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Catherine's Health Center expansion to make room for more doctors, patients in Grand Rapids

Deborah Johnson Wood

Catherine's Health Center has volunteer doctors and nurses waiting in the wings to serve patients – but the center's cramped quarters in the basement of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church doesn't have enough room.

So Catherine's will move early next year to 6,500 square feet in the vacant St. Alphonsus School next door at 224-228 Carrier Street NE.

"Our purpose is to [provide free health care] to the uninsured and underinsured," says Helen Lehman, board chair. "We handle about 400 patient visits a month with two volunteer physicians and a small paid staff. In the height of flu season, we might turn away 30 patients a day."

The new facility will have six exam rooms, treatment rooms, a laboratory and a pharmacy. St. Alphonsus Church plans to move its clothing and food pantry into the building, Lehman says, making it convenient for patients to stop into both places in one trip.

"A lot of our patients walk here or ride the bus," Lehman says. "About 76 percent of them are employed or have multiple jobs; these are the working poor who are just trying to put it all together – rent, shoes for the kids and healthcare."

Lehman says the expansion will allow Catherine's to handle some 15,000 patient visits annually.

The estimated $800,000 renovation goes out to bid soon. Lehman says Catherine's has received more than $1 million of its $1.3 million funding campaign, which will cover construction, furniture and equipment, and some operating expenses.

"It was kind of the perfect storm for us to be right in the same neighborhood where we've worked for 16 years," she says. "We were sad to see the school go, but it was probably an answer to prayer that we have this space in the neighborhood."

Source: Helen Lehman, Catherine's Health Center

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.

Mixtape Cafe plans expansion, move to northwest side in Grand Rapids

Deborah Johnson Wood

Mixtape Café owners Jean-René Renusson and Jessica Brady have plans to bring bigger national bands to Grand Rapids, and they'll soon have a large enough space where eager teens can attend the concerts in comfort.

Mixtape Café will move at the end of this month from its location on South Division Avenue to nearly 6,000 square feet at 1115 Taylor NW, the renovated Waddell Furniture Manufacturing plant. The company's new name will be MXTP, a name Brady says stands for a more evolved venue.

"We do five bands a night, seven shows a week of live music," Brady says. "We're an all-ages venue; we don't serve alcohol and our clientele is between ages 13 and 25. We bring in national, regional and local acts. The area on South Division is building up and is a really neat neighborhood, but there are a lot of homeless shelters, and who knows what's going on outside. It's really difficult to convince parents that it's a safe location."

The new location is a garden level space in the same building as Dog Story Theater. Brady says that besides the concert area with its new stage, sound system and lighting, the new venue will have a green room for the bands and lounge areas where concert-goers can relax.

"Kids have a place to go that's not at their parents' house and it's not at a bar," Brady says. "We have security, so the atmosphere is controlled and we don't tolerate any drugs or alcohol.

"The local bands are what really draw in the crowds," she says, "and we give them a chance to open for a larger band."

New Found Glory will headline the grand opening show on August 13.

Source: Jessica Brady, Mixtape Café

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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.

Hansen Nature Trail opens in Grand Rapids' Millennium Park

Deborah Johnson Wood

A new nature trail that winds around several ponds in the most undisturbed natural area of Kent County's Millennium Park opened last week.

The Hansen Nature Trail, named after donors Dick and Sandy Hansen who funded the $100,000 project, is just over a half-mile long, but it connects to more than 20 miles of the Fred Meijer Millennium Trail Network within the park as well as the Kent Trails system and a Grand Rapids City Trail along Wealthy St. SE.

The trail is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, made of compacted crushed stone that will accommodate wheelchairs and mountain bikes. The pathway loops through the property of a former fish hatchery near the intersection of Butterworth and Riverbend streets. Users can fish from a wheelchair-accessible fishing deck that extends over one of the ponds.

"The Hansen Nature Trail adds another element to the park," says Roger Sabine, director of Kent County Parks. "It's the most natural area we have that's open with trails, a little closer to nature than the rest of the trails. There are more sights and sounds than there might be on other trails because it's a little less busy."

Millennium Park is open to the public at no cost, and features age-appropriate playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk along the water's edge. Access to the swimming area ranges from $2 to $4 per person per visit, or via a $50 family pass.

Source: Roger Sabine, Kent County Parks Department; Kate Washburn, Wondergem Consulting

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.

Historic Grand Rapids home revived as one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast inn

Deborah Johnson Wood

Legend has it that in the 1900s wealthy businessman Harry C. Leonard gave his daughter Dorothy a gift – a massive home complete with servant's quarters and a third-floor ballroom.

That home at Logan and Morris streets in Grand Rapids is now open as the Leonard at Logan House Bed & Breakfast, following an extensive renovation to bring it back to its former glory by owners Ann and John Finkler, Paul and Charles DeVos and Mark Zimmer.

A wide, open staircase leads from the foyer to the five guest rooms on the second floor. Each guest room, tastefully appointed with period-style furniture, has a private bath. On the main floor, visitors will find a relaxing sitting room with a fireplace, a dining room and a modern gourmet kitchen.

The house has oak floors throughout, except for the ballroom, which has maple – a hardwood not easily marred by dancers' shoes. The ballroom is now the owner's quarters.

Modern amenities include free Wi-Fi, keyless entry and 32-inch flat screen TVs in each guest room.

"We started with the roof because it was leaking, and leaks mean cracked plaster, which was throughout the house," Zimmer says. He and Ann Finkler are part of Team Restoration, the group that handled the restoration.

"We added half a dozen chandeliers throughout the house to make it more elegant," Zimmer says.

Outside, the owners removed two overgrown pine trees that blocked the view of the house from the street. They're currently adding an outdoor patio for guest use. Zimmer says an existing lawn area accommodates canopies for outdoor weddings and parties.

Breakfast is designed to fit the needs of guests – an extensive weekday continental breakfast allows business guests to eat on the go; weekend guests experience a more leisurely meal.

"During the week we attract quite a number of business travelers, and overseas contract designers who work for Steelcase," Zimmer says. "We're more laid back than a hotel, so a lot of times they'll stay here."

Source: Mark Zimmer, Leonard at Logan House Bed & Breakfast

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

Indoor B-ball, giant Scrabble board add playful side to Lambert Edwards new $1M digs in Heartside

Deborah Johnson Wood

Shooting hoops and wordsmithing on a 10-foot by 10-foot Scrabble board are just two of the ways employees at Lambert Edwards & Associates can de-stress in their new office space in Heartside. In late May, the public and investor relations firm relocated from the National City Bank building on Monroe Avenue NW to an environmentally renovated former auto repair shop at 47 Commerce SW.

"At first the contractors and architect thought I was joking when I said I wanted a basketball hoop in the corner," says Jeff Lambert, president. "But part of the reason for (buying) the building is about how we can really invest in the culture of our firm. You can have some great conversations around the basketball court."

Lambert says they built the office around the natural light that streamed through the existing large windows by adding glass walls and skylights. The original brick walls, a media studio for producing videos and podcasts, and a blend of private offices and open workspaces give the place an air of "professional cool, a sharp-looking and creative space for clients to come in and work," he adds.

The next project is to complete the 1,200-square-foot roof deck where employees and clients can take breaks or have meetings. The deck will have wireless Internet access, and Lambert says the company hopes to donate use of the space for charity events.

The firm partnered with five of its clients on the renovation and relocation: Pioneer Construction, Springthrough, EPS Engineered Protection Systems, Inc., Avian and Two Men and a Truck.

Lambert expects the project will receive LEED certification.

"We're really pleased to be part of the revitalization that's going on in Heartside with Gallery On Fulton, 38, Stella's and Viceroy," Lambert says. "Part of why we invested in the space was to be able to attract talent from other markets because we know that the environment we work in every day is very important."

Source: Jeff Lambert, Lambert Edwards & Associates

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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.

Kent County Recycling Center in Grand Rapids adds education component, sort-free recycling

Deborah Johnson Wood

The next school environmental class to tour the new $11.5 million Kent County Recycling and Education Center will learn about the county's upcoming new single-stream recycling method from a bird's-eye view of the action – a catwalk that extends over the sorting equipment.

The new center at 977 Wealthy St. SW is nearly complete, and work crews are training on the new sorting equipment, says Dennis Kmiecik, Kent County's solid waste division director.

"The schools are emphasizing recycling in their curriculum," he says. "We got overwhelmed with tours in our old facility (322 Bartlett SW). So in the new facility we invested in a classroom that can seat 80 people and has all the new technology."

Interior windows allow students to observe workers and equipment from the classroom. What they'll see will be state-of-the-art sorting equipment that can handle a much higher capacity of recycled waste than the current equipment, all sorting from a single stream that contains plastic, glass, metal and paper waste products.

With single-stream, Kent County residents and businesses will no longer need to sort recyclables into separate bins, but can place them all in one cart they can wheel to the curb.

Kmiecik expects the city of Grand Rapids to offer 30-, 68- and 90-gallon carts, free. Individual haulers outside the city will determine what carts to offer customers and the cost, if any.

The change will take place mid-July, with how-to information available within the next week or so, Kmiecik says.

The new process should reduce the recycle center's operating expenses, but Kmiecik isn't making predictions on how much.

"We were running 13 hours a day, six days a week, with 90 to 100 community service workers each day," he says. "Now it will be eight hours a day, five days a week with a minimum of 20 people."

Kmiecik hopes the new process will mean more people will recycle. He says Grand Rapids has a 45 percent residential recycling rate; countywide the number is only 20 percent.

Source: Dennis Kmiecik, Kent County Recycling and Education Center

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.

Recycling with style, Muskegon boutique gives vintage home decor items Continuity

Deborah Johnson Wood

A synonym for the word "continuity" is "connect," which is what a downtown Muskegon retailer hopes to do with shoppers looking for vintage furniture and items crafted from recycled materials.

This week's opening of Continuity, 1115 Third St., brings Muskegon a new kind of shop featuring antique and vintage chairs, lamps, tables and other home décor furnishings, as well as jewelry, handbags and art crafted from recycled or "upcycled" goods.

"In Muskegon there are some antique malls, but this is more of a boutique," says owner Jennifer Cross. "This isn't like an antiques shop that has things crammed in it. I've set up a living room, dining room, kitchen and two whimsical areas featuring things that have already had one life. I'm giving them a chance to continue their lives with a new purpose."

Continuity is in a brick storefront that was once Walt Plant Electronics. The Neighborhood Investment Corporation renovated the building into three retail spaces on the main level with apartments above.

Cross, a Muskegon native, says her parents are avid antiques collectors and that, along with a high school experience, influenced her decision to start the shop.

"The idea to start a business started in high school with my marketing teacher, Dave Walker," says owner Jennifer Cross. "He really planted the seed for me to be an entrepreneur.

"I recently worked for the Muskegon Area Chamber for five years, where we always talked about attracting young talented people to the area. I just had a baby in October, so I decided that now is the time to go for it."

"Third Street is sort of a niche vintage area and there's space for other retailers and there's a lot of foot traffic," she says. "Hopefully, my opening a new store here will really encourage other people to start businesses in this area."

Source: Jennifer Cross, Continuity

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.

New furniture company in Holland crafts innovative pieces for public spaces

Deborah Johnson Wood

A hip new furniture startup in Holland plans to spark up the way people use public spaces with the launch of the company's initial furniture line geared for a technology-driven society.

Sparkeology is a combined effort of longtime library furniture-maker The Worden Company, architecture and design firm Via Design and its sister company Viable, and graphic design firm Square One Design. The company operates out of Worden's headquarters at 199 East 17th St.

"We saw that public spaces have become community hubs where people gather," says Worden spokesperson Robin Hendrick Lane. "On campuses, students gather in coffee shops, in hallways between classes, in lounges in dorms. We see opportunities in all of those spaces where people need to sit down and plug in, and the need to create little spaces where people can work."

Lane says users can plug into built-in electrical connections in the furniture, as well as "plug into" engagement with any group that gathers – the furniture is lightweight and designed to fit a number of configurations.

For example, Flip can be a table or a stool, or flip it over and it holds your briefcase and coffee – off the floor and upright. And there's Ty, a space divider that "ties" everything together and doubles as a central power hub. Add a Ty-Pad backrest and Ben, a coordinating bench, and you have seating, a power source and a divider that can become a display piece.

"We're looking at ways to accommodate a laptop in terms of a tablet arm that can be folded away," Lane says. "And our display pieces double as space dividers with interchangeable interiors that go from cubbies to shelves and you can hang a flat screen TV or monitor off the interior."

Worden will manufacture the furniture in its FSC-certified facility, using wood veneers, low-formaldehyde wood cores, or metals made of recycled and recyclable materials.

Sparkeology's first nine products will make their debut at NeoCon World's Trades Fair 2010, a decision made just six weeks ago. Flip will compete in the Best of NeoCon competition for office accessories.

Source: Robin Hendrick Lane, Sparkeology

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.

Proposed Grand Rapids skate park ramps up for development in Clemente Park

Deborah Johnson Wood

The development of a skate park in Grand Rapids got the signal to start rolling when the Grand Rapids City Commission approved the proposal at Tuesday's commission meeting. A committee of the Sixth Street Bridge Community Coalition worked for several months with the city's Parks & Recreation department to develop the proposed Clemente Skate Park in an underused area of Clemente Park, 546 Rumsey SW.

"The part of the park near B Street has a tennis court that hasn't been used for probably 10 years," says Chris Gray, committee chair of the coalition. "It's close enough to downtown and it's just unused, with lots of trees."

Gray is quick to point out that the north portion of Clemente Park will remain as is, with actively used soccer fields. He also notes that skate park plans are in the beginning stages and the planning group still needs to raise some $350,000 for the project.

Preliminary plans are to incorporate different styles of skate parks by connecting paved paths that stretch over rolling, shaded terrain to pods of activity, such as ramps and a concrete bowl.

"One of the big parts of our plan is to keep the area as is by not removing any of the living trees," he says. "We want to keep it really wooded to keep it a unique park, and we want it to be a park that people want to go to for other things like biking and walking."

Gray, a photographer and artist, designs apparel for Premier Skateboarding, a supporter of his work with the skate park. He hopes to feature urban art in the park. Another aspect could include providing a small garden space for nearby Southwest Community Campus school. Construction on the park could begin in early 2011.

A June 20 kickoff celebration at Rosa Parks Circle will include skateboard competitions, giveaways and opportunities for participants and spectators to contribute toward the skate park's development fund.

Source: Chris Gray, Clemente Skate Park

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.

Madison Square Church undertakes $1.3M renovation of former caster shop

Deborah Johnson Wood

Grand Rapids' Madison Square Church is in the throes of renovating a $1.3 million former caster factory into a space where its youth group can give musical and dramatic performances and spend time socializing in a casual, Christian environment.

The building at 1401 Madison Ave. SE, dubbed Madison Place, is just a few doors north of the church. Communications Manager Bill Wiarda says the undertaking is in answer to God's call for the church community to take the gospel to the city.

"Our pastor David Beelen took a sabbatical in 2006 to do some planning, and when he came back, we developed this idea we call Making Room – New Faces, New Places to meet people where they are. There was a lot of redevelopment and revitalization in the neighborhood at that time, so we bought the building."

Volunteers from the congregation worked together to demolish parts of the interior. Wiarda says that once construction is finished, the 8,500-square-foot main level will feature a multipurpose room complete with a stage, sound system, lighting and projection for the youth group; a game room; offices for the youth department; and a kitchen that will supplement the full service kitchen in the church, when needed.

A food pantry, currently housed at Restorers, Inc., 1413 Madison Ave. SE, will have a dedicated space with greater food storage capacity, freezers and refrigerators and direct access from outside.

One surprising feature is a planned woodworking shop for the church's Cadets group of fourth through sixth grade boys.

"They meet once a week to do woodworking projects," Wiarda says. "Right now they meet in the church office basement, which is really cramped. The new space will have equipment and improved ventilation."

Source: Bill Wiarda, Madison Square Church

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.

CityFlats Hotel in Holland eyes downtown Grand Rapids for next boutique hotel venture

Deborah Johnson Wood

The owner of the CityFlats Hotel in Holland plans to transform the former Fox Jewelers building in downtown Grand Rapids into a new 28-room boutique hotel. The announcement last week moves owner Charter House Innovations a step closer to developing the hotel model into a national franchise.

"We still have ambitions for CityFlats to be a franchise, and we're using the Grand Rapids location to show that it can be franchised all over the country," says Sarah Lilly, marketing coordinator.

The 16,000-square-foot building at 83 Monroe Center was on the drawing board as Fox Lofts residential condominiums after Fox Jewelers moved out, but the condominiums idea never took off. Situated in the heart of Grand Rapids' downtown, it has been vacant for several years.

Each room of the hotel will offer a design and color scheme different from the other rooms. Each of Charter House's 13 designers will create a unique design for the guest rooms and the hotel's public areas.

"There have been discussions about finding a creative way to keep the original marquee, but nothing has been determined yet," says Lilly of Fox's signature signage above the main entry.

Charter House's Holland facility will design and manufacture the products used in the hotel's interior, Lilly says. The hotel will be LEED certified, similar to the Gold LEED certified CityFlats Hotel.

"We feel we're offering a unique product with it being a boutique hotel and being LEED certified," she says. "The customer gets a more personalized experience because of the smaller and unique design. A lot of the customers in Holland stay in a different room each time to experience the different designers."

The Grand Rapids location will include a lounge, coffee bar, a fitness center and meeting rooms.

Plans are in the early stages and Lilly says more details will be announced as they become available.

"We're really excited about being a part of downtown Grand Rapids," Lilly says. "We're looking forward to really great things happening."

Source: Sarah Lilly, CityFlats Hotel

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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.

Grand Rapids' Goodrich Apartments breaks ground on $3.1 million makeover

Deborah Johnson Wood

Seventeen years ago Grand Rapids-based Dwelling Place, Inc. purchased and renovated The Goodrich Apartments – 14 affordable apartments on S. Division Ave. just south of the Avenue for the Arts. A $3.1 million project to update the units and buildings broke ground this week.

The apartments are in two circa 1890 structures constructed side by side at 333 and 339 South Division Ave. – the DelaMater Building and the Schuchardt Building, respectively.

"This is not a gut rehab, but the apartments will have new appliances, new cupboards and hardwood floors throughout," says Jarrett DeWyse, director of housing development for Dwelling Place. "The buildings are long and narrow and some of the apartments are kind of dark. We're reconfiguring those apartments to have lower interior walls so natural light from the windows can travel deeper into those apartments."

The apartments will get complete overhauls, including new bathrooms and some skylights. The shared spaces, such as hallways and stairwells, will be repainted and carpeted.

The residents in the five occupied apartments at 339 S. Division agreed to a temporary "apartment swap" to the building next door. Once their apartments are renovated, the residents will move back in and work will begin on 333 S. Division.

Dwelling Place waited for months for approval of historic preservation tax credits from the state of Michigan and the federal government. DeWyse says the approvals came through recently for nearly $2 million in tax credits. Dwelling Place has to prove that it fulfilled its promise to keep certain renovations historically accurate once the project is completed at the end of the year.

"We can't remove the wood staircases, we have to replace windows with windows of similar construction, and we'll restore all the exterior cornices and window ledges," DeWyse says.

The project also received $700,000 from the city of Grand Rapids, which Dwelling Place will repay after a 15-year compliance period, provided there is enough cash flow.

Source: Jarrett DeWyse, Dwelling Place, Inc.

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.

Conduit Studios loves Heartside in Grand Rapids; moves to larger studio space close to "home"

Deborah Johnson Wood

John O'Neill and Tim Carpenter love having the heart of their graphic design studio in Heartside. So when Conduit Studios outgrew its 700 square feet at 7 Ionia SW, the duo found triple the space that fits the company image and inspires creativity right in the same building.

"When we first moved into the smaller space, it was just Tim and me, so that gave us room to collaborate, but we still had space to get away from each other and focus on work," says O'Neill. "Then we added two employees, and if you leaned back in chair you were touching someone else."

O'Neill says they wanted a space that promoted more collaboration and less hierarchy; a floor plan that put the two owners squarely in the mix with employees, yet allows everyone room to work privately.

"There should be a blur between what is a residential feel and what is an office feel, and we're really trying to achieve that," O'Neill says. "Our interior designer Kathryn Chaplow added a standing-height bar with bar stools which is perfect for when you're critiquing something really quick, and it serves as a kitchen metaphor, a natural gathering space."

The studio's design has clients walk through the work area to reach the conference room in the back – a strategic plan that helps clients engage with the designers.

O'Neill and Carpenter collect the works of local artists and wanted to bring those pieces into the work environment for inspiration. An art wall that's nearly floor-to-ceiling allows display of a disparate variety of paintings, photography and other art media.

"It's filled with art that inspires us, it's not meant to be a portfolio of our own work," says O'Neill. "When we're surrounded by things that inspire us we can use that in our work and challenge ourselves by our surroundings."

Source: John O'Neill, Conduit Studios

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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.


Conduit Studios under construction -Courtesy Photo

Mood board created by designer Kathryn Chaplow, LLC

Grand Rapids artist opens studio gallery in historic warehouse building

Deborah Johnson Wood

Grand Rapids artist Nathan Goddard says the daylight streaming through the east windows of his new studio space casts is just right for working with the earth-friendly materials he creates for his paintings.

The studio and gallery space, nrg studio, occupies some 1,300 square feet of a former furniture factory at 445 Century Ave. SW. Goddard moved his work there in January because his home studio was no longer big enough to accommodate the larger pieces he wanted to create.

"This is a space where I could work large and could have (art) workshops," Goddard says. He also needed more room for mixing his own materials for what he calls his Earth Paintings.

"I make my own clay slips using clay earth I gather from places like the Grand River, West Virginia and Utah," he says. "I create my own pigment using soy resin as my binder, not using anything oil based. West Virginia and Utah clays have unique colors I haven't found elsewhere."

Those colors include a particular red from Utah and a bright yellow-gold from West Virginia. The Grand River yields "dark brown, almost black, clay that fires to orange," Goddard says.

Goddard's focus is on painting and landscapes, but he also does graphics design and 3-D work, such as the trophy design selected by ArtServe Michigan for the Guvvy Award, the Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture.

In 2009, the Creston Public Art Project selected Goddard's mural Should Be Culture as one of two new public art murals in the Creston business district.

nrg studio's grand opening is Friday, May 21 at 6 p.m. Goddard will showcase his work and work by his wife, Elizabeth Goddard.

Source: Nathan Goddard, nrg studio

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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.

Grand Rapids eclectic home decor shop specializes in artfully redesigned, recycled goods

Deborah Johnson Wood

When Dann Boyles and Chip Minor moved to Nashville, Tenn. a couple of years ago for jobs, they didn't know the housing market crash would mean their home in Michigan wouldn't sell and they'd lose it to foreclosure. But now they're back in Grand Rapids and have launched a new venture of their own – an eclectic home décor shop that specializes in artfully redecorated vintage pieces and used items.

Boyles' success in Nashville with several antique booths he owned and operated at local marketplaces inspired the new store, Rebel Reclaimed, 926 E. Fulton St. When his friend Stephanie Johnson opened the women's consignment shop, Urban Exchange, next door, she encouraged Boyles to bring his redesign talents to a small space in the same building.

"I was an interior designer for 12 years and I am now taking a design eye to reclaiming vintage pieces and redesigning them for the home," Boyles says. "Right now I have a brass chandelier from a thrift store and I took two U.S. maps and decoupaged the entire chandelier with little torn pieces of the maps."

Boyles says he also made an ottoman slipcover out of a Red Wing Linseed Meal burlap bag and throw pillows out of other burlap bags. Artwork pieces include an extensive collection of framed crewel work from the '60s and '70s, a vintage sign from the former Moored & Sons service station in Burnips, and some architectural salvage.

"I watch very closely what's happening in color trends," Boyles says. "I'm very specific about what I show and all the pieces work together to create an overall aesthetic."

Rebel Reclaimed is open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Source: Dann Boyles, Rebel Reclaimed

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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.
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