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Ollie's Bargain Outlet opens in 37,000 sq ft South Lansing location

What's not to like about brand name products at bargain prices? Starting today, that's exactly what can be found at the Southfield Shopping Center on the corner of St. Joe and S. Waverly, at the new Ollie's Bargain Outlet
"We are a value-oriented store," says Ollie's VP of Real Estate, Jerry Altland. "We sell name-brand products at cheap prices."
Ollie's carries a wide variety of product, from apparel to electronics to grocery items. The new 37,000 square foot store will open as part of the Pennsylvania-based bargain chain's recent push to open new locations in Michigan. 
"Lansing is a nice sized city, and we're moving right across the state," Altland says. "We're trying to fill in from Detroit through the central part of Michigan." 
The new Ollie's will celebrate its grand opening on Lansing's southside today with NASCAR star Kasey Kahne in attendance. A new Ollie's is opening in Ypsilanti on the same day, with a Flint location soon to follow.

Source: Jerry Altland, Ollie's Bargain Outlet
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Jackson National plans $5.5M investment in former Barnes & Noble

A big name in Lansing is taking over an East Lansing building best-known for another big name: Barnes and Noble. Jackson National Life will be renovating the two-story E. Grand River to create a new, near-campus office to appeal to students and community members interested in flexible, part-time jobs.
"There are times here at Jackson where we've really had to have all hands on deck," says John Brown, VP Government Relations. "In most cases these people were being taken away from other jobs that needed to be performed. This office will help solve the conundrum of these work streams that are consistent over time, but ebb and flow."
The format is expected to appeal especially to student workers, who will have self-designated work schedules, as well as access to Jackson leadership. The office will also become the home of the Jackson National Community Fund.
Jackson plans to invest $5.5 million on the renovated facility. According to Brown, the open, inviting feel of the office will not only be a new look for Jackson, but also one the company hopes will help raise the company's profile locally. 
"We wanted to create a space that would be very visible to the community," says Brown. "When people go by, it will look much like storefront, very open and illuminated." 
Work is expected to continue through Aug., and Jackson plans to celebrate a grand opening in Sept. Those interested in applying to work at the new office may visit Jackson's career page. The company also plans to break ground this fall on second building on its existing campus, which will have the capacity to house another 1,000 jobs. 

Source: John Brown, Jackson National Life
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

CrossFit Malleus opens in 2,500 sq ft DeWitt space

A new business has brought a new kind of workout to DeWitt. CrossFit Malleus opened on June 17, offering the unique group training style exercise in a 2,500 square foot facility on E. Clark Rd.
CrossFit is in fact what brought owner Brad Hillard and his partner together. Unsatisfied by their regular workouts, they both found better all-around strength training results from the format. 
"I'm stronger all around," says Hillard. "I feel confident to take on any physical task. Also, with a group setting you get the natural competitiveness that occurs naturally in humans to come out which in turn helps generate motivation to try your best." 
Hillard and his partner began renovating the CrossFit Malleus facility in May, and finished in early June. Renovations included demolition, ceilings and flooring. They plan to get involved with the communities through local events and helping, and hope their presence in the Clark Corners will attract others to the development. 

Source: Brad Hillard, CrossFit Malleus
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

ASK expands with 1,700 sq ft addition, new staff

Lansing IT company ASK recently celebrated two milestones: the company's 20-year anniversary, and the 1,700 square foot expansion of their office on Sovereign Dr.
The expansion was a necessary one, as the company's growth trend has continued. Adding four new positions over the last year, ASK is now up to 21 employees. A great number of those are senior level technical consultants, which, says Maddox, allows the company to better serve customers. 
"We've added more staff again this year, so our growth has continued," says ASK President Mike Maddox. "What's really been nice about the expansion is having our two teams in the same network operation center, because there's a lot of natural collaboration between them."
The new space was made possible when a suite next to ASK vacated, and the company was able to work with landlord Dart Development to renovate the space to the IT firm's needs. Working with Lansing's DBI, ASK outfitted the expanded office with more collaborative and enjoyable workspaces. 
"It's a lot bigger and there's nice, floor-to-ceiling light," Maddox says. "The mood is elevated by virtue of the natural light, and then we put in a TV and game room for when they're here over weekends or waiting for things."
Maddox says he expects ASK to continue to grow over the next several years. The company will also be working to develop new ways to take advantage of newer technologies for their clients.

Source: Mike Maddox, ASK
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Head Room Salon doubles space, grows staff in new Old Town location

After 12 years of helping to grow and shape Old Town into the vibrant district it is today, one of its longtime tenants is doing some growing of her own. Kendra Cosme's Head Room Salon recently opened in a brand new space, doubling the popular salon's footprint. Though the jump in size was dramatic, Cosme's love of Old Town ensured that it wasn't a big move in terms of distance. 
"We were in Old Town back when it was a ghost down. There were no businesses around us. Everybody thought we were crazy for being there, but being in Old Town was the best decision I ever made." 
Despite pressure to look elsewhere, Cosme spent years looking for the right building to come available in Old Town. Finally, she purchased a 2,200 square foot space on N. Washington in August and her family set to work renovating it. 
"The building is beautiful," says Cosme. "It was really a family project. I had some ideas, but other people made them come to life." 
The $220,000 investment has doubled Head Room Salon in more ways than just space. Cosme's staff jumped from six to 10 employees, and she says there's room to add more in the future.

Source: Kendra Cosme, Head Room Salon
Writer: Natalie Burg

Plush Consignment quadruples space with new Williamston location

A year after opening her Williamston resale shop, Plush Consignments, Jamie Cripe is quadrupling the store's footprint in a new location just two buildings east of the original W. Grand River shop. 
"I love being in Williamston," says Cripe. "I just fell in love with the little downtown area and the people around here."
The new 1,400 square foot space will be quite a jump from the 350 square feet in which Plush Consignments got started, but the extra room is much needed, Cripe says. In the expanded location, shoppers will more easily be able to browse, look through clothes and move around. 
"It's a gorgeous space," Cripe says. "There's exposed brick on one side and lots of natural light coming in from the back and the front."
In addition to having more space to display her plus-sized consignment clothing and accessories, Cripe will be expanding her offerings, include some home décor, events and space for local artists to display their work. 
Plush Consignments will open this week in the new location. Cripe hopes the new location will help the store expand its audience, hours and eventually hire additional staff. 

Source: Jamie Cripe, Plush Consignments
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Embassy Grill to triple size and staff with new W. Saginaw location

After four years in their current W. Saginaw location, the Embassy Grill is on the move. Though the new home won't be far – just three blocks down W. Saginaw to the Lansing Towne Center – the 4,000 square foot location will triple their dining capacity, as well as their staff. 
"We're hoping for more traffic," says General Manager Rick Badawi. "We're tucked into a corner here, but we'll be able to seat more than 140 there."
Work on the new Embassy Grill location has been underway since late 2012. The conversion will fairly dramatic to the former retail space that is now on it's way ot becoming a restaurant. Badawi says the atmosphere will echo the business' current look, but with the addition of patio seating and a separation between the dining and bar areas. 
The Embassy Grill specializes in Lebanese, Italian and American dining, though Badawi says their Lebanese food has become a particular favorite to their clientele. They hope the larger, more visible new location will bring even more new diners to the restaurant. 
The new Embassy Grill location is slated to open in June. With the expansion into the new space, Badawi expect to grow his staff from six to up to 20. 

Source: Rick Badawi, The Embassy Grill
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

SVS Vision to open Okemos location

Mt. Clemens-based SVS Vision is coming to Okemos in late summer or early fall. The location will be the company's second in the Lansing area, their first being located on W. Saginaw in Delta Twp.
"This location is of getting us to the other side of town now," says Cathy Walker, VP of marketing and advertising for SVS Vision. "Our goal is to be filing out wherever we can here in Michigan."
The Michigan company was founded in 1974 and primarily served the auto industry until 2008 when SVS Vision began to broaden their brand to include retail stores to service the general public. Now, the business has grown to more than 50 locations in eight states. Walker says the company's growth has been in part to a combination of being small enough to commit to great service and big enough to offer a wide range of products and accept a large variety of insurance.
"We have a great line of designer eyewear," she says. "We also care about the people we're taking care of, giving personalized service you don't necessarily get anywhere else."
Construction on Okemos SVS Vision is just getting started on Marsh Rd. near Target. Walker expects the location to open in mid-Aug. to early Sept., and for the branch to employ a staff of about five. 

Source: Cathy Walker, SVS Vision
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids pizzeria to open downtown East Lansing location

Another popular Grand Rapids destination is coming soon to East Lansing. Just as construction on the new HopCat is getting underway, Peppino's Pizzeria and Sports Grill has announced it will occupy an approximately 11,500 square foot space in St. Anne's Lofts. The restaurant will include a first-floor dining area, as well as a second floor with a patio and three-season bar area and retractable garage doors.
"The upstairs will be the smaller portion, but it'll be a really happening spot," says Eric Tuinstra, Peppino's chief marketing officer. "Overall, it should look and feel a lot like our downtown location, with the brick, the televisions and the wood panel ceilings."
The pizzeria specializes in fresh, handmade foods. Tuinstra says opening an East Lansing location made sense, considering how many of their Grand Rapids-area patrons are MSU fans, and have suggested a Peppino's near campus would do well. 
"We just kept hearing that people [in downtown East Lansing] were starving for a good place to eat, with good, real food that is reasonably priced," says Tuinstra.
The East Lansing location will be the fourth full-service Peppino's Pizzeria, joining restaurants in downtown Grand Rapids, south Grand Rapids and Allendale. The franchise also includes six carryout restaurants. 
The Peppino's franchise is owned by founder Joe DiLeonardo, and the East Lansing location will be operated by franchisee Kris Elliot. Tuinstra expects the new restaurant will employ between 65 and 75 workers and will open in August. 

Source: Eric Tuinstra, Peppino's Pizzeria
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Local firm to begin second Michigan Ave. mixed-use development

Wolf Development is on a roll in East Lansing. As the local firm is completing an estimated $2.9 million mixed-use project on Michigan Ave. that includes 16 new apartments, they have announced a similar project will soon be underway right next door on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Louis St. on the site of a current BP gas station.
"We really have found East Lansing is a very reasonable place to work," says Mike Dowdle of Wolf Development. "They make clear what they want, and it's a clear, clean communication back and forth." 
The four-story, 36,000 square foot development will include 39 residential units, including one and two-bedroom apartments. The first floor will include 1,200 square feet of commercial space for lease. 
Dowdle expects construction on the project to begin in July or August of this year and to be completed in July 2014. The exterior will be similar to the neighboring development now underway, with enough variation to keep things interesting, Dowdle says. 
Creating an aesthetically pleasing entrance to East Lansing along the region's most development-focused corridor is one of the attractions for Wolf Development to continue investing on Michigan Ave.
"This was a great opportunity, because in the end, between the print shop and the gas station, this was probably the least attractive part of the drive down Michigan Ave.," says Dowdle. "Now, we believe it'll be the most attractive. Everybody wins."
The neighboring development is set to be finished in July. All units have been leased. Dowdle says Wolf Development plans to continue developing in East Lansing in the future.

Source: Mike Dowdle, Wolf Development
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

MSU to foster collaboration with $60.8 million Bio Engineering Building

A new $60.8 million facility that aims to foster collaboration among Engineering, Human Medicine and Natural Science is moving forward on Michigan State University's campus. The new Bio Engineering Facility was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees this month. 
"You get a lot of synergy by getting these interdisciplinary groups together," says David DeWitt, associate dean for research for MSU's College of Natural Science. "The sum of the parts is greater than the pieces themselves."
The Bio Engineering Building has been under development for about six years. The four-story, 130,000 square foot facility will include office and open laboratory space. The effort to connect related areas of research together is nothing to MSU, says DeWitt. The college has previously combined bio chemistry and agriculture teams to collaborate on projects that make sense from the lab to farmers' fields. 

"I think this is a really good investment," says DeWitt. "It'll be a good opportunity for us to do some new research in translational medicine that will have an effect on people's health." 

MSU is awaiting $30 million in funding from the State of Michigan to fund the project. Approval from the state is expected in May, and DeWitt hopes to break ground in late July or early August. Construction is expected to take about two years. 

Source: David DeWitt, MSU College of Natural Science
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

American Board of Emergency Medicine expanding facility by 6,000 sq ft

When the American Board of Emergency Medicine found they were outgrowing their East Lansing building, the national organization with board members on both coasts and a testing site in Chicago could have moved anywhere. 
"When we first started their master planning almost two years ago, they really spent some time looking at where they wanted to be located," says Alan Goschka of Bergmann Associates. "They did their due diligence and decided that East Lansing was the best place for their home. They are very proud of their facility."
That's good news for East Lansing, as well as Bergmann Associates, which is now managing the renovation and expansion of the ABEM's facility. First built in 1993, the 13,000 square foot building is receiving a 6,000 square foot addition. 
In addition to the extra space, Bergmann Associates have worked with local office interior experts DBI to renovate the existing space so the organization can make better use of the original portion of the facility. 
"Times are changing, and how people are working are changing," Goschka. "We gave them smaller, more efficient work stations but gave them more conference spaces."
Work on the project began about two weeks ago and Goschka the renovation will be complete by the end of the year. ABEM will continue to work from the facility throughout the duration of the project. 

Source: Alan Goschka, Bergmann Associates
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Edtior

CBRE|Martin signs 45,000 sq ft of space in Park Place Office Park

March was turned out to be a stellar month for East Lansing's Park Place Office Park, which secured two new tenants that together will occupy 45,000 square feet of the commercial property. 
"They were both significant transactions in the marketplace," says Eric Rosekrans, senior vice president with CBRE|Martin. "They happened independent of each other, but both tenants were out looking for large suits and Park Place just happened to have what that needed. The Class A market in Lansing is very tight."
The two new tenants are Coverys, a medical professional liability insurance company, and CLEAResult, an energy optimization firm based in Austin, Tex. The companies will occupy 26,000 and 18,500 square feet respectively, and both plan to move into the office park this summer. Both offices are moving from existing Lansing-area locations, and Rosekrans says the ability to expand in their new spaces was a factor for both growing businesses. 
The Park Place Office Park was built in the early 2000s and offers a total of about 105,000 square feet of space for tenants. After the new tenants enter the complex, just 12,000 square feet will remain vacant. Rosekrans says the space would be ideal for a variety of tenant types, such as attorneys, associations, insurance companies or medical practices.
"It's a wide ranging and flexible type of space," Rosekrans says. "If you want anybody in particular going into a project like this, you want someone in growth mode."

Source: Eric Rosekrans, CBRE|Martin
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Panopoulis Salon grows staff in new Eastwood Towne Center space

After 20 years in East Lansing, Panopoulos Salon moved westward to Eastwood Towne Center in late 2012. The full service salon and spa opted for a new space that was similar in size, but far greater traffic. 
"It's been a lot busier here," says Panopoulos Salon's Renee Vanatten. "We've been much busier with walk-ins."
The salon has seen such an increase in business, in fact, that the staff has had to grow to keep up. Two new stylists have been hired since Panopoulos' move to Eastwood Towne Center, and Vanatten expects more to be added soon. The salon currently employs nine stylists and four receptionists. A flexible staff is cited as a key factor in Panopoulos' success.
"We're a full service salon, so all the girls are qualified in all the services we offer here," says Vanatten. "Seeing one person for color and cuts allows customers to have a connection with their stylist." 

Source: Renee Vanatten, Panopoulis Salon
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor

Howell's Jonna's 2 Go to expand to East Lansing

Jonna's 2 Go is a familiar brand a short drive east down I-96, with two locations in Howell. The popular party store is expanding westward with its first East Lansing store on Michigan Ave. in the former 24/7 convenience store. 
"We've always loved this area," says Anthony Jonna, manager partner of Jonna's 2 Go. "We're the biggest Spartan fans in the world." 
The East Lansing Jonna's 2 Go will be the fifth outlet of the Jonna family business, with two Jonna's Market stores in West Bloomfield and Taylor. The party store specializes in homemade pizza, sandwiches, salads and other deli items, along with craft beer and wine. 
"We're going to pay special attention to this one," says Jonna. "It'll really pop. I don't think anybody in the area will have seen anything like it." 
Work on the renovations is currently underway, and Jonna expects the store to open in the next few weeks. Jonna's 2 Go will employ about a dozen workers. 

Source: Anthony Jonna, Jonna's 2 Go
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor
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