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Brewery Vivant expands brewing operations, eyes Chicago microbrew market

Brewery Vivant is awaiting anxiously the delivery of $300,000 in new brewing equipment that will double its brewing capacity in preparation for the company's first out-of-state foray -- the Chicago market.
The announcement came the same day as Brewery Vivant's (925 Cherry St. SE) notice of recognition by the Michigan Business and Professional Association as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies.
"We're adding three 60-barrel fermenters, which will get us to 5,000 barrels, and this will put us there 18 months ahead of schedule," says Kris Spaulding, who co-owns the brewery with her husband, Jason Spaulding. "We started distributing about a year ago, and now we're throughout all of Michigan. Now we're expanding to Chicago and feel we'll be able to meet the demand."
The brewery will be ready to offer beer-loving Chicagoans its three signature beers by July or August -- Farm Hand, a French farmhouse-style ale; Triomphe, a Belgian-style IPA; and Solitude, an abbey-style ale. This summer's seasonal Zaison, a Swiss-style brew, could be distributed as well.
The growing brewing operations could result in another job or two later this year, but Kris Spaulding says the company won't ever be huge.
"As a husband and wife team, we made a concerted effort to say at what point we'll be big enough to be practical," Spaulding says. "Rather than focus on getting bigger, we can just get better and better and have time to spend together as a family. In Chicago, there are definitely a lot of Grand Rapids roots there and this is a natural progression for us."
Source: Kris Spaulding, Brewery Vivant
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Morris Builders remodels 125-year-old building, brings new energy to downtown Rockford

When Morris Builders decided to move their family-owned home remodeling business to downtown Rockford, they did it with style.

Owners Kirk and Joy Morris had been operating a six-person company out of 400 square feet they built above their garage on Bostwick Lake. As the company looks to add at least four employees in coming months, they purchased a 125-year-old building at 143 Courtland St. and completely revamped it from top to bottom.

The two-story building had a 900-square-foot two-bedroom apartment upstairs that Morris Builders gutted and rebuilt, with the addition of a laundry room and a second-story deck.

"We had a tenant before it was finished," says Kirk Morris. They also gutted and rebuilt the 1,000-square-foot main level into office and showroom spaces for the company.

"Remember the Tom Hanks movie called The Money Pit?" Morris asks. "The renovation started out to be all cosmetic, but it just kept growing and growing. It still fits its 125 years, but everything's new and fresh, except the original hardwood floors that we refinished."

Three offices and a kitchen/club room/working showroom area incorporate some of the finishes Morris Builders uses, including kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, quartz countertops, wood trims and ceramic tile, so clients can see them in a real installation. The showroom includes a gas fireplace and flat screen TV for reviewing design ideas. Outside, the building got new siding, and a unique wheelchair ramp made of a selection of the outdoor decking materials Morris Builders offers.

Morris' two children, Gavin and Aubrey, have joined the family business.

"This brings Morris Builders to the next level and makes us a true anchor in downtown Rockford," Morris says. "We're here for the long run, and it sets us up for our kids to eventually take over the business. It's just a start to all that we have to offer."

Source: Kirk Morris, Morris Builders
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Grand Rapids' new Seward Avenue extension gets city closer to linking Kent, White Pine bike trails

This summer will be the first time that cyclers have a chance to spend the warm weather checking out a new, albeit short, bike trail extension on Grand Rapids' west side, part of a larger vision to eventually connect the Kent Trails, Oxford Trail and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trails. The approximately $3 million project wrapped up last fall.

The extension of Seward Avenue south of Fulton St. SW cuts across the former Adobe restaurant property, and eventually connects two blocks south of Fulton at Butterworth SW. The extension curves gracefully and incorporates a plethora of new amenities, including boulevard medians with trees, wide sidewalks, parking bulb-outs and bike lanes on both sides of the street.

The idea is for the city to eventually extend Seward Avenue south from Butterworth to Wealthy St. SW. Along the way, a proposed future trail link would connect with the new Oxford Trail that parallels Wealthy St. SW. Another link would connect the Oxford Trail to Kent Trails to the south and west, says Breese Stam, senior project engineer with the City of Grand Rapids.  

"We have also striped (bike lanes) from the end of this project at Fulton Street, north up along Seward to Leonard Street with bike lanes on both sides of Seward," says Stam. "But north from Leonard to Ann Street we have right of way, but no bike path yet."

Proposed future trail connectors from Ann St. NW to Riverside Park would allow cyclers to ride north through the park to connect with the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail just south of the Fifth Third Ball Park. That trail runs 92 miles north to Cadillac.

Next steps are dependent on the receipt of grant monies already applied for, says Stam, adding that private funders are in place. Stam declined to give details.

Click here to view a Grand Rapids bike trail map.

Source: Breese Stam, City of Grand Rapids Engineering Department
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Uninviting Grand River overlook to become attractive Lyon Square with 8-ft.-high novelty chairs

Adding two eight-foot-tall concrete chairs to what's now an uninviting Grand River overlook is just one of several people-friendly changes planned for one of downtown Grand Rapids' most promising outdoor gathering spaces.

The east end of Lyon St., between the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (AGPH) and DeVos Place convention center, dead ends at an unused concrete amphitheater with the hotel walls on the south and the convention center loading docks on the north.

But it will soon become Lyon Square, a welcoming grove of 32 trees dotted with benches "growing" out of the landscape grade, and two extra-large novelty chairs that families and friends can climb on for photo ops. The plan calls for chairs with eight-foot-tall backs and four-foot-high seats. The chairs should seat four to five people at a time.

The seating will overlook the Grand River just a few feet north of where the Gillette Pedestrian Bridge connects the AGPH, convention center, Reserve Wine Bar and the northeast side of downtown with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Ah-Nab-A-Wen Park and the near west side.

"It's going to create a more pleasing and active riverwalk in front of the Amway Grand and along Lyon Street, and will enhance an important access point to the river," says Stephen Fry, president of Concept Design Group.

Fry says Concept Design Group's role has been to develop the plaza's original concept created by Washington, D.C.-based urban designer Jeff Speck, a leading smart growth advocate.      

The project includes new lighting, colorful pavers, canopies for the loading docks, outdoor dining for the hotel's Bentham's Restaurant and a rebuilt section along the riverwalk. It will not include the wind turbines and fountains from the original design.

Project developers are the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention and Arena Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Fry says. Most of the construction will be complete by September.

Source: Stephen Fry, Concept Design Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Wolverine Company Store celebrates grand opening in downtown Grand Rapids

Wolverine Company Store, an upscale shoe store representing only the brands made by Wolverine Worldwide, celebrated more than just a grand opening on Weds., March 21. It also used the event to say thank you for three awards the store garnered since its opening.

The shop is located in 800 square feet of MoDiv (40 Monroe Center NW) and sells men's and women's casual and dress shoes, boots and footwear for active outdoor living.

The store is unique in that it is the only store in the U.S. dedicated to only Wolverine brands -- all 12 of them -- even though Wolverine Worldwide has nearly 90 stores, nationwide, says Brian Cousins, store manager. That uniqueness spills over into the store's environment and service-focused culture, and could be part of the reason for the awards:
•    Chain Store Age: 2011 Retail Store of the Year (for softlines under 5000 sf)
•    ARE: Individual Element -- Wall Treatment Award (for the logo wall)
•    West Michigan ADDY: Gold ADDY for Mixed/Multiple Media.

Wolverine Company Store's brands include the world renowned Hush Puppies plus Merrill, Cushe, Sebago, Patagonia, Caterpillar and others.

"Caterpillar, or 'Cat,' footwear is number one in Europe and Latin America from the fashion side," Cousins says. "I got a women's Bajan boot in here today that's not available anywhere else in the U.S."

Cousins says because the downtown hotels attract guests from all over the world, Wolverine Company Store serves customers all over the world.

"There was a gentleman from Dubai in here on Saturday. Isn't it amazing?" Cousins says. "I had a Limited Edition 721 boot from our 1000 Mile Collection. There's only 1,000 made and they're pretty pricey ($725 retail). A customer from Atlanta purchased them for her husband for Christmas; her husband had been in here [when he came to Grand Rapids] on business."

Grand opening sales at the store continue through Saturday. Store hours: Mon., Tues., Weds., Fri. 11 to 6; Thurs. 11 to 7; Sat. 11 to 5.

Source: Brian Cousins, Wolverine Company Store
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Off the Cuff brings vintage, new men's apparel to Grand Rapids' growing downtown retail market

Downtown Grand Rapids' growing retail market can add a vintage and new men's apparel shop to its list of outside-the-box shopping experiences. Off the Cuff, a venture by Lenny and Sarah Ables, who also own the inventive Chai Boutique, opened on Monday in the Shops @ Monroe Center & Division, known as MoDiv (40 Monroe Center NW).

Sarah Ables, 33, opened Chai Boutique in a large space on Knapp St. NE in February 2011, then relocated to about 200-square-feet in MoDiv last October. The success of that shop, a women's vintage and new apparel and vintage furniture store, prompted Lenny, 40, to follow his dream of owning a retail business. He left a fulltime sales job to pursue the opportunity in another 200 square foot space near Chai Boutique.

"Being at MoDiv since October, we've seen a lot of couples and men come through, and there's really not a lot for men to shop for here," says Sarah Ables. "There's Wolverine [Company Store], but not much else, so we thought why not try it. Maybe this needs to be available for men downtown."

Off the Cuff has a selection of new and vintage clothing and accessories for men, including T-shirts, casual attire, wallets, money clips, belts, vintage and new shirts, hats and jewelry, says Ables. New apparel includes Alternative Apparel T-shirts, and the store has a selection of Members Only vintage.

"With the hotels downtown, there are a lot of people from out of town," Ables says. "We have excellent restaurants with great food, wonderful boutiques and shopping, and we have the Civic Theater and plenty of entertainment as well."

Off the Cuff hours: Mon. through Weds., Fri. 11 to 6; Thurs., 11 to 7; Sat. 11 to 5.

Source: Sarah Ables, Chai Boutique and Off the Cuff
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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31 apartments underway near Grand Rapids' Cooley Law with development of Grand Central Lofts

One of the last vacant buildings to be redeveloped on Grand Rapids' Commerce Avenue SW should be complete by late fall, bringing 31 loft apartments to Heartside.

Fusion Properties is giving the building a massive $3 million overhaul following a 15-year stretch when the building at 100 Commerce, at the crossroads of Commerce and Oakes St. SW, sat vacant and decaying across from Cooley Law School's Grand Rapids campus.

"I was a partner and contractor in the development of Hopson Flats, which is mostly three- and four-bedroom apartments," says Doug Gulker, managing partner of Fusion Properties and Gulker Group. "Gulker Group manages Hopson Flats, and we found there is a need for more one- and two-bedroom apartments. Grand Central Lofts is not a student-only project, but we expect a lot of our tenants to be Cooley Students."

Gulker says his research shows that the aging four-story building was once a commercial bakery called City Bakery. It's most recent use was as a manufacturing facility for Fireboy, maker of fire protection products.

Of the 31 apartments, six will be studios, plus 16 one-bedroom and 9 two-bedroom lofts. Some 1,500 square feet on the main level will be retail with storefront windows overlooking both Commerce and Oakes.

"Ideally, we would like some kind of coffee shop or small convenience store for local business people and students, maybe something with a lounge area," Gulker says. "There's not much around there where residents can go to grab a gallon of milk."

The apartments will have exposed brick walls, new wood floors in the main living areas, ceramic tile in the bathrooms and carpeting in the bedrooms, says Gulker. Ten-foot-high ceilings and numerous windows maximize the natural light.

The project secured State and Federal Historic tax credits and Brownfield Credits, totaling about 40 percent of the project costs, says Gulker.

Design architect: Hooker DeJong, Inc.
Construction manager: Gulker Group

Source: Doug Gulker, Fusion Properties and Gulker Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids' historic Sixth Street Bridge to get physically fit for summer (and beyond)

It has a tiny case of the shakes and it clunks loudly under "wheel," but for being one of Grand Rapids' oldest residents (126 years), the Sixth Street Bridge is in pretty good shape for the shape it's in. But getting it physically fit for its next decades of auto, bike and foot traffic is going to be a big part of the bridge's summer schedule.

According to HistoricBridges.org, the Massillon Bridge Company of Massillon, OH constructed the Sixth Street Bridge in 1886, and it was rehabbed in 1978. Beginning May 14, a new $1,989,000 rehabilitation will close the bridge until August 17.

"The deck of the bridge is in very poor condition; it's been asphalted and, underneath that, I think it's actually wood," says Jeff McCaul, assistant city engineer. "The new deck will put steel beam stringers underneath with a steel grid deck on top of those, and seven inches of lightweight concrete on top of that."

In addition, the rehabbed bridge will sport new wood plank sidewalks, new "rub rails," new tuckpointing on the piers, and a new brick roadway between Front St. NW and the bridge.
During the rehabilitation, vehicular traffic will be detoured south to Bridge St. NW, pedestrian traffic across the river will be detoured north to Leonard St., and pedestrian traffic on the east riverwalk will be redirected to the east side of Monroe Avenue.

The project received funding from a Michigan Department of Transportation grant, the Downtown Development Authority and Street Capital funds. MDOT awarded the project bid to
Walter Toebe Construction Company.

Source: Press release and Jeff McCaul, City of Grand Rapids
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

One Girl's Treasure says goodbye to Grand Rapids' downtown, hello to the southeast side

After five years at 5 Lyon in downtown Grand Rapids, One Girl's Treasure is preparing to move to a more compact business district on the city's southeast side.

The women's apparel consignment shop will downsize from a 2,200-square-foot sales floor to 1,600 when it relocates in early April to 1146 Wealthy St. SE, the site of the former iCandy store. But despite the smaller space, owner Haylea Gray says she'll not only keep the same amount of inventory, but plans to expand into offerings other than just apparel and accessories.

"We are actually are kind of excited about being part of a little business community that's diverse and artsy," Gray says. "We like to offer locally handmade items as well as used items, and we like to showcase local artists on the walls. I'd like to incorporate used furniture into the space, which we've never done before, and I'm hoping to have locally designed clothing as well."

Gray managed One Girl's Treasure for about a year before buying it two years ago. She says that challenges with street closures for construction projects, no on-street parking and not having any other retail businesses nearby influenced the decision to relocate.

"We loved the energy of being downtown and would have loved to have found a space," she says. "This new space kind of hit all the notes; we could have parking and get our costs down. The icing on the cake was that we really love the Wealthy Street area with the new HyperOptik, Wealthy Theatre, The Meanwhile and all of that."

The new location will be open on Tuesday, April 10. Summer store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon. thru Sat.

Source: Haylea Gray, One Girl's Treasure
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Brewskis, biking, city sights and friends; Great Lakes Pub Cruiser brings it on!

It's not a party bus, it's a party bike -- with a pub! And it's ready for you and 14 of your friends to take on a distinctly new kind of pub-crawl -- one that's people-powered for a two-hour tour of some of Grand Rapids' best watering holes.

The Great Lakes Pub Cruiser accommodates 15 people at a time, 10 of whom will power the pub using the bike pedals at the base of their barstools while the cruiser's pilot steers them to their next destination.

Teacher Laurie Ryan brought the idea home from Minneapolis after experiencing a pub cruiser there. She pitched the ideas to her girlfriends and four of them signed on as partners -- Dolores Keeley, Sharon Saladin, Diana Tomlinson and Bree Tomlinson.

"Normally when you bike, it's an individual pursuit. But when you bike on the pub, it's a social pursuit," Ryan says. "We took it out last Tuesday for the first time on the Grand Rapids city streets and we were mobbed! We gave away 400 business cards in an hour."

State law prohibits riders from imbibing alcohol while in transit, so the cruiser offers three routes around town; riders choose what pubs to visit, Ryan says. The routes cover the northwest side, the entertainment district and downtown craft brew pubs. Stops might include the Kopper Top, the Monarch's Club, Reserve Wine Bar, One Trick Pony, HopCat or Founders, as well as any number of other hotspots.

The cost for a weekend two-hour ride is $360, or $24 per person/15 people. The cost of "drinks and nibbles" is the riders' responsibility, although riders are welcome to bring their own coolers with soft drinks and food. The cruiser's bar will accommodate a keg for groups to use on private property.

Individual seat pricing is also available, plus the cruiser is available for rent for private parties.

Tours start April 14. For more information on routes and prices, click here.

Source: Laurie Ryan, Great Lakes Pub Cruiser
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Elements brings gifts, home decor, handmade art to SW Grand Rapids antiques haven

Many consider Grand Rapids' former Sligh Furniture building a haven for vintage finds and antiques shopping. And nestled amid the collectors' finds, furniture and antiques malls is elements, a new retail venture specializing in new home décor items, gifts and handmade art.

Owner Patrice Greene has been away from the retail world since closing her tiny gift boutique, Pepperberry, about five years ago. But the bug to get back into the world where she could gab with customers and sell her own art just wouldn't let her go. So, six months ago, Greene opened the 2,000-square-foot elements at 441 Century Ave. SW.

The store -- whose tagline is: bohemian artifacts - curious acquisitions -- is littered with humorous signs, furniture pieces, home décor, handmade pillows and wall art. Among the curious acquisitions, shoppers will also find Tokyomilk bath products, Votivo candles, letterpress stationery, Cavallini & Co. papers and stationery, and jewelry.

Greene's own wall art is based on her fascination with mixed media. She also has a "thing" for collecting loving cup trophies. She creates her own brand of loving cups of German glitter glass under the name The Trophy Wife, and sells them in the store and online through Earth Angels.

"I obsessively love old loving cup trophies," Greene says with a laugh. "My personal collection comes from the '20s and '30s. My best trophy is from a 1928 typing contest and has the winners' names and their typing speeds."

Elements is offering a series of art classes on Wednesday nights. Three upcoming classes, five weeks each, will engage participants in their choice of mixed media, watercolor or found objects.

"Elements is different than anything else here," Greene says. "I'm bringing the new goods, the house accessories, the candles, the jewelry. People might find a dining table [at one of the antiques stores], and find fun chairs here, or find a great couch there and find fun pillows here."

Store hours: Weds. - Fri., 10 to 6; Sat. 10 to 5; Sun. 12 to 4.

Source: Patrice Greene, elements
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

26 urban loft apartments slated for two buildings in Grand Rapids' entertainment district

Twenty-six urban loft apartments will soon grace the upper floors of two prominent buildings in Grand Rapids' burgeoning entertainment district. 616 Development, sister company to 616 Lofts, will create the lofts by combing 1 Ionia SW and 7 Ionia SW, the buildings that run a half block south from the corner of Fulton St. and Ionia SW.

Last year, Derek Coppess, owner of 616 Development and 616 Lofts, announced plans to develop urban lofts in little pockets around the city, beginning with 25 lofts at 139 Pearl St. NW and 206 Grandville Ave. SW. Now, he's ready to move ahead with a new $7.5 million plan.

The project will combine the two buildings on Ionia into one 50,000-square-foot mixed-use center that features the apartments on floors three, four and five, commercial tenants on floor two and the historic Grand Rapids Brewing Company will occupy the entire main level, including the former My Bar space. See Grand Rapids Brewing Company story here.

The tenants already on the second level, Conduit Studios and The Judson Group, will stay. Perception Gallery on the main level will relocate.

"One Ionia is five stories and 7 Ionia is four-and-a-half stories, so we will remove the floor between floors four and four-and-a-half and will make seven two-story units within that space," Coppess says. "The apartments will have windows overlooking either Ionia or Fulton and the Van Andel Arena [to the rear of the building]."

Coppess says construction will start within 30 days.

Design and construction: First Companies

Source: Derek Coppess, 616 Development; Chris Knape, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Historic Grand Rapids Brewing Company to open expansive microbrewery next door to Van Andel Arena

The historic Grand Rapids Brewing Company (GRBC) that once operated in the heart of downtown will be back this summer in a new, expansive location next door to the Van Andel Arena, the heart of the city's busy entertainment district. The brewery, which was in business for over 100 years, first on Michigan and Ottawa and later on 28th St. SE, will be the groundfloor tenant at 1 and 7 Ionia SW with nearly 10,000 square feet and seating for 450.

Barfly Ventures, owned by Mark and Michelle Sellers, announced today that the new venue will be family-friendly, with children's menu items as well as 8 to 10 specialty beers, including a new version of GRBC's original Silver Foam beer. Barfly owns some of Grand Rapids' most popular gathering places in the entertainment district, including HopCat, McFadden's, Stella's Lounge and the The Viceroy and is a partner in The Pyramid Scheme, all within two blocks of the new GRBC location.

Derek Coppess of 616 Development and 616 Lofts recently purchased 1 and 7 Ionia SW and will combine the two buildings to create 26 loft apartments and commercial spaces on the upper floors. The buildings front along Ionia on the east and a brick paved alley on the west; 1 Ionia NW also runs along W. Fulton St., kitty corner from The B.O.B. and its proposed market/concert venue.

New indoor/outdoor seating, created by replacing three loading dock doors on the alley side with glass garage doors, will open the bar to the Van Andel Arena and provide outdoor seating for 15.

"This is arguably the prime spot for a bar in Grand Rapids. If I could pick any location, it would be this place or where The B.O.B is -- but that's taken," says Mark Sellers with a laugh. "To have three sides facing different streets is incredible."

Preliminary plans to host GRBC in the Brass Works Building fell through, Sellers says.

The new GRBC could create some 60 jobs. Sellers hopes to have the bar open sometime in August.

Architectural design: Greg Metz, Lott3Metz

Source: Mark Sellers, Barfly Ventures; Chris Knap, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Renderings: Dixon Architecture

Davenport University to build $5M athletics complex thanks to land gift from Farmers Insurance

Thanks to a gift of 17 acres of land just south of Davenport University's W. A. Lettinga Campus, Davenport students and visiting teams will soon be able to enjoy a new $5 million baseball, softball and tennis complex.

The complex will be constructed over the summer on 68th St. in Caledonia Township, a short bike ride from campus, says Athletic Director Paul Lowden, on land donated to the university by Farmers Insurance Group.

"The complex will enhance the recruiting efforts of our baseball, softball and tennis coaches," Lowden says. "The facilities should give Davenport University a recruiting advantage because students are very aware of the facilities a university has and having facilities like this increases their interest."

The complex will feature a baseball field with artificial turf on the infield and outfield, a softball field with artificial turf on the outfield, eight tennis courts, spectator seating at all three venues, heated dugouts, concessions, locker rooms and restrooms. The baseball stadium will seat 300, the softball stadium will seat 200, and all facilities will have lighting for nighttime competitions.

"This will be used for practices and competitions, and will be a great place not only for our student athletes but for visiting teams because we'll have locker rooms for them, as well," Lowden says. "We hope to have a shovel in the ground by late April, early May and have construction completed in time for [the 2012-2013] school year."

Design: Integrated Architecture

Source: Paul Lowden, Davenport University
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

East Lansing-based Netvantage Marketing sees promise in Grand Rapids, opens satellite office

The leaders of East Lansing's Netvantage Marketing say their backgrounds in consulting gave them a desire to move web-based marketing from the sterile realm of the Internet to the more personal environment of face-to-face meetings with clients. That desire prompted the duo, Adam Henige and Joe Ford, to open a satellite office in Grand Rapids to be closer to clients here.

The new office is on the third floor above San Chez A Tapas Bistro (38 W. Fulton St., Suite 301). It's part of a group of offices under development by CWD Real Estate Investment that have private offices and shared conference rooms and a kitchen, says Henige.

Netvantage hopes construction will wrap up for an early April opening. An East Lansing employee will relocate to Grand Rapids and staff the office.

Netvantage Marketing specializes in search engine optimization, social media consulting and paid search management, says Ford. "With most of our clients, the key overarching statement we hear is 'when someone Googles our service, we don't come up,'" he says.

"We've found that a lot of people are really good at developing websites, but not good at directing people to them," says Henige. So, the company focuses on helping other companies build a web presence. If web design and development are needed, Netvantage collaborates with local companies who specialize in those services.

The client list for the four-year-old company is impressive and varied, including: Autocam Medical, DTE Energy, Hyundai, Suzuki, General Motors, University of California Berkeley and Gordon Food Service.

"We've been able to get national clients that we've never met, but we really like to give it the personal touch," Henige says. "To be able to sit down in someone's space or walk through it is one of the reasons we've been so successful so far."

Source: Adam Henige and Joe Ford, Netvantage Marketing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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