas to a piece of art worthy of their household wall. Classes cost $35.

"You sign up online based on the painting that you are interested in learning," explains Lisa Jabara, owner of Brush Studio. "We have an instructor that instructs you on that painting -- say, it's Starry Night -- brush stroke by brush stroke from start to finish."

Brush is able to accommodate small groups that would like to reserve a table as well as larger private parties of 20 or more who wish to rent out the entire space. Jabara also plans to offer team-building classes to local businesses, which can be held on or off site.

In addition to painting classes and open painting, the studio has also partnered with nearby Ramona's Table to create food options for customers to enjoy while they work. The restaurant developed a menu of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. The studio will offer several Michigan beers and wines as well as some non-local options. The wine and beer menu includes Oberon, Bells Two Hearted, Little Black Dress and Dreaming Tree.

"It's such a fun atmosphere to have a bunch of people painting. And there's music, and everybody is drinking wine and beer," Jabara says. "It's a great time."

Brush is not just a place for adults; the studio offers family-focused classes on Saturdays and Sundays for parents and their kids.

The store is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for open painting. To learn more visit, www.brushgr.com.

Source: Lisa Jabara, Brush Studio
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

Seva Yoga opens larger studio, yoga store in East Grand Rapids

A larger yoga studio and more space for a boutique dedicated to the yoga lifestyle is not what Seva Yoga owner Michele Fife expected for a company just five years old. But in November, she moved her yoga studio and retail shop from an upstairs space in the back corner of a building on Wealthy Street SE to a 1,800-square-foot space (2237 Wealthy St. SE) that overlooks the fountain in East Grand Rapids' Gaslight Village.

"This is my third move in five years. I started with a very small studio because I was being conservative, and 12 months later, I expanded into a larger space and stayed there four years," Fife says. "I'm constantly amazed. I had always worked for someone else since I was teenager. Until I opened the studio, it never popped into my head that I could make a living running my own business."

Seva Yoga has 12 yoga instructors that offer classes and one-on-one yoga sessions in a variety of styles: Kripalu, Anusara, Ashtanga, Yin Yoga classes, Vinyasa classes and gentle yoga classes. The boutique offers lululemon yoga-inspired athletic clothing, books on yoga and vegetarian and vegan cooking and eating, ayurvedic aromatherapy oils, Banyan Botanicals, plus yoga mats and other products.

"There is a variety that I like that about my studio," Fife says. "It's a blend of many different yoga styles, so we can represent everything. We have package pricing, but for any of our classes people can show up and just pay whatever they can afford. It takes a certain amount of trust that I can do something like that and believe that the business will be alright."

Fife says she's registered through Yoga Alliance to teach people how to be yoga teachers, and conducts those classes in the studio. You can follow her video segments on WOOD TV's new ABC channel, WOTV 4 Women, where she is the wellness expert.

Source: Michele Fife, Seva Yoga
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Blodgett Hospital's $98 million expansion includes rooms with a view

Deborah Johnson Wood

The $98 million expansion of Grand Rapids' Blodgett Hospital converts the entire facility to private rooms – many of which will have a lake view.

"It's an enormous pleasure to look out the windows, because some of the rooms face Fisk Lake," says Derrick Brown, project manager for Spectrum Health Hospital Group. "It's just breathtaking to see the lake and the gorgeous homes. This is the only healthcare facility that I've ever worked on that's had a significant view like that."

Brown says the 162,000-square-foot addition converts the entire hospital to private patient rooms and adds eight operating rooms, bringing the total operating rooms to 14 with space to add four more, if needed.

The four-story LEED project is on budget and on schedule for public tours the week of September 20 and seeing patients the week of October 10, 2010.

The drywall installation is complete on all floors, with final painting and wall coverings underway. The first floor construction is completed and awaiting the arrival of cabinets and nurses' stations, says Brown.

The original plans did not include a basement, but Brown says that was added after construction began.

But even though everything is on schedule, the project has presented its own set of challenges.

"The site has very limited space and we haven't had "lay down" space for building materials," Brown says. "Some portions have been built offsite and brought over; other things, like the steel, came precut and prepped so we were able to move a lot faster."

Throughout the length of the project Brown says Spectrum Health has kept neighbors apprised of what to expect.

"The Blodgett campus is a community hospital, and any time the work will be noisy, create vibrations or we've had to shut down a street, we've communicated that by going door-to-door," Brown says. "I've done this type of work at other hospitals for a number of years and nowhere have we had the interaction with the community that we've had here."

Source: Derrick Brown, Spectrum Health Hospital Group

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Development News tips can be sent to info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

$790,000 Reeds Lake Trail phase 2 makes strides to keep walkers, cyclists safe

Deborah Johnson Wood

Phase 2 of the Reeds Lake Trail will break ground as soon as weather permits, providing an off-street walking and cycling path along the east side of Reeds Lake when completed in July.

The path will connect the existing Reeds Lake Trail at Kate Avenue SE between Reeds Lake and the East Beltline and run 0.75 miles northwest along Reeds Lake Blvd. to Manhattan Road SE. Users can then connect to sidewalks to complete the loop around Reeds Lake.

"This phase involves both East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Township and has been over five years in the works," says East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan. "It's taken so long because of fundraising and the wetlands plan."

The wetlands plan involved having to eliminate one-half acre of wetlands along portions of the trail. Donovan says the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality required creation of a full acre of wetlands to replace it. The project will create that acre of wetlands near Waterfront Park on the west side of the lake. The city has five years to make the wetlands changes.

Completion of the trail loop allows users to travel off-street for the entire four-plus miles of the loop around the lake. Just north of the trail along the East Beltline, users can connect with Grand Rapids Township trails. In East Grand Rapids, bike lane markings on Wealthy Street run from Gaslight Village to the west city limits, where Donovan says Grand Rapids officials propose to continue the lane markings to downtown Grand Rapids.

Nearly $600,000 of the trail completion's $790,000 price tag is from private donations. Donovan says the project is within $3,000 of its goal. Those interested in providing a donation can contact the city of East Grand Rapids for more information.

Source: Brian Donovan, City of East Grand Rapids

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

Grand Rapids athlete invents warming product for cold weather runners, cyclists

Deborah Johnson Wood

Dan Socie is an all-around guy – a freelance graphics and web designer by trade, and an amateur endurance athlete by hobby. And now he's an inventor.

Socie has invented an embrocation for use by runners and cyclists to warm up their muscles before they run outside in cold weather.

An embrocation is a warming liniment that's applied topically. Socie's embrocation consists of shea butter, capsaicin, black pepper and menthol. He and his business partner Geoff Kuyper are marketing it under the brand and business name Soigneur (swan-yer).

"Soigneur is French for 'an assistant,'" Socie says. "In professional cycling, a soigneur is an assistant that gets water, arranges for or does massage therapy, gets the food, and is basically the athlete's personal assistant. I wanted to make a product to take the soigneur role for amateur athletes."

Socie says cyclists who bike in cold weather have used European embrocations, but he plans to market his product to runners and skiers as well. He says athletes apply the embrocation to their legs before running, biking or skiing. The shea butter keeps the product on the skin, and body heat activates the capsaicin that warms the skin. That warmth penetrates to the muscles.

"Your legs are warm and it's nicer to go out in the cold with warm legs," Socie says. "It enhances the experience. When you go for a run or ride in the cold weather, it takes 20 minutes, half an hour to warm up. This product speeds up that process and you can get to the more enjoyable part of your workout sooner."

Socie says he spent the past year working with a Scottsdale, Ariz. laboratory and manufacturer to develop the product.

The embrocation is available for advance order online at www.soigneur.net and will begin shipping at the end of February. A launch party to introduce the product is planned for February 24 at Richard App Gallery from 6 to 10 p.m.

Source: Dan Socie, Soigneur

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.


$98M Blodgett Hospital overhaul proceeding on schedule in East Grand Rapids

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

The $98 million overhaul and a 162,000-square-foot expansion of Blodgett Hospital at 1840 Wealthy Street SE is on schedule for a November 2010 opening.

When it's all done, 284 private patient rooms with family gathering space in each will bring a new dimension to patient care. The plan is to close existing patient beds in buildings built in 1916, the '50s and the '60s. To make up for that loss, the new five-story expansion includes 131 private patient rooms, as well as eight state-of-the-art operating rooms.

"The investment we're making here at Blodgett is a lot more than just the buildings and renovations," says Jim Wilson, president. "We are updating to state-of-the-art technologies all of the imaging modalities we have."

Those include two CT scanners installed last year, upgrades to nuclear medicine and fluoroscopy technologies, the addition of a second MRI machine, and an upgrade to digital mammography last year.

A renovation of the emergency room involves new patient care rooms, an already-reconstructed clinical core area, and renovation of the examination rooms.

All public spaces—lobbies, conference rooms, an auditorium, restrooms, kitchen/cafeteria—are also on the drawing board for upgrades.

Infrastructure revamps include ongoing improvements -- some began two years ago -- to the parking deck and replacement of all the elevators in the hospital's 11 elevator banks.

The Blodgett campus, part of the Spectrum Health system, provides 1,800 full-time-equivalent jobs just inside the East Grand Rapids city boundaries.

"We're excited to make this investment so Blodgett hospital continues to be a very viable part of the East Grand Rapids business community," Wilson says. "We take that commitment very seriously."

Source: Jim Wilson, Blodgett Hospital

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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