| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

1704 Articles | Page: | Show All

Coppercraft Distillery in Holland reopens with full service restaurant menu

Re-opening earlier this month in its original space at 184 120th Street in Holland, the new and improved Coppercraft Distillery has expanded its location to include a full restaurant menu, keeping things local and seasonal with the addition of new head chef Kelsey Winter-Troutwine.

 

“We hired a really talented chef out with a really great pedigree out of Chicago,” says Coppercraft general manager Brandon Joldersma. “He developed a love for local seasonal cuisine that you’ve seen pop up in the big cities, but still has a way to go here in West Michigan.”

Winter-Troutwine, who graduated with a bachelor of arts from the Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, spent the past six years in Chicago working alongside high-profile chefs in the city, many alumni of the famed Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter.

 

With a full rotating menu of seasonal New American cuisine, Joldersma says Coppercraft is currently developing a whole new cocktail menu, designed and perfectly tailored to compliment its new food menu.

 

“We like to surprise people by showing how specific cocktails pair well with food,” says Joldersma. “The nice thing with cocktails is that we can very specifically tailor and dial these to the specific menu item itself, you have total control.”

 

Opened by husband and wife team Walter and Kim Catton in 2012 to create “premium, small-batch spirits by hand, using local ingredients,” ownership of Coppercraft Distillery changed hands last year, though Walter has maintained his position as master distiller.

 

“Step one for us was to re-do the consumer-facing end of our distillery here in Holland,” says Joldersma, adding that the new 56-seat dining room was revamped from the old tasting room and barrel storage area, while of the distillery equipment was upgraded to increase capacity. Phase two of the redesign, he says, will be working on building out more storage area for increased production capacity.

 

Coppercraft also opened a new tasting room in Saugatuck last September, offering samples and retail bottles of all of its spirits—vodka, citrus vodka, gin, rum, applejack, bourbon, corn whiskey and rye whiskey—alongside handmade artisan cocktails.

 

“I think (Coppercraft’s new menu) is a little bit challenging, in a good way, for some of the clientele here in Holland and in West Michigan,” Joldersma says. “I think we’re offering the comfortable and familiar things, but also trying to push the envelope for things we can’t always really find here on Lakeshore.”

 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of Coppercraft Distillery

The new 250 Monroe Avenue is 'rebirth' for an old downtown space

With its massive interior renovations complete and construction wrapping up on its outdoor facade, the new 250 Monroe Calder Plaza Building connects with the street a lot different from the old site.

“The previous layout of the first floor was very set back from the street with dark tinted glass and [was] very ominous looking, so we opened up the entirety of the lobby,” says Kevin Stower, who alongside colleague Sinsa Simic is lead architect of the project from the Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA).

The first significant redesign the building has seen in almost 30 years, HAA worked with building owners to gut the 160,000-square-foot building and open up the first and second floors of the lobby. They also relocated the staircase to the south end of the building and added the floor-to-ceiling window on the north and east sides of the building.

Stower says though the renovation started out small, but the task at hand quickly grew as they realized the scope of the redesign.

“Our project scope started out as barely an interior renovation, but in order to facilitate what we had thought of as making a desirable workplace, we thought we had to provide a larger intervention for the building,” he says, referring to the redesign, which also includes a rooftop garden space, HAA’s creative solution to some much-needed green space. 

“City planning really encourages maintaining green space for development projects,” says Stower. “This was an existing building so they strive to maintain at least five percent green space in the existing footprint in the building and there wasn’t that existing so we had to manufacture space into an existing project.”

In accordance with the mandate HAA added streetscape planters in the atrium and transformed the former walk-out plaza space into a walking garden for employees.

“Overall, we were trying to give an old, dingy building a new identity and rebirth,” says Stower.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of CWD Real Estate

Russo's International Market opens second location on W. Fulton

Now in its 112th year as a Grand Rapids family-owned Italian grocer, Russo’s International Market, will open a second downtown location at 241 W. Fulton. 4,500-square-foot store will feature catering, deli, grocery, delivery, curbside pick-up, and bistro on site with an indoor/outdoor bistro to boot.

 

President of Russo’s International Market, Phil Russo, says his grandfather’s mission since opening Russo’s in 1905 has always been to serve the Grand Rapids community, opening up the very first location on Division in what was then known as “Little Italy,” and later expanding into its current 18,000-square-foot location at 2270 29th Street.

 

“We always knew we would return to our roots and this second location will allow us to serve the downtown community as we once did 112 years ago,” says Russo.

 

Both locations offer catering for events and business meetings, custom corporate gifts, alcohol and grocery delivery, European deli, local Michigan and Grand Rapids products, extensive wine and beer selections, in-store educational events, private label Russo brand products, both dine-in and to-go menus, coffee, a espresso and cappuccino bar, and a gelato bar.

 

“The Grand Rapids community has been so devoted to our family-business throughout the years, and our goal is to continue to serve the community to the best of our ability,” says Russo. “We realized the lack of offerings for downtown residents, and this gave us the opportunity to return to downtown Grand Rapids and serve the growing residential population.”

 

For more information, visit Russo’s International Market online here or find them on Facebook.

 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
 

Images courtesy of Russo’s International Market

May Eats: Breakfast & Beyond

May Eats: Breakfast & Beyond

 

From all-American breakfast food and Detroit-Style deep dish to French-inspired crepes that work for breakfast, dessert, or both, these three new kids on the block have menus that promise to soon become old standbys.

 

Brown Butter Creperie & Cafe

Getting its start as a food truck back in 2015, Brown Butter Creperie finally opened up its first brick and mortar shop in an Eastown landmark on Feb. 15, located in the Windmill Building at 1436 Wealthy St. SE (the former site of Cakabakery).

 

Revamped with charming French-inspired indoor and outdoor dining areas, Brown Butter's aesthetic matches its menu, a made-from-scratch roster that includes a ton of sweet and savory crepe styles, caramelized sugar crystal-topped liege waffles, a full espresso bar, and a host of paninis and salads, to boot.

 

With most of its ingredients sourced from local producers, Brown Butter Creperie & Cafe also offers catering services, and you can still catch the original food truck at farmer's markets and events around West Michigan.

 

HOURS

Closed Monday

Tuesday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friday/Saturday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

 

Matchbox Diner & Drinks

Just down the road from Brown Butter at 1345 Lake Drive, the old-school style Matchbox Diner & Drinks is a tasty new option for all-day breakfast lovers and sandwich fans alike, offering thick-stacked deli sandwiches, burgers, milkshakes, and malts.

 

Made with ingredients from a list of local businesses that include Ada Beef, BLiS, The Brinery, Nantucket Baking Company, Simpatico Coffee, Grobbel's, and Gielow Pickles, Inc., Matchbox Diner offers fresh twists on familiar favorites and a dining room with cozy booths and clean bright windows that make it an instant classic.

 

HOURS

Monday–Thursday: 8am–9pm

Friday–Saturday: 7:30am–9pm

Sunday: 7:30am–2pm

 

Good Pizza Company

Though Good Pizza Co. has been testing the waters with new customers for a few weeks now at 10 Jefferson Ave. SE, today marks the official grand opening for the new downtown deep dish pizzeria. Today’s Star Wars themed event introduces the weekly feature pizza—this week's recipe called The Boba Feta for obvious reasons—and kicks off at noon with live music and entertainment that will run through 8 p.m.

 

Bringing a long-awaited deep dish flavor to Grand Rapids downtown pizza game, GCP's sourdough crust is made in-house and its menu offers gluten free and vegan options at no extra cost. Open for lunch and available by the slice, Good Pizza Co. also recently launched a delivery service available after 4 p.m., so you officially have no excuse not to try a pie on for size.

 

HOURS

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. -10 p.m.

Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sunday: noon-9 p.m.

 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
 

Images courtesy of Brown Butter Creperie & Cafe, Matchbox Diner & Drinks, Good Pizza Co.

New Intergenerational Care Center offers new kind of care for ‘the oldest and youngest among us’

Announcing its grand opening at the end of last month, Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s new Intergenerational Care Center hopes to offer a creative solution to quality care for both ends of the age demographic spectrum in Grand Rapids’ Heartside.

 

BLC Pastor Jay Schrimpf says that the new Intergenerational Care Center was born out of the desire to build on the church’s existing record of community care and education with its Hill Child Development Center, which was founded back in 1971 and now operates alongside the church’s Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project at 250 Commerce Ave.

 

“We decided to build on more than four decades of skills at our HCDC to care for folks on the other side of the spectrum as well,” says Schrimpf. “There’s an aging senior population needing help on a regular basis, and we can do it in a groundbreaking way—at least for this area—through cross-programming between the two.”

 

Schrimpf says a new entity all its own, the BIC now allows the congregation to “care for the youngest and the oldest among us.”

 

After receiving a $50,000 grant from the Downtown Development Authority to rework its second floor space to create a fully ADA compliant senior wing in addition to its existing HCDC, BLC created new programming that allows the two populations to spend time relationship building together in shared spaces.

 

With hours that run 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, both the child and senior care nclude meals and snacks prepared in-house, with a whole host of intergenerational activities that include everything from sharing meals and making music together to giving the elders a chance to take care of the babies and share stories with the little ones.

 

“Especially for our elderly population, it gives them a purpose and the ability to teach and have real relationships and for the children, it’s really the same,” says Sue Davidson, director of the new BIC. “They get to be taught, they get to have real relationships with people who have something to offer. We believe that everyone has skills and talents and gifts and to share them with each other.”

 

To learn more about the new Bethlehem Intergenerational Center or Hill Child Development Center, visit Bethlehem Church online.

 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
 

Images courtesy of Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Blandford Nature Center celebrates Earth Day with grand opening of new visitor venue

When Blandford Nature Center began designing its new 11,000-square-foot visitor center, it intentionally left out the kind of museum-style features often seen in more traditional nature center welcome spaces. Instead, the center wanted the space to serve a more practical role in the organization’s cardinal mission to connect more people with more nature. 

“A building doesn’t make a nature center; the nature does,” says Jason Meyer, President and CEO of Blandford Nature Center (BNC). “We settled on the idea that the the building is just one more tool in our toolbox for getting people to connect with nature, and so we didn’t really want to incorporate dead stuffed animals and a lot of those physical displays that you might see in older nature centers.” 

A crowd of nearly 400 people came out for the Earth Day ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of the new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center grand opening, hearing remarks from the building’s namesake, BNC Founder Mary Jane Dockeray, as well as Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.

Costing $3.3 million of the total $10 million in funds currently raised in the final stretches of a larger $10.3 million campaign launched in fall 2014, the new LEED-certified visitor center includes an open interior lobby with a stone fireplace, a large auditorium, an outdoor amphitheater, and an upgraded Wildlife Education Center showcasing decorative wood features made from trees that were already harvested as part of the construction process. 

Initially built in 1968, BNC’s former visitor center was outdated, lacking in handicap accessible design and generally overdue for an update, says Meyer. The organization decided to move forward with a fundraising campaign to afford park upgrades after the center began having to turn away local school groups interesting in doing programming because of insufficient space.

With its fundraising campaign slated to wrap up this summer, Meyer says Blandford Nature Center is looking forward to turning its focus to an even bigger renovation project — restoring the 121-acre Highlands Golf Course at 2175 Leonard St. NW, which BNC purchased back in January in partnership with the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. 

With the Land Conservancy of West Michigan currently heading up some of the initial fundraising, the two organizations are starting to explore how best to transform the new acreage into a public green space that enhances both Blandford’s educational programming and outdoor recreational opportunities, first focusing on restoring the lands natural habitat. 

“A lot of it is habitat restoration. We want to put types of habitat back that are gone from this part of Michigan,” Meyer says, adding that plans include the addition of new trail ways connecting back to the nature center’s existing trail system. 

Meyer says restoring an outdoor recreation space that effectively double Blandford’s outdoor green space, however, requires a bit of al lengthier process than the construction of a new visitor center, relying the slow inedibility of nature to take its course in regrowth. 

“It’s going to be a 50- to 100-year project,” Meyer says, ”And folks will be able to see that change over time that happens with nature reclaiming itself.” 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Blandford Nature Center 

Related articles:
Blandford Nature Center breathes new life into Highlands Golf Course with plans for recreation space

Wellness spa takes home $20,000 in free rent, business resources as Muskegon's 321 Go! pitch winner

With sights set on bringing new retailers to Muskegon’s growing Midtown business district, Downtown Muskegon Now’s panel of five judges selected East of Eden Wellness Spa as the winner of its 321 Go! pitch competition earlier this month, with spa owner Jodi McClain taking home a prize package worth a combined $20,000. 

Hosted at Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub, the April 13 event doubled as both a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce "Business After Hours" event and a final round of the 321 Go! pitch competition spearheaded by Downtown Muskegon Now

“I am excited and humbled to be selected as every one of the other presenters did such a great job. Thanks to all who have taken a chance on me,” says McClain, a veteran massage therapist whose current practice at 3374 Merriam St. offers a variety of spa services, from the more traditional Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone massages to more specialized services, such as cancer and oncology massages, trigger point therapy, and ionic foot detoxes. 

Pitching an expansion plan that would allow East of Eden Wellness Spa Center to expand its operations into a “destination wellness business,” the revamped East of Eden space will also offer floatation and dry salt therapy along with its existing menu of spa services. 

Citing a passionate and well-researched business plan alongside McClain’s years of experience as part of their decision to select East of Eden’s expansion plans to win the 321 Go! competition, the five-person judging panel also noted a lack of existing spa and wellness service options in Midtown Muskegon, seeing an opportunity to add a unique retailer to the growing corridor. 

As winner of 321 Go!, McClain must be open for business in the new Midtown retail space by June 2017 and will receive six months of free rent at 1144 Third St. courtesy of building owner Brad Martell. After that, McClain will negotiate a one-year lease with Martell, with prize conditions requiring the competition winner to continue operating in the space for at least 18 months after the initial opening. 

The prize package also includes a plethora of free business support services and resources, including everything from legal, accounting, marketing, architectural and design services to commitments by Downtown Muskegon Now, GVSU’s Muskegon Innovation Hub and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to promote and mentor the winning business/business owner.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Downtown Muskegon Now

Related articles: 
Downtown Muskegon’s 321 Go! utilizes pitch competition to incentivize new downtown retail

Waterfront Film Festival plans June 22 grand opening screening for new year-round Holland facility

After spending much of the past year revamping the former auto-body shop on Columbia Avenue near downtown Holland, organizers of the Waterfront Film festival announced the opening of a new, permanent screening and event facility with a year-round indoor-outdoor screening space. 

“We've been looking at expanding to have a permanent year-round event space, so it’s something we’v been working on for a long, long time,” says Hopwood DePree, who co-founded the Waterfront Film festival alongside his sister, Dori DePree. 

With three big rolling garage auto-bays turned theater, the 200-seat venue will also serve as a workshop and education space in the off months, with phase I of the project nearly complete. Plans for phase II include an update to the building’s exterior, and additional landscaping for an outdoor reception area. 

“In the summer months, we’re really offering a unique indoor-outdoor gathering space, and then, when it’s time to play the show, we can shut the doors and put up the black-out curtains and go,” says DePree, adding that one of the big favorite moments Waterfront Film Fest goers talk about each year is the first outdoor screening, something the new space can afford them whether it’s rain or shine. 

“We, as the organizers and volunteers, are always worried about if it's going to rain,” says DePree. “This kind of solves that problem because it’s still an outdoor indoor space, but it’s completely weatherproof.” 

The Waterfront Film Festival has set the date for the grand opening screening at the new facility on June 22, and additional ticket information will be released in May. Until then, visit www.waterfrontfilm.org for more information. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Dianne Carrol Burdick

From Heartside to West Side: Adtegrity moves digital ad office to space above The Knickerbocker

Currently housed in a downtown office suite at 38 Commerce Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, the upcoming move to a bigger and better office space on the city’s west side makes sense for Adtegrity, the digital advertising company whose CEO, in part, defines its brand by its innovative culture. 

“Our business demands that we stay ahead of trends,” says Scott Brew, the CEO of Adtegrity who founded the company in 1999. “Our culture is one of constant innovation, and this move reflects that.”
 
Located in the third and fourth floors of 417 Bridge St. NW, above New Holland Brewing The Knickerbocker, the 20,000-square-foot office space features large windows with views of Grand Rapids' west side and downtown and a private outdoor patio facing Bridge Street.

Developer, builder, and current manager of the facility at 417 Bridge St. NW in its entirety, Rockford Construction will complete a custom build-out of Adtegrity’s new space, with Lott3Metz signed on as the project’s architect. 

“Rockford has been a great partner in helping us find the perfect location that will accommodate our growth,” Brew says. “The west side is extremely walkable and friendly, and is home to great companies. We are looking forward to being a part of the neighborhood and adding to its energy.”

Mike Mraz, Managing Partner of Real Estate Development at Rockford, says Adtegrity’s addition to the west side makes sense with other recent and upcoming developments along Bridge Street, including the new retail space of Michigan-themed apparel company The Mitten State; Asian-fusion restaurant Ando Asian Kitchen; and Rockford’s own new mixed-use apartment community, Barley Flats. 

Increasing activity on Bridge Street, Mraz says, was one of Rockford’s main goals from the start of its investment efforts on the west side. 

“To be able to welcome outstanding retail and restaurants to the corridor, add additional housing options through Barley Flats, and to work with Scott and his team at Adtegrity to create an office that meets their needs is very exciting,” he says. 

Specializing in working with small- to medium-sized agencies and businesses, Adtegrity offers managed digital advertising services and display ads that include things like banners, mobile ads, and video ads on websites and devices, with ad delivery to 97 percent of countries across the globe. 

When it opens in June, the new Adtegrity offices will be new home to Adtegrity’s 40-person staff, who operate under the organizational goal of being a digital solutions provider that “does things differently: to learn more, to be better, and to grow as a company to offer a better customer experience…By fostering a community of people who are dead-set on service — to clients, co-workers, and to communities,” its website biography reads. 

“So much of what has allowed our company to be successful is our people,” Brew says. “For our team to be in a dynamic space that supports creativity is key.”

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Adtegrity/Rockford Construction

Grand Rapids' first-ever African American-owned cosmetology school celebrates opening

In all of the greater Grand Rapids area, there’s only one cosmetology school that is African American-owned and operated — and it has just opened for business.

Co-founded by licensed cosmetology instructors Theresa Mosley and Summer Williams, the new Mosley Cosmetology School held a ribbon cutting ceremony April 10 to commemorate the grand opening of its new Brentwood Centre facility at 4454 Breton Road SE. 

Part of the salon and spa industry that generates nearly $40 billion in annual sales in the U.S. alone, Mosley Cosmetology School marks not only the first black-owned beauty school in the greater Grand Rapids area, but also the first time a natural hair care certificate program is being offered in West Michigan. 

“I am ecstatic to open Mosley School of Cosmetology,” Mosley says. “This has been a dream come true.” 

The new cosmetology school creates both a new option for vocational training in the greater Grand Rapids community and a necessary one, filling some of the void left behind by other “chain” vocational schools that used to have campuses in West Michigan — Minnesota-based Regency Beauty Institute, for example, whose Grand Rapids campus closed abruptly with its other 78 campuses in September of last year, just weeks after ITT Technical Institute announced plans to shut down all 130 of its locations.

With a degree in business management from Cornerstone University and a specialization in hair extensions and healthy hair, Mosley says she built her new school on the foundation of her longtime vision to create “a place where education, community and entrepreneurship build strong leaders in the cosmetology industry.” 

With small class sizes, affordable tuition payments, and curriculum that incorporates 1,500 hour of hands-on training, MCS students can choose between full- and part-time classes to complete the 350 hours of experience required to obtain a cosmetology license. Though MCS offers flexible re-payment options at zero interest to students enrolled in either of its two course programs, grants and scholarships are also available. 

“It has been my vision to bring quality education that will help students graduate with confidence, knowledge and skills to build their business,” Mosley says. 

With the capacity to serve 60 students between morning and night sessions, Mosley Cosmetology  School is open Monday through Friday. For more information about Mosley Cosmetology School, or to schedule an appointment with an enrollment specialist online, visit mosleysoc.com or find Mosley Cosmetology School here on Facebook

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Mosley Cosmetology School 

A decade after opening its doors on Wealthy Street, The Sparrows plans new West Side coffee shop

After 10 years of rooting itself in the East Hills community as both a staple and catalyst for growth in the Uptown business district, Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand is expanding its Grand Rapids footprint with the opening of a second location at 442 Bridge St. NW.

“We’ve always been a community space that offers really good coffee, and we thought we could do that in a second location, as well,” says Sparrows owner Lori Slager Wenzel, who initially planned on moving into another Bridge Street space owned by her friend until plans fell through. 

After a quick second round of searching, however, Slager Wenzel found the space at 442 Bridge St. and made things official, finding herself charmed by its history and likeness to her Wealthy Street space.

At 1,000 square feet, the new building space will seat up to 49 people, with renovation plans that include the installation of a new coffee bar and news rack with local and national newspapers and magazines. There will be the same menu as its Wealthy Street location, with the added offering of “cupping,” which is basically an educational process where customers can test coffee and learn about the different tastes and aromas.  

“The space itself, the front of it, is not that much different. It’s got a similar feel to our Wealthy Street location with the wood floors that opens up in back to a larger space,” she says, though its little-known history as Station A for the 1930s-era Grand Rapids Postal Service was a happy surprise for Slager Wenzel and her employees, who did a little bit of digging into the 442 Bridge St. location's past online.  

Although unfortunately the space doesn’t feature any recognizable relics from its past life, the history of the well-loved space is celebrated in its continued use by the people it was built for — the surrounding community.

“Part of what we love about our Wealthy Street building is the history of the space having been a hardware store,” she says. “We love that the Huizingas raised their six children right in the upstairs rooms.” 

Though no official grand opening event has been announced just yet, the plan is to begin construction on the interior build-out in the next two to three weeks after the city planning commission approves all of the permitting and paperwork. 

To learn more about both locations and to stay updated on its Bridge Street grand opening, visit The Sparrows online or find them here on Facebook.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand 

After artist Matt Elliott's stage 4 cancer diagnosis, GreenLion Studios to host fundraiser art show

GreenLion Studios owner BJ Johnson already knew he wanted to feature Matt Elliott’s work before he found out about the illness.

Drawn to Elliott’s specific style of art — mixed medium and illustrations with an “oddball aesthetic” — Johnson says a fundraising event just made sense for his friend, who was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma in December of last year.

“Being as I was already planning on having a show with him anyway, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to schedule that and work a fundraising angle to get him to sell some work,” Johnson says.

The official reception for “Creepshow,” an exhibit made up of a collection of Elliott’s black and white artwork, will be held from 7-10 p.m. on April 29 in the gallery of GreenLion Studios at 1444 Lake Drive SE in Eastown. Prior to the show, Elliott has already made his designs available for tattoos by Johnson as part of the fundraising.

The proceeds from each $100 “creep” tattoo go directly to Elliott in support of his cancer treatment, a gesture from his friend, Johnson. During the April 29 reception, Johnson will also be giving tattoos as a sort of performance piece, but is still offering them now in hopes to keep the fundraising strong.

“Usually when we have a show, it’ll just be original single art pieces, plates, glasses, patches, t-shirts, and stickers and things like that,” Johnson says. “Then because his work translates so well into the tattoo medium — when your friend is in a situation like that and so many people want to help, I thought this was something I could do, donate all money to him and his family to help ease some of the burden of chemo costs.”

Described by Elliott as “odd, weird, and strange lowbrow dudes,” his “creeps” represent his distinct style and voice as an artist, something Johnson says he’s always admired about Elliott’s work.

“He was able to do something that I have been unable to do throughout my career, which is create a visual language that is specific to him,” Johnson says. “You look at one of his pieces and know immediately that it’s his.”

For the April 29 reception, the gallery will be open from 7-10pm for visitors to come with their friend and family to see Elliott's artwork and chat with the artist about the show. Original art will be available for purchase, including drawings, paintings, pins, shirts, and patches. Plus, you'll be able to get a "creep" tattoo during the event. There will also be creepy-crafted cocktails and cookies.

To RSVP or just learn more about the April 29 event, visit Creepshow's event page on Facebook or see more of Matt Elliott’s work on Instagram at @matt_elliott_art.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor Images courtesy of Matt Elliott

Swedish tech company Configura expands into GR’s Blue35 building with high-tech digs

Along with utilizing the company’s CET Design software to streamline space planning and product ordering, Configura interior designer is also holding what she calls “design charrettes” with employees — all in an effort to help create a maximally inclusive work environment for the Swedish tech company’s new digs in downtown Grand Rapids Blue35 building.

A West Michigan native, Steinhaus is drawing on her past experience overseeing the design of Configura’s corporate headquarters in Linköping, and is designing both the 12,000-square-foot space and planned rooftop terrace to accommodate large groups of visitors from the company’s Sweden headquarters and Malaysia offices, as well as those visit for CET Designer software training sessions.

“It’s about creating spaces that attract and retain the best of the best,” Steinhaus says. “Working in Grand Rapids is just as cool as working in Silicon Valley or anywhere in the world.”

Along with workspaces, the two-story office space will feature a large open kitchen area, a dining and recreation space, and “plenty of soft seating,” with a rooftop terrace available for everything from entertaining guests to a relaxation spot for Configura employees.

Created by Rockford Construction as a flexible work environment for modern-age businesses, the 103-year-old building at 35 Oakes St. SW is a fitting place for Swedish tech company Configura’s latest expansion into the Grand Rapids market, says Rockford’s managing partner of real estate development, Mike Mraz.

“Blue35 was created as an innovative environment to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses, right in the heart of our city,” Mraz says. “Welcoming Configura to the building speaks to the flexibility the space offers, and the continued desire for companies to be located in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a perfect addition to Blue35, and a great fit for Configura.”

Leasing two floors at a total of 12,000 square feet, Configura’s new office space is just one fixture in the eight-story Blue35 building, whose remaining six floors are outfitted with rentable private offices, co-working spaces, or other meeting and event rooms.

“To say we’re thrilled to be investing in Grand Rapids and our team for a strong future ahead is an understatement,” says Configura CEO Johan Lyreborn. “Grand Rapids is our second home – we love being here.”

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Configura/Rockford Construction

New $53 million Brix at Midtown opens leasing for 287-unit Medical Mile apartments

Although it may be managed by Georgia-based real estate company RISE, The Brix at Midtown wants to try and keep things as local as possible to create a community in its new 287-unit apartment complex, located at 414 Benson Ave. NE on the corner of Michigan Street and Benson Avenue.

General Manager Angela Brookins says at The Brix’s new 627 Michigan St. leasing office, even the snacks and coffee are purchased from Grand Rapids retailers, like Ferris Nut Coffee & Nut.

“We really, really want to be a neighborhood — that’s a huge priority to us, being that we’re (based) out of Georgia,” says Brookings, who herself from the Grand Rapids area worked with RISE to bring in Grand Rapids-based Wolverine Building Group as project leads for construction and made a conscious effort to pay homage to Midtown’s history in the naming of the complex.

“It’s really important to us to be Grand Rapids based and use Grand Rapids products,” she says. “It ties back to the naming of The Brix and paying homage to Midtown’s history in the early 1900s.”

Taken from the word “brickyatt,” meaning brickyard in Dutch, The Brix is a nod to some of the Medical Mile’s residents at the turn of the 20th century — members of the Polish and Dutch communities who worked together to build up industry in what was then a still budding downtown center, which relied heavily upon the community’s brickyards to support growing demand for clay in the early 1900s.

With more floor plans to choose from than you even knew could exist in one place (28, to be exact) across a total of 287 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, Brookings says apartments at The Brix afford individual tenants a little bit of customization, using smart design to utilize every inch of square footage in a way that makes sense from a practical standpoint.

“We have a one bedroom that actually has it where you come in and you have your living room, which flows into kitchen — it’s very open concept — and has a half-bath downstairs, but then at the back of the space, there’s a spiral staircase which leads to an upstairs loft with a full-size closet and a full bathroom,” she says.

However, regardless of floor plan, each unit at The Brix features private balcony access, grant counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a full size washer and dyer, and luxury designer cabinets and vinyl plank flooring.

Outside of each unit, list goes on with a roster of community amenities that include things like a gated off-street parking deck, a two-story fitness area and yoga studio, an indoor golf simulator, pet park and wash area, heated outdoor pool, bike storage and repair area, community fire pit, and a centrally located outdoor courtyard with a 6,000 square-feet of green space among them.

“Our amenities are going to be a big deal,” says Brookings, who thinks the emphasis on shared space is fitting for The Brix at Midtown’s larger mission of creating a real feeling of community in the downtown Grand Rapids neighborhood.

“We really want to be a part of Midtown…when you talk about Grand Rapids, you know where Eastown is, you know where Heritage Hill is, where the West Side is, downtown — I think Midtown is just an undiscovered neighborhood with a lot of potential,” she says.

To check out available floor plans or find more information on leasing, email live@thebrixatmidtown.com or visit The Brix at Midtown online.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of The Brix at Midtown/RISE

Out with the old, in with the new: Muskegon's Plumbs Market to reopen as Great Lakes Fresh Market

Closing its doors and selling its assets to Menominee-based L.M. Foods early last month, the new owners of the longtime local grocer Plumb Market in downtown Muskegon announced plans to reopen the 80-year-old store as Great Lakes Fresh Market following a revamp of the space at 1680 Apple Avenue.

“We are excited to bring the Great Lakes Fresh Market concept to the area,” L.M. Foods President Dan Gentz says in a statement last week.

Plumb’s other two locations in North Muskegon and Whitehall are also being operated by new owners at L.M. Foods, each store upgraded with improvements like state-of-the-art meat cases for maximum freshness and a wider selection of meat, a bakery, a deli, and produce offerings to keep up with modern grocery trends.

In downtown Muskegon, the renovated Great Lakes Fresh Market space will feature the same wider selection of meat, bakery, deli and produce items, but include additional upgrades that range from more organic and specialty wine options to an overhaul of its interior decor.

Named for the store’s new primary distributors, Great Lakes Foods, Gentz also says the new Great Lakes Fresh Market will hire a customer service specialist for good measure.

“As a customer, you can expect not only high quality produce, bakery, deli, and meat cut fresh in-store, but also the highest level customer service,” he says. “ A customer service specialist is being hired to ensure our patrons are taken care of. We want to be considered leaders in our community, so you can expect a high level of community involvement as well.”

Many of the Plumb Market employees were retained in the transition to Great Lakes Fresh Market, which is now in the process of training staff members in the delivery of consistent customer service — something the company considers as an often overlooked key factor to success as a small-town grocer.

“It was important to us to take care of the folks who have been with Plumb’s and who have been loyal to this community,” L.M. Foods owner Tom Kuber says. “Everyone has maintained their seniority, wages, and benefits. They’ve worked hard, they’ve been through a lot, and we’re happy to have them as part of the Great Lakes Fresh Market team.”

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Great Lakes Fresh Market
1704 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts