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Demolished homes make way for commuter bus terminal on former used car lot

The demolition of three houses on East Michigan Avenue in early January marks the beginning of plans by commuter bus service Michigan Flyer to build a new passenger terminal at the gateway to Lansing's east side. The $1.6 million project includes the redevelopment of 10 properties on Howard and Detroit streets in Lansing Township and will rise from a former used car lot on Michigan Avenue.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Michigan Flyer, part of Owosso-based Indian Trails Inc., plans a temporary bus station that eventually would be replaced with a permanent terminal and an office building or hotel. The latter phase of the project requires an outside development partner, officials have said.
 
"The earliest the company might start work on a temporary terminal would be this spring, he said. There is no timeline for a permanent terminal."
 
Read the full article here.

Local researchers say community colleges ahead of pace for internationalizing business programs

A 2015 report by the International Business Center at Michigan State University projects that about 24 percent of community colleges nationwide will internationalize their business programs in the next nine years. That percentage, say the two primary researchers, is triple the current 8 percent of community colleges today that offer internationalized business programs to students, and above the suggested target for maintaining the international competitiveness of the U.S. workforce. 

According to excerpts from the article:
"Michigan State researcher Tomas Hult, director of the International Business Center and professor of international business … and William Motz, professor of business and economics at Lansing Community College, do the annual report. The duo began doing the report in 2008 and assesses internationalization at the 1,132 community colleges in the U.S."
 
Read the full article here.

Transformation of century-old buildings underway in downtown Mason

Kincaid Henry Building Group is working to transform two 19th century buildings in downtown Mason into a mixed used commercial and residential structure. Previously home to the Shopping Guide, the buildings at 124 and 140 E. Ash Street will be the home of Oracle Financial Solutions and eight apartments once the $2.75 million project is complete.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"…$500,000 for the project is coming from the land bank through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, with another $446,000 provided by the U.S. Department of Urban Development to the city via MSHDA. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is contributing $350,000 … and Mason's Downtown Development Authority is putting $50,000 into the effort."
 
Read the full article here.

Renovation of rehab unit in the works for Sparrow Hospital downtown campus

A $7 million renovation at Sparrow Hospital slated to start in 2015 will nearly double the number of rehabilitation beds at the main Lansing hospital and has the potential create up to 28 new jobs when completed in 2016.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The project is a joint venture with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids. When it’s finished, as soon as January 2016, Sparrow Hospital will offer 40 private patient beds …

"The unit … called Mary Free Bed at Sparrow, will include two therapy gyms."
 
Read the full article here.

Douglas J project in downtown Okemos gets a jumpstart

A plan by Douglas J to reconstruct a well-traveled block in the center of Okemos may be powered up as township officials estimate the cost for raising and burying power lines will be about two-thirds less than originally expected.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The corner spanning Okemos and Hamilton roads … would become home to a new 25,000 square foot, three-story salon and spa building.
 
"Just to the west on Hamilton Road would be a three-story mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and a total of 12 apartments on the upper floors."
 
Read the full article here.

Eaton Rapids mini-grants fight blight and improve property appeal

A new program in Eaton Rapids called Homeowners in Action will enable City Council to award up to 15 mini-grants of $1,500 each to address neighborhood blight or improve the curb appeal of a property.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Both homeowners and renters who can obtain their property owner’s approval can apply for the new grants. Eligible projects include exterior painting, carport, window, porch or awning additions, as well as landscaping efforts.
 
"Funding for the mini grants will come from Eaton Rapids Parks and Recreation budget."
 
Read the full article here.

Automotive supplier gears up to add jobs, make parts for Lansing GM products

The North American arm of a German automotive supplier will add at least 125 jobs next month when it opens to make parts for General Motors products built at Lansing's two plants, including the Chevrolet Camaro and the next-generation Chevrolet Traverse.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
Kirchhoff Van-Rob Inc. … announced it is moving into a 125,000-square-foot building in Clinton County's Watertown Township. The company is investing $25 million into the facility on Felton Road, west of Capital Region International Airport, said Tony Parente, the company's president and chief operating officer.
 
Read the full article here.

Gannon Building transformation edging toward completion

Although parts of the building are open, the student commons and service area that promises to transform Lansing Community College's Gannon Building into a "wow" factor for students and the community is on track to finish next month.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
The hallmark of the commons area is large glass panels looking onto Grand Avenue, Adado Riverfront Park and the Grand River … The glass panels replaced a brick wall in the former swimming facility. The space is expected to be used for guest speakers, live music and academic presentations.
 
Read the full article here:

Training dollars available in Lansing

About 20 Lansing area employers are taking the initiative to bridge the talent gap and train prospective employees for necessary jobs by leveraging nearly $776,000 in funds available for skilled trades training through the Michigan Workforce Development agency.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
Skilled Trades Training Funds (STTF) was created as a recommendation from the governor, who recognized the continued momentum of Michigan's economy but companies' struggle with talent needs. The support of the Legislature helped create STTF.
 
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Sparrow plans new cancer center on site of old elementary school

A new cancer center and office building are part of the plans for a significant expansion by Sparrow Health System in the next year. The standalone center would bring all of Sparrow's cancer treatments under one roof and will sit across from the main hospital on the site of the former Bingham Elementary School.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The proposed project would include a five-story, 132,000-square-foot office building — the fifth floor would house mechanical functions — and a four-story parking ramp with ground-floor retail space facing Michigan Avenue…"
 
Read the full article here.

MSU Federal Credit Union unveils plans to expand headquarters

The Michigan State University Federal Credit union plans to break ground on a $46 million dollar building near its East Lansing headquarters on West Road and add hundreds of new employees in the coming year.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The three-story building would have 186,000 square feet and house MSUFCU’s call center and its information technology and e-services departments.

"The credit union expects to outgrow its current building, which is more than 180,000 square feet, by 2017, said April Clobes, the credit union’s executive vice president and chief operating officer."

Read the full article here:

Mixed-used development considered for long vacant site near the Capitol

A proposed $12 million development project near the state Capitol Complex could bring new townhouses and apartments as well as the headquarters for a state association to a now vacant city block.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Michigan Association of Broadcasters also plans to move its headquarters into a 9,000-square-foot building on the site, a 5.5-acre tract bounded by Butler Boulevard and Ottawa, Ionia and Sycamore streets.

"The association is teaming with developer David Ferguson, vice president of Lansing-based Ferguson Development. He would build and ultimately own the residential units."
 
Read the full article here:

Construction begins on new student housing in Chandler Crossings

A new eight-building student housing complex will join the mix at the Chandler Crossing development in Bath township as construction gets underway on the 8.2 acre site. The complex is expected to be finished and available for occupancy before the 2015-2016 academic year.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
The development - dubbed The Rocks at Chandler Crossings - will consist of 119 apartments with one to four bedrooms and “high-end finishes,” including granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, Grand Rapids-based Wolverine Building Group said.
 
Read the full article here.

Eydes to move back to Knapp's Centre after historic redevelopment

The Eyde Company is moving back into the building they have redeveloped as part of downtown Lansing's renaissance after 30 years of doing business in Meridian Township. The local developer will occupy 9,000 square feet on the fourth floor on the Knapp's Centre in a space replete with glass, windows and art deco styling consistent with the historic structure.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
Nick Eyde, George's son, was lead developer on the $36 million Knapp's Centre project. It was the company's first use of various tax-credit and loan programs that made the project feasible.
 
Read the full article here.

Student mural installed at Allen Neighborhood Center

An eight-foot graffiti-style mural painted by children at the Reach Art Center was recently unveiled at the Allen Neighborhood Center. The mural showcased the growing farm-to-table movement in Lansing and resulted from a partnership between the neighborhood center and the Capital Area United Way.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
The mural is an amalgam of five winning designs and was painted on two, 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood, Reach's Joy Baldwin said. Nearly three-dozen teens spent about two months on the project, she said.
 
Read the full article here.

Red Cedar Golf Course on par to become mixed-use development

The long anticipated transformation of Lansing's former Red Cedar Golf Course is expected to leap ahead under a historic $200 million-plus development agreement reached between Ferguson Continental Development Team and the City of Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:
"The mixed-use development, called the "Red Cedar Renaissance," is expected to include dining, retail, market rate apartments and a 20-acre park including a river. It will feature underground parking and pedestrian connections to campus, the River Trail and nearby Frandor shopping center."
 
Read the full article here.

Family-owned developer eyes additional downtown real estate

The former Oliver Towers may soon be part of a mix of downtown real estate owned by the development team that renovated the Knapp's Centre.
 
The George F. Eyde Family LLC has expressed interest in purchasing the long-vacant apartments from the city of Lansing. While the company does not have a development plan for the towers, Eyde officials indicated the building may be transformed into a mixed used project with retail, offices or apartments.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… Eyde officials have said in early conversations they don’t plan to tear down the building, but rather gut the interior and refurbish the outside ... Oliver Towers has been empty since a fire damaged it in 2000. It most recently was the headquarters for the Lansing Housing Commission before the agency moved to Davenport University’s former campus at Kalamazoo and Cherry streets."
 
Read the full article here.

Meijer takes wraps off renovated store on Lansing's south side

South Lansing residents recently joined company officials and workers at Meijer in celebrating the completion of an extensive 19-month upgrade to the retail and grocery outlet.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Walker-based chain's store at 6200 S. Pennsylvania Ave. now spans 192,000 square feet. Meijer Inc. officials said it was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and features a redesigned floor plan, expanded grocery section and a revamped pharmacy with drive-up service."
 
Read the full article here.

Neogen to expand manufacturing facilities in Lansing

Neogen Corp. announced plans to transform a former warehouse at 728 E. Shiawassee St. into a manufacturing site. The renovation near the company's headquarters is part of a $1 million expansion and will add 25 jobs to the 400 already employed by the Lansing-based food and animal safety company.

According to excerpts from the article:
"Neogen has applied for a tax incentive that would save the company an estimated $230,000 in taxes on real property for 12 years. The city estimates it will take in $141,000 in new property and income taxes from the project over that period."
 
Read the full article here.

Local credit union announces plans to redevelop block in downtown Lansing

Lake Trust Credit Union plans to redevelop a downtown building it owns at 501 S. Capitol Ave. into homes and retail space for young professionals when the credit union relocates its headquarters to Livingston County in the spring.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Ideas for the site are preliminary . . . The credit union is in talks with multiple developers but has yet to select one to help with the project. . . . early concepts include the possibility of at least two buildings with offices, retail space and residential units. They are likely to be one- to two-bedroom apartments, officials said."
 
Read the full article here.

New student apartments to rise from spot of soon-to-be torn down cottages in central East Lasing

Five three-story buildings will take the place of about 15 cottage-style houses near Gunson and Beech streets by the fall of 2016 according to plans underway by rental housing developer DTN Management.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"DTN's project includes 21 student apartments for a total of 10,500 square feet. The first floor of each building will be used predominantly for parking, company Vice President Colin Cronin said. All but two units will have two bedrooms. The remaining two units will have one bedroom each."
 
Read the full article here.

Canadian auto supplier continues to invest in Michigan with new Delta plant

Magna International Inc. recently unveiled a $75 million parts plant in Delta Township that is expected to add up to 340 jobs by sometime next year. The 290,000-square-foot plant is part of a significant expansion planned by the Canadian auto supplier that may also include a separate plant in Windsor Township.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The plant is part of Magna's exteriors division and affiliated with subsidiary company Norplas Industries. It will build front and rear fascias for the vehicles made at General Motors Co.'s two local assembly plants — Lansing Delta Township, which builds the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia crossovers; and Lansing Grand River, home to the Cadillac ATS and CTS luxury cars."
 
Read the full article here.

Expansion planned for Delta Township assembly plant

The planning commission of Delta Township unanimously approved a site plan that allows General Motors to add up to 210,000 square feet to the Lansing Delta Township plant as part of a $37 million expansion.

According to excerpts from the article:
"…the new details shed light on the scope of the Detroit carmaker’s proposed project, even without knowing what GM plans to do with the extra space. A larger body shop and general assembly building could allow the company to add or retool assembly lines, steps often taken when preparing to build a new or redesigned vehicle."
 
Read the full article here.

Federal funding fights blight in Lansing and other Michigan cities

Lansing is among 11 Michigan cities that will benefit from $75 million in federal funding designed to fight blight by cleaning up dilapidated and empty buildings. Other cities included in work plans created by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority include Detroit, Ecorse, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Inkster and River Rouge in Wayne County, as well as Adrian, Ironwood, Jackson, Muskegon Heights and Port Huron.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"MSHDA will meet with city officials this month to discuss how they will submit plans to remove blight, choose the areas of the city that will receive the work, consider costs and set a timeline.

"The money is from $498 million the state was allocated in 2010 as part of the 'Hardest Hit' program, designed to help homeowners in states that suffered the most from the housing crisis."
 
Read the full article here.

Healthier job market awaits college grads survey says

Employers are recruiting college graduates at a vibrant rate not seen since the turn of the century reveals a recent survey by MSU’s College Employment Research Institute.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… after several years of small gains, hiring for 2014-2015 is expected to jump 16 percent for new graduates.
 
"The annual survey is the largest in the nation, the university said, and included responses from 5,700 companies. More than half of the responses were outside recruiters and company Human Resources managers looking for full-time employees."
 
Read the full article here.

Impression 5 presses ahead with $2M expansion

Impression 5 hopes to inspire more children and families with the marvels of science through a $2 million expansion that will include the new 15,000-square-foot Dart Hall of Science.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The new exhibit area, accessible from the center's riverside entrance, makes way for more traveling exhibits, space for educational programs, a lounge area and restrooms."
 
Read the full article here.

Developer breaks ground on new mixed-used facility in East Lansing

Construction began in early October on a $2.8 million development dubbed Element 903 that will bring first floor retail topped by three floors of 18 upscale student apartments to a repurposed site across from the campus of Michigan State University. 
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Each of the apartments will have two bedrooms and two full bathrooms with an open floor plan, European kitchen, granite counter tops and a washer and dryer, said Kincaid Henry Building Group Inc., which is collaborating with owners Rich Foster and Cynthia Harmon on the project. …
 
"City officials said the development, which was approved in November 2013, will remove an outmoded building and strengthen the Michigan Avenue/Grand River Avenue corridor."
 
Read the full article here.

New video promotes downtown district

A video that builds on the #lovelansing vibe was recently released by Downtown Lansing as part of a the "This is My Downtown" media campaign to promote the area.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The video features scenes like the Lansing City Market, the Capitol, Impression Five, the Lansing Lugnuts and local retailers."
 
Read the full article and see the video here.

Two Men and a Truck unwraps new headquarters

A homegrown moving franchise in Lansing unveiled an $8 million expansion that boosts the size of its headquarters to 55,000 square feet and holds promise for adding dozens of new jobs as the company steadily grows.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Two Men and a Truck was founded in 1985 by Mary Ellen Sheets and her sons, who used an old truck to make some extra money in high school. …
 
"President Randy Shacka said the company’s growth strategy, which included aggressive pushes into new markets, started in 2012. It now has 8,500 employees worldwide."
 
Read the full article here.

Lansing duo makes list of best new coffee roasters

Lansing's Craft & Mason made the list of top new coffee roasters satisfying coffee addicts nationwide in a recent edition of Thrillist—the on-line compiler of the best-of-the-best food, drinks, gear, services, entertainment, travel options, and events.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"As the farm-to-table movement takes off in smaller cities like Lansing, a rising foodie tide raises all ships. That includes coffee-filled vessels thanks to Craft & Mason, known locally for a nitro cold-brew served out of their cafe at pop-up events …"
 
Read the full article here.

Lansing inventor harnesses solar power to charge mobile devices outdoors

Pedestrians finding their mobile devices low on juice may soon have an option for charging in the urban outdoors thanks to the ingenuity of Lansing-based EnerFusion Inc. and its owner Joe Kobus
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Lansing Board of Water & Light and Mayor Virg Bernero unveiled the city's first Solar Power-Dok picnic table … complete with an umbrella designed to provide energy whenever it is placed outdoors in direct sunlight.
 
"The table has solar panels attached to the umbrella and delivers electricity to four GFCI outlets and four USB power outlets that can charge gadgets such as cell phones, smart phones, and laptops."
 
Read the full article here.

Chamber recognizes 10 young professionals to watch in next decade

Capital Gains Managing Editor Suban Nur Cooley was among 10 of Greater Lansing's top young professionals honored through the eighth annual "10 Over the Next Ten" awards coordinated by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Grand River Connection.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Open to those under 35 who had worked in mid-Michigan for at least two years, the annual awards aim to recognize Greater Lansing’s future business and community leaders over the next decade."
 
Read the full article here.

Emergent BioSolutions to manufacture new anthrax vaccine

A $29 million contract between the federal government and Emergent BioSolutions ensures that the next generation of the nation's only anthrax vaccine will be made in Lansing.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The five-year contract with the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will fund production and other 'non-clinical functions' as the company prepares to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the 'investigational new drug,' the company said earlier this month. NuThrax would be a dry version that could survive without expensive cold storage during shipping.

"At the same time, Emergent also is working to expand production of BioThrax, the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine, at its Lansing plant."
 
Read the full article here.

Sparrow blends home care services with Hayes Green Beach

In what officials call a cost-effective move, Sparrow Health Services will consolidate home care services with the Charlotte-based Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. The 25 to 30 home care clients served by Hayes Green Beach will join the more than 75 clients Sparrow serves in Eaton County. Services include in-home physical, occupational and speech therapy, and home health aide services.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"…the consolidation will be more efficient for Hayes Green Beach, saving $12,000 annually. In addition, the consolidation will help the local hospital avoid the expense of upgrading billing software - something that would cost about $20,000."
 
Read the full article here.

IBM gets state grant to train and hire workers

A $500,000 grant awarded to IBM by the Michigan Strategic Fund will enable IBM to add 100 jobs to its East Lansing location at 600. E. Crescent Road. The performance-based grant was given to IBM in part to cover training costs associated with the new positions.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Armonk, New York-based information technology firm says it will invest $200,000 with the hiring at its software application delivery center … IBM employs more than 1,500 in Michigan."
 
Read the full article here.

Sales growth prompts local manufacturer to expand facility, add jobs

Cameron Tool Corp. in Lansing plans to spend $1 million to expand operations at its 1800 Basset Ave. facility to keep pace with recent sales growth. The tool and die maker's project is contingent on the city granting a tax incentive that would cut the manufacturer's property taxes in half for 12 years.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The company said in its application to city council that the expansion would keep 75 jobs and add 10 more — mostly skilled diemakers and machinists … The positions earn a median wage of $15 per hour."
 
Read the full article here.

Renovations, hiring underway as Kroger repositions in the Lansing market

The Cincinnati-based Kroger has revamped a store in Lansing and announced plans to hire 90 workers in mid-Michigan as the grocery chain looks to secure its place in a competitive market.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Kroger - which also has stores in the Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing, Delta Township, East Lansing, Okemos and St. Johns - said it spent $2 million to remodel the 60,250-square-foot Holmes store, relocating some departments, updating decor and installing new checkout lanes."

Read the full article here.

More retail, apartments proposed for downtown by Knapp's Centre developers

Developers behind the renovation of the Knapp's Centre in downtown Lansing want to breathe new life into two empty storefronts directly across the street from the iconic building. Ground floor retail and eight upstair apartments are among the features of the proposed project slated to open next spring.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The storefronts — 228 and 232 S. Washington Square, across Washtenaw from the new Knapp's Centre — most recently were home to a Hallmark Gold Crown gift store and Capital City Books and Magazines.

"George F. Eyde Family LLC, a company owned by leaders of Meridian Township-based Eyde Co., pitched the $1.5 million project. It would total 13,500 square feet, with nearly half of it devoted to retail. Eight upstairs apartments would be offered at market rates, developer Nick Eyde said."
 
Read the full article here.

Leaders break ground on new headquarters for Williamston police

City and civic leaders recently broke ground on a new police headquarters in Williamston that will replace the annex blown down in the 2007 tornado. The building will be the first in the city's history completely dedicated to police.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Williamston Police Chief Bob Young said the new building has been in the planning stages since the Annex was destroyed; the only question was how to pay for it. …
 
"The goal is to have the building ready for occupancy in February of next year.

"The building will include an interview room, safe and secure evidence and weapons storage, office space, updated equipment and technology."
 
Read the full article here.

Developers foresee effect of FRIB on regional economy

As foundations are poured and walls go up, economic developers anticipate the upcoming Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University will also accelerate the economy of the surrounding region.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… students in Michigan State University’s Urban and Regional Planning practicum course … authored a recent report titled 'Accelerating Capital: Growing the Greater Lansing Region and Investment through Rare Isotopes.'
 
"… aside from scientific advances, the report notes 'The FRIB could be an anchor to MSU, East Lansing, and the Greater Lansing Region.'

"In similar areas, technology clusters have driven local economies. The students looked at similar facilities as case studies for comparison, including Fermilab in Chicago and TRIUMF in Vancouver. But realistically, this facility will be one of a kind."
 
Read the full article here.

Five things to know about Fresh Thyme as it comes to East Lansing

Described as a hybrid between Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will open the doors on new store near the campus of Michigan State University in 2015.  East Lansing is among the first of seven planned locations in Michigan for the natural organic specialty store, supported with a major investment from Meijer, Inc.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Like a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, Fresh Thyme is expected to draw from a much larger drive time or ring around a store than a traditional supermarket might pull from because the store is a specialty shop.
 
"Fresh Thyme was designed to be a full-service grocery store, but … it will likely be one of several stops for an average shopper."
 
Read the full article here.

MSU Federal Credit Union opens new branch in Mason

Mason joined the growing list of cities and suburbs hosting a branch office of the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. The MSUFCU's newest branch features a 24-hour, drive-up ATM and will employ 12 people.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"With the Mason location, the East Lansing-based credit union has 12 local offices and two affiliated with Oakland University. It has more than 185,000 members and nearly $2.7 billion in assets."
 
Read the full article here.

Eastwood Towne Center to welcome Massachusetts-based J.Jill clothier

The upscale women's clothing store J.Jill will join the growing lineup of new retailers that have found space in the Eastwood Towne Center in the past several months.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Quincy, Massachusetts-based retailer plans a 3,600-square-foot store between the Express and American Eagle apparel stores …

"The storefront previously was home to New York-based Aeropostale Inc., which closed its Eastwood store in January."

Read the full article here.

East Lansing places in top 10 of most walkable small cities in nation

If you're looking for a livable community where you can "get your walk on," East Lansing may be just the place. According to a recent U.S. Census report, the Michigan State college town appears at the top of the walkability scale when ranked among smaller cities.

According to excerpts from the article:
"Between the years of 2008 and 2012, East Lansing was ranked eighth on the list of most walkable small cities (those with population between 20,000 and 99,999), with 23.3 percent of residents saying they walk to work."
 
Read the full article here.

Eaton Rapids to open new dog park

Two-legged residents of Eaton Rapids will soon have a space to romp with their four-legged companions when city and community organizers unleash a new public dog park at the end of August.

According to excerpts from the article:
"The new park, under construction since mid-July at 200 Eaton Pines Blvd., next to Rose Hill Cemetery, … will offer separate fenced-in play areas for both large and small dogs, a quarter-mile walking trail for leashed animals, parking and open space."

Read the full article here.

Dramatic expansion nearly complete at Dart's Mason site

About 400 new jobs are projected to come to the Mason area as Dart Container wraps up construction on the company's largest local expansion in a half century. The nearly $50 million investment in a new office building and warehouse will accommodate operations for the Solo Cup Company which Dart acquired in 2012.

According to excerpts from the article:
"Dart's expansion is not stopping there. The company is investing an additional $10 million to renovate buildings at the Mason site. Those changes will include a 10,000 square foot fitness center and adding more office space."

Read the full article here.

New transportation hub on track in East Lansing

Travelers should have a place next summer to hop on the Amtrak or catch a Greyhound, Megabus or Indian Trail motorcoach as demolition gets underway on the site of a new multimillion-dollar transportation hub run by the Capital Area Transportation Authority.
 
Walls began tumbling in mid-August on the old Michigan State University Surplus Store and Printing Services buildings, the first in a series of steps to replace the 40-year-old train station near S. Harrison and Trowbridge roads.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The project is funded by a $6.3 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant, plus $500,000 from the Michigan Department of Transportation. MSU owns the site and leases it to CATA to manage the station.

"CATA awarded a contract for the project to Holt-based Laux Construction earlier this summer."
 
Read the full article here.

Delhi shopping plaza redeveloped into medical care center offering high-demand services

A Lansing area cardiologist has redeveloped the former Delhi Village Square plaza at 2380 N. Cedar Street into a new medial center with urgent care, primary care and cardiovascular care under one roof.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Lansing Cardiovascular Consultants will have an office there along with Patient Central, an urgent care center that will be open from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. all year.

"It will also offer primary care physicians.

"Next door will be a regional lab and pharmacy."
 
Read the full article here.

GM confirms plans to construct stamping plant in Lansing

General Motors Co. said it plans to build a $174 million stamping General Motors Co. adjacent to the Lansing Grand River assembly complex. The 225,000-square-foot plant will add 145 jobs when it opens in 2016, and is among several recent announcements related to GM growth in the Lansing area.

According to excerpts from the article:
"The new facility will produce stamping components for the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac CTS family of vehicles and 'a future product,' General Motors said in a press release issued today. Lansing has been announced as the site of the next Camaro, though the company has not drawn a direct line between this investment and the sporty ride."
 
Read the full article here.

Detroit area developer offers to buy Waverly Golf Course

Seven years after closing amid budget cuts, the 120-acre Waverly Golf Course is being considered for sale to Livonia's Schostak Bros. & Co. for potential retail and residential development. The Detroit-area development company and restaurant franchise owner said no firm plans are in place, but offered up $5.8 million for the site—or more than $3 million above the appraised value.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Schostak Bros. focuses primarily on commercial development in the Detroit suburbs, but the family-owned company has projects in 19 states. Its Team Schostak Family Restaurants arm operates several restaurant chains in the state, including Burger King, Olga’s Kitchen and Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Some of its Burger King and Applebee’s restaurants are in and near Lansing."
 
Read the full article here.

Crego Park welcomes visitors after being closed for decades

Crego park officially reopened for kayaking, fishing and general recreation after being closed and under clean-up for 28 years when industrial waste was found on the site of Lansing's largest park.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"City officials used a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and $250,000 from Lansing’s parks millage fund to add a permeable-surface parking area, a fishing pier and a handicap-accessible launching facility for canoes and kayaks.
 
"… The city applied for the state grant several years ago after being told the land was useable again."
 
Read the full article here.

Community welcomes new Sparrow emergency facility in St. Johns

A recently opened emergency department at the Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns provides residents with timely access to critical care as well as a modern place to work. The cost of the new $5.7 million facility, Sparrow officials say, was partially offset by community philanthropy pledged through a year long capital campaign.   
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The new facility includes many improvements over the existing emergency department. Design highlights include … 10 private treatment rooms, including one decontamination/isolation room; two rooms designed to meet the needs of children and two rooms equipped as trauma rooms for treatment of life-threatening emergencies."

Read the full article here.

Bringing cool to Lansing: Apple opens store in Eastwood

Fans of iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macintosh computers flocked to the Eastwood Towne Center when Apple opened its first Lansing-area store in early August. The store is the sixth Apple store in Michigan, and keeps Apple enthusiasts here rather than traveling to other cities to purchase or service products.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The tech giant invested $4 million in the 6,000-square-foot store, located between Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works stores at the north end of the mall, near U.S. 127 and Lake Lansing Road.

"The company’s other Michigan stores are in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Macomb County’s Clinton Township, Novi and Troy."
 
Read the full article here.

Solar energy expansion makes BWL array largest in Michigan

An expansion of the solar energy project by the Board of Water and Light will triple the amount of renewable electricity available to Lansing homes and businesses, and make the array the largest in Michigan with close to 900 panels.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The newer, cheaper, more efficient panels boosts the array’s generating capacity from 54 kilowatts of electricity to 158 kilowatts, the utility said in a statement. BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark said that’s enough energy to power 80 homes, with no operating or maintenance costs."
 
Read the full article here.

Challenge Manufacturing picks Greater Lansing over Missouri and Tennessee for new facility

Western Michigan-based Challenge Manufacturing plans to bring 420 jobs, $65.5 million in investment, and a new manufacturing facility to Watertown Township about 12 miles northwest of Lansing's downtown as part of a recently secured contract with General Motors.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) President & CEO Robert Trezise, Jr. said today that the Lansing area was once known for auto manufacturing, but in recent years has seen investment in areas as diverse as nanotechnology and nuclear physics. Now the auto industry is once again expanding."
 
Read the full article here.

Re-imaged playground ready for play as East Lansing celebrates new structure in August

East Lansing's re-imagined playground at Patriarche Park will officially opened on Monday, August 4, as the city celebrates the vision, hard work and aggressive fundraising of stakeholders and volunteers through a special ribbon cutting ceremony.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The idea behind the project was to bring a new playground to the park designed by the community, built by the community and with funds raised by the community.

"The new, 1.2-acre playground features a modern, eco-friendly design that is fully accessible and supports youth fitness. The playgrounds includes a wide variety of colorful play equipment, a poured-in-place playground surface, a rain garden, a brick entry plaza, walkways and more."
 
Read the full article here.

GM eyes Delta Plant for expansion

A $37 million expansion of the Lansing Delta Township plant is being considered by General Motors Co., pending discussion of tax cuts and other business incentives for the Detroit carmaker. The expansion is believed to be related to the anticipated production of the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car, slated to start in Lansing as soon as 2015.

According to excerpts from the article:
"With the Delta expansion, GM’s planned future investment in Lansing now tops $243 million. Across town at its Lansing Grand River assembly plant complex, the company is building a $44.5 million logistics center that will sort parts for the assembly line and plans a $162 million stamping plant. The two new operations would add 265 jobs."
 
Read the full article here.

Lansing School District puts Magic on the menu with new food services contract

Hometown hero Earvin "Magic" Johnson will team up with the Lansing School district to provide food services and additional educational programs through SodexoMAGIC—a partnership between Sodexo, Inc., and Magic Johnson Enterprises.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"SodexoMAGIC also will create an annual Student Well-Being Grant designed to provide programs and educational activities which improve the quality of life in the district. The new Junior Executive Development program will offer high school students an educational workshop designed to create awareness of career opportunities in corporate, community based organizations, and government."
 
Read the full article here.
 

Growing sales and love of the bean prompts Paramount Coffee expansion

Paramount Coffee will begin distributing locally roasted beans from a 58,000-square foot facility near the Capital Region International Airport as the nearly 80-year-old company invests $3.5 million in its local operations.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The smell of roasting coffee beans won’t leave North Larch Street in Lansing, however. Paramount will keep its production facility near Cooley Law School Stadium, with plans to add another 20,000 square feet within two years on a site it bought next door, company leaders said."
 
Read the full article here.

Consumers brings new employee training back to Michigan with Potterville center

Thousands of newly-hired workers at Consumer Energy will receive training from field experts through a recently opened 15,000-square foot facility in Potterville.

The new Consumers Energy Training Center was opened through an agreement with the Utility Workers Union of America, and will bring jobs and training back to Michigan that up to now has been outsourced to a facility in Ohio.

According to excerpts from the article:
"In the next five years Consumers officials say an estimated 2,500 of their employees from throughout Michigan will attend classes at the new facility. Currently, there are six, full-time staff at the center."
 
Read the full article here.

Bird sanctuary in Delta Township receives grant

The Capital City Bird Sanctuary at Hawk Valley Farm bequeathed by the late Lansing businessman and environmentalist Carl Haussman recently received a $9,000 grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation to improve the habitat, grounds and programming.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Plans call for 2.5 miles of easy walking trails with interpretive signs, demonstration areas for native plants and landscapes, a bird-feeding station and a community vegetable garden.

"Three-quarters of a mile of one trail will follow the bank of the Grand River. Visitors will also be able to walk through two other distinct habitat zones: woodland and grassland."
 
Read the full article here.

East Lansing revs up development with car wash apartments

Three floors of apartments are set to rise above the one-story Showroom Shine Car Wash, 248 W. Grand River, as East Lansing commissioners approved a plan for a mixed-use development in what many are calling the city's development hot spot.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The apartments will be above the wash’s detail shop on the eastern portion of the building, not above the wash itself. Residents would have parking for both cars and bicycles."
 
Read the full article here.

New Marriott in Meridian Township to accommodate extended stay visitors

Visitors in town for a longish stay will have a new place to call a home-away-from-home as construction gets underway on a Marriott Residence Inn on Hagadorn Road near the Hannah Plaza.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Project manager Brian Meyer of R.W. Mercer Co., explained that with the Marriott's location being so close to Michigan State University, there was more of a demand for extended stay accommodations in the area.
 
"The hotel will be 72,000 square feet and equipped with approximately 94 rooms. The new rooms will include kitchenettes and some will have up to two bedrooms."
 
Read the full article here.

Regional planners and developers take lead on east-west corridor

Developers and municipal leaders continue to unveil plans for improving neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and linking cities and townships along the major east-west corridor that runs 20-miles between downtown Lansing and Webberville.

According to excerpts from the article:
"While other areas around Lansing also are receiving attention — the REO Town business district on South Washington Avenue, for example — Michigan Avenue is the subject of a coordinated approach to regional planning that involves both the public and private sectors."
 
Read the full article here.

Lansing to welcome its first distillery to Stadium District

Followers of the microbrewery movement may soon enjoy another type of fermentation come summer as American Fifth Spirits lays plans to open Lansing's first micro-distillery across from Cooley Law School Stadium
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"American Fifth will be both a distillery and social club, which will sell its spirits wholesale as well as offering a more low key atmosphere. …
 
"American Fifth is partnering with Red Cedar Spirits of East Lansing to produce their signature vodka called 'Hue,' which … like the rest of the spirits that will come through American Fifth, is made with Michigan grown products."
 
Read the full article here.

Outfield Apartments on deck as city council approves renovations to stadium

Urban dwellers with a yen for baseball may soon have the option of never leaving the park as developer Pat Gillespie winds up to add a three-story residential apartment complex called "The Outfield" to Cooley Law School Stadium.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Lansing City Council voted 7-1 to approve the renovations to the 18-year-old home of the Lansing Lugnuts on Monday. Gillespie estimates the project will cost nearly $23 million – $10 million to renovate the stadium and another $13 million for the apartments."
 
Read the full article here.

Local IT firm joins Draper Eyewear as first two tenants in Knapps Centre

Pioneering tenant Draper Eyewear will have a new neighbor as a local IT company plans to move operations to the renovated Knapps Centre this summer.
 
Dewpoint Inc., will bring more than 100 employees downtown and to the second floor of the Knapp's Centre. Draper Eyewear made the move from its previous location on Allegan Street in May to occupy a space on the first floor.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
Dewpoint Inc. … plans to move into more than 10,000 square feet on the second floor of the Knapp’s Centre at the corner of Washington Square and Washtenaw Street. Of the company’s 144 workers, 133 are based in Lansing."

Read the full article here.

New and renovated stores open at Meridian Mall

School is out and summer shopping is in high gear as Meridian Mall announced the opening of one new and two remodeled fashion, apparel and specialty retailers, including Crazy 8s, Charlotte Russe and Spencer.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The new store designs and layouts are very timely for summer shopping creating new excitement for Meridian Mall as the mall works towards a strategic re-merchandising plan that will continue throughout this year and into 2015."
 
Read the full article here.

DEFYE leaves mall to open Lansing wholesale operation

The owner of the DEFYE clothing label has decided to broaden the reach of his artistic brand by closing his retail operation in the Meridian Mall and going wholesale. Michael Doherty reopened his headquarters in early June at the John Bean Building at 1306 S. Cedar Street in Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:
"Doherty, 35, doesn’t want to have his own store right now. Rather, he said, he wants large, national chains to carry his brand.

"…Doherty said he plans to target clothing retailers such as Kearney, Neb.-based Buckle Inc., which has stores often located in shopping malls, and Glik’s, a family-owned business based in Granite City, Ill. He said he also would like to market DEFYE to more upscale department stores such as Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc."

Read the full article here.

New public art in St. Johns symbolizes economic unity of Mid-Michigan

St. Johns joins the growing number of communities in Mid-Michigan that are unveiling new pieces of public art in their communities with support from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership's Public Art for Communities program.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The sculpture, titled 'Opolis' by the artist Tim Higgins, was unveiled May 21 during a special ceremony.

"… Bob Trezise, CEO of LEAP, was on hand for the unveiling and shared some thoughts about the art piece and the importance of art in attracting people and businesses to the Greater Lansing area."

Read the full article here.

Dart Bank eyes expansion on site of shuttered Inco Graphics plant

Crews are removing asbestos and other contaminants from the former Inco Graphics plant at 222 W. Ash Street in Mason as preparations get underway to build a new headquarters for Dart National Bank on the site.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Construction of the bank’s 25,000-square-foot headquarters will begin in 2015 with completion expected by 2016. The bank’s main office has been next door to the plant for 44 years.

"The $6.5 million expansion will combine both properties into one 3.7-acre site. It will provide 50 to 70 construction jobs and add six new employees to the Dart Bank headquarters."
 
Read the full article here.

Century-old mural discovered in REO Town, preservation plan underway

A giant advertising mural uncovered during the demolition of a building next to the Reach Studio Art Center will be preserved as part of the studio's ongoing expansion into several adjoining storefronts in REO Town.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The mural building went up in 1916 and once housed a Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company store, otherwise known as the A&P grocery chain, Brinkman said.

"That means the mural is 92 to 98 years old."

Read the full article here.

New sidewalk on Old U-27 adds to walkability of DeWitt Township

A new state grant will pay for part of the construction of a 10-foot wide pedestrian path on Old US-27 in DeWitt Township. The path, say officials, will eventually connect to the Lansing River Trail and the Northern Tier Trail in East Lansing.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The pathway will be constructed on the east side from Sheridan Road north to Northcrest Road. A five-foot sidewalk will go in on the west side of the road as part of the same project.
 
"The total cost of the project will be $866,939, with a Transportation Alternative grant from MDOT providing $419,927."
 
Read the full article here.

Meridian Township gives go-ahead for Aldi, apartment development

Construction of the German grocery story Aldi and a 21-unit apartment building north of Meridian Mall on Marsh Road is anticipated to start in mid-summer despite ongoing concerns about traffic congestion and density. The 25,000-square-foot store will be built by the Aldi Group while the Eyde Co. will build the apartments on the 5.4-acre parcel.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Initial plans last December called for two apartment buildings, but Eyde dropped one building amid resident and staff concerns.

"The project will next undergo a site plan review and will need a building permit, a process that takes around 60 days. Planning and Zoning Director Mark Kieselbach said it’s possible construction could start as early as Aug. 1."
 
Read the full article here.

Growing Chinese population sparks East Lansing business growth

Chinese students are more than a niche market in East Lansing these days. With nearly one in 11 students at MSU coming from China, an increasing number of specialty businesses and services are popping up that cater to the entertainment, food and everyday needs of Chinese students.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"As their numbers have grown, they have brought with them new restaurants and pool halls and karaoke clubs, made their presence felt in the housing market, boosted sales of German cars.

"The impact is not small. The university’s Office for International Students and Scholars, using a standard formula, calculated the contribution of all international students to the local economy at $245 million for the 2012-13 academic year, and more than half of MSUs international students are Chinese."
 
Read the full article here.

Waverly takes steps to create safe walking environment for kids

Students, parents, police officers, township planners and staff took a walk through neighborhoods surrounding the Waverly East Intermediate School as part of the process of applying for a Safe Roads to School Grant. The grant, say walkers, would provide around $208,000 for pedestrian improvements and help create a safe environment for walking and biking to school.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The idea is that the reconstruction of Michigan Avenue next year between Waverly Road and the Lansing city limit would be a golden opportunity for new sidewalks and other improvements near the school so that children will be able to safely walk or bike there."
 
Read the full article here.

Expected senior population boom prompts East Lansing to examine housing restrictions

East Lansing is bracing for the "gray tsunami" in coming years by considering lifting restrictions on senior housing developments.  Officials say there may be a growing scarcity of housing for seniors as the senior population expands. Figures from the 2010 Census show that the number of residents 60 or older in East Lansing has grown nearly 40 percent since 1990, amounting to about 3,100 current residents.

According to excerpts from the article:
"The city now is trying to address housing for seniors because, while several apartment complexes have been developed locally, most have been marketed toward university students and young professionals."
 
Read the full article here.

DNR summer program shows camp isn't just for kids anymore

Adults are invited to unplug from their electronic devices and spend a weekend in the great outdoors through a tech-free camp that includes activities like kayaking, hiking and archery.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Participants will swap their smartphones, tablets and laptops for journals and disposable cameras. They'll only be allowed to use their devices for emergencies or to check in with family in the evening.

"The camps will take place on August 15-17 and September 12-14 at YMCA Camp Timbers in West Branch."
 
Read the full article here.

St. Johns selects vendor to build new spray park

The city commission of St. Johns approved Michigan-based Superior Play as their vendor of choice for the Community Spray Park project. Fundraising continues for the community project that involves laying infrastructure, creating water features, and integrating structures from the previous public pool. Construction on the first phase of the park is expected to begin in mid-July.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"For now, the plan needs a little tweaking and then it has to go to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for approval before construction can actually begin."

Read the full article here.

Spartan Stadium end-zone project a game-changer for all sports

The $24 million end zone construction project in the works at Michigan State University holds promise for recruitment efforts across Spartan athletics. The expansion, school officials say, will result in a building that serves as a gathering place for future Spartans in all 25 MSU sports, and is slated for completion in late July and early August.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Spartans’ locker room will move from the west side of the tunnel to the east side, where the visitors locker room previously was. The reason is so MSU’s coaches and players will have a direct path to the second-floor recruiting room and engagement center….

"That is the real gem of the facility. When completed, the room will seat about 140 banquet-style … and there will be three 90-inch TVs and a pantry for catering. The glass windows offer a view directly to the footbridge that crosses over the Red Cedar River to the library."
 
Read the full article here.

Michigan eyed as burger country by expanding Checker's chain

A privately-held burger chain based in Tampa, Fla., has its sights set on expanding in Michigan. Checker's Drive-In Restaurants may bring dozens of restaurants, hundreds of jobs, and its renowned bigger portions and bolder flavors to the state within the next few years.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Checkers —which opened in 1986 in Mobile, Ala. — makes no apology for its big-flavored, heavily-seasoned meat and fries. ...the company is targeting Michigan — and the Midwest — and the growth is a continuation of the company’s overall expansion trajectory."

Read the full article here.

Police department signs lease for temporary south side location

The Lansing Police Department will continue to search for a permanent home after signing the lease on a temporary location in a building on the south side owned by the Lansing School District. The city begins a four-year lease with the Hill Center in July, and plans to move police operations from their current location at the Motor Wheel building.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Under the agreement, the city will not pay rent for the first two years. But it will spend $800,000 to renovate the building for police use. That work will include basic upgrades such as paint, carpet and technology, police Chief Mike Yankowski said. The department also will create locker, workout, break and interview rooms."

Read the full article here.

MSU's Building Winning Teams program enlists top coaching talent for summer lineup

Business professionals looking to learn tips and techniques from athletic coaching powerhouses at Michigan State University will have the opportunity this summer through a special program offered by the MSU Eli Broad College of Business.
 
Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio will be at the forefront of "Building Winning Teams: A Quest for Excellence," from June 3-5 at MSU's James B. Henry Center for Executive Development.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"A total of seven Michigan State coaches will join faculty from MSU's Eli Broad College of Business. In addition to Izzo and Dantonio, head coaches Suzy Merchant (women's basketball), Tom Anastos (hockey), Jake Boss (baseball), Cathy George (volleyball), Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll (women's golf) and athletic director Mark Hollis will interact with participants."

Read the full article here.

Lansing PR company joins Grand Rapids firm, maintains downtown presence

A top public affairs and issue management firm in Lansing was recently acquired by the Grand Rapids-based Lambert Edwards & Associates to form the largest PR firm in the state's capital and the largest public affairs firm in Michigan.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Sterling Corporation will remain a separate arm of LE&A, and will continue to operate under the Sterling brand, led by partners Steve Linder and Mark Pischea. While the firms will maintain their own Lansing offices, Sterling will have access to LE&A’s digital and creative services and investor relations expertise."

Read the full article here.

Meridian Mall welcomes Gordmans

A discount chain with roots in the Midwest plans to locate its second Michigan store in the Meridian Mall just in time for the holiday shopping season. Omaha, Neb.-based Gordmans Inc. will occupy a nearly 20,000-square-foot addition to the mall as well as 30,000 square feet in the J.C. Penney wing.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Gordmans chain has 95 stores in 20 states. Its only Michigan store is in Norton Shores, near Muskegon. The retailer plans to open seven stores in 2014, according to the retailer’s web site."

Read the full article here.

Eaton Rapids receives funding for restoration of historic pedestrian bridge

A more than 100-year-old pedestrian bridge leading to an island in Eaton Rapids will receive a makeover this fall. Seventy-five percent of the $450,000 project will come from a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation with remaining funds from the Eaton Rapids Downtown Development Authority.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"…. the west bridge project should help restore the structure to a like-new condition. (City Manager Jon Stoppels) said during construction the bridge won’t be completely torn down but taken apart and built back up. When it’s finished the bridge will sport new decorative street lamps."
 
Read the full article here.

LEAP public art grants awarded to three Greater Lansing communities

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership donated $30,000—or $10,000 each—to the city of East Lansing and the townships of Delta and Delhi. The total of $30,000 is part of LEAP's Public Art for Communities grant program.

The grant program, says LEAP leadership, represent a commitment to building a sense of community and place, and can help wipe away the "Michigan rust-belt image."

According to excerpts from the article:
"To be eligible for a grant, local governments must adopt a public art policy addressing maintenance and liability issues and creating committees to work with artists."
 
Read the full article here.

Transformation proposed for historic building on former School for the Blind

A $15 million project to repurpose the Abigail Building on the former campus of the Michigan School for the Blind was recently announced by Lansing city officials.

The Harbor Springs developer will preserve the building's architectural features while adapting the historic structure into 44 units of affordable units on the city's north side. Groundbreaking is projected for next year.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Anticipated financing for the project includes low income housing tax credits and other funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and a $12 million loan from the Lansing-based Great Lakes Capital Fund. Great Lakes Capital Fund now owns the site through its subsidiary, the Preservation Nonprofit Housing Corporation."

Read the full article here.

Shuttered fire stations may be transformed into permanent homes

New buyers may convert two closed Lansing fire stations into single-family homes if plans are approved by the City Council this spring.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"If City Council agrees, the would-be buyers’ plans for the former firehouses — No. 5, on Todd Avenue near Mt. Hope Avenue; and No. 7, near the corner of North Jenison Avenue and Saginaw Street — would bring the city-owned buildings onto property tax rolls and serve as high-profile examples of reclaiming urban space."

Read the full article here.

Bridge projects, guardrail work among summer road repairs for US 127, I-96

While snow and ice won't impede drivers now that winter has waned, the lines of orange barrels along major roadways just might as construction season beings. 

According to excerpts from the article:
"A bevy of bridge repair projects in southern and eastern Ingham County and guardrail work along Interstate 96 in Eaton and Ingham counties are among the biggest initiatives set for this year, with numerous local repaving projects also scheduled around the region."

Read the full article here.

Sidewalks in planning stages in Delta Township

Resident demands to keep walkers out of the road when connecting to walking and biking pathways is bringing several sidewalk projects to the Delta Township Board for approval.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Two new sidewalks are priorities this year, one on the south side of Arden between Maycroft and Robbins and the other on the east side of Canal between Treadwell and Water’s Edge. Public hearings on them have already been held."

Read the full article here.

Two new hotels looking at Greater Lansing

Travelers to Greater Lansing may find more options for overnight lodging near the busy Lake Lansing corridor as two hotel chains lay plans to return to the market.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Besides Holiday Inn, a Hilton Homewood Suites extended-stay hotel — part of McLean, Va.-based Hilton Worldwide — also is in the works north of the Eastwood Towne Center shopping center, said Steve Hayward, executive director of Lansing Township’s Eastwood Downtown Development Authority."

Read the full article here.

Food entrepreneurs gear up for televised competition

A gourmet hotdog cart from the streets of Eaton Rapids is one of two businesses going head-to-head on a spring episode of "Food Court Wars." Mark’s Gourmet Dogs will be pitted against Grand Grillin of Lansing in the reality-based competition. The episode will air May 25 on the Food Network.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… Mark’s Gourmet Dogs, spent the week of March 17 to 21 filming with the national show in an effort to win his own spot at the Lansing Mall food court. The show will air sometime in late May and for now the outcome is a secret."

Read the full article here.

New network to promote Michigan-produced foods in schools, hospitals

Increasing the amount of Michigan-produced foods served in schools, hospitals and other institutions will be the focus of a new network launched through the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the nonprofit Ecology Center environmental group. The Michigan Farm to Institution network will connect farmers, food processors and food service directors.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Organizers want schools, child care centers, hospitals, colleges and universities to get 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020."

Read the full article here.

Southern pathways extend Lansing River Trail network

Crews have begun work on a $3 million project that will add two new pathways to the Lansing River Trail and extend the biking and walking network through South Lansing and Holt.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The Sycamore Trail will connect with the southern trailhead of the Lansing trail at Maguire Park. It then will wind south through Delhi Township to connect with an existing trail at Willoughby Road and Pine Tree Road at Maple Ridge Cemetery. That existing trail then feeds south into Holt — three miles from Maguire Park."

Read the full article here.

New rapid transit line will overhaul bus transit system planners say

The vision for a new bus rapid transit line between the state capitol and the Meridian Mall continues to take shape through ongoing public charrettes in East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:
"The proposal represents a merging of ideas from bicyclists, East Lansing business owners, residents and Michigan State University employees and students, said Kenneth Garcia, town planner for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Dover, Kohl & Partners, an urban planning and design firm."

Read the full article here.

City encouraged to act on East Lansing development

A downsized plan for the redevelopment of the Trowbridge Plaza was recently presented to the East Lansing Planning Commission that involves scaling back the number of residential units and rehabbing a vacant structure.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… Caddis Development Group LLC, now wants to build a five-story, mixed-use building near the existing shopping center at Trowbridge and Harrison roads and renovate a building that once housed the Oodles of Noodles and Pretzel Bell restaurants."
 
Read the full article here.

FRIB breaks ground, culminates years of planning and cooperation

In what local, state and national leaders agree is a "labor of love," the Facility for Rare Isotopes Beams officially broke ground on the campus of Michigan State University, heralding an expected economic boon for Michigan.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"…FRIB's expected total economic activity could result in more than $1 billion being added to the state's economy and could lead to the creation of nearly 5,500 high tech and construction jobs, attract more than 800 visiting scientists through the facility, and generate $187 million in new tax revenues for the state."

Read the full article here.

Property tax break approved for Oneida Township parts supplier

The privately held tier-one auto parts supplier L&W Engineering will receive a tax break from Oneida Township to expand operations and potentially add 100 more jobs to the already 300 people employed through the site. 
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Before the end of 2014, the company plans to invest an additional $2 million in building expansion and $8 million in equipment to build parts for the Camaro, expected to be added to the product mix at Lansing Assembly in 2015."
 
Read the full article here.

Contractor announces groundbreaking for Whole Foods store

Wolverine Business Group announced plans to start construction on the new 36,000-square foot Whole Foods grocery store in Meridian Township this April. The store is expected to create about 250 to 275 jobs and will sell organic produce and other healthy food options year-round.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Whole Foods officials have said it would open in 2015 at the former location of Velocipede Peddler on Grand River Avenue between Hagadorn and Park Lake roads. … It will be the seventh Michigan location for the Austin, Texas-based grocery chain. Others are located in Ann Arbor, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, Troy and Detroit."

Read the full article here.

Outfield apartments pitched as part of renovations for Lugnuts field

A top-to-bottom renovation of Cooley Law School Stadium may include new apartments overlooking the outfield as part of a $22 million dollar plan pending approval by the Lansing City Council. The plan, which also includes a rebuild of the field, dugouts, locker rooms and scoreboard, would be scheduled around the Lugnuts next two seasons, and be ready by opening day 2016.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… the private development … would include a four- to five-story building wrapping the outfield with 80-100 apartments and space for a restaurant …"
 
Read the full article here.

Lansing developer unveils plan for unique metro flats

Modular, efficient and trendy one-bedroom apartments may be coming to the vacant lot next to the Motor Wheel Lofts in 2015 as visionary developer Harry Hepler lays out plans for the vacant lot next to his high-end Motor Wheel Lofts.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… Hepler’s team envisions four buildings near Oakland Avenue and Prudden Street in Lansing. One-bedroom units would be between 500 and 600 square feet, with phone-controlled appliances, flexible space and adaptable furniture."
 
Read the full article here.

Jackson National Life on track to open $100 million expansion by 2015

A nearly 265,000-square-foot expansion to the Alaiedon Township headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Co. could be near completion by October 2015.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"JNL says the expansion project is needed as it outgrows its current facility. It plans to hire more than 1,000 employees over the next decade, adding to its current workforce of 2,420."
 
Read the full article here.

GM plans to build new stamping plant, create 65 Lansing-based jobs

General Motors Co. plans to build a new 225,000-square-foot stamping plant near Lansing's Grand River assembly plant, and officials say the $162 million investment will create 65 jobs.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"In addition, GM is building a $44.5 million logistics center at the Grand River factory. When completed, the 400,000-square-foot facility will be linked to the general assembly building and add 200 jobs."
 
Read the full article here.

Bath to welcome new sports bar and grill

Twenty-year Army veteran James Maddix Jr. hopes to build a field of dreams in Bath by melding a popular diner with an adjacent bar to form the new 3rd Base Sports Bar and Grill.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"Maddix plans to turn the 1,600-square-foot bar into a baseball diamond with white base lines on a floor covered with green carpet squares that resemble AstroTurf. A rebuilt bar will occupy one corner."
 
Read the full article here.

Sparrow partners with VOA to open new clinic for the homeless

Sparrow Health System and Volunteers of America Michigan cut the ribbon on a new clinic for the homeless, helping to ensure that the homeless have a place to come to take care of underlying medical conditions.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"… the new clinic will save time and money the health system spends responding to ambulance calls and visits from local VOA patients…The clinic is expected to serve about 3,400 patients a year.
 
Read the full article here.

Capitol Bank separates from holding company, becomes independent

The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) recently approved a plan that allows Lansing's Capitol National Bank to divest from Capitol Bancorp Ltd. and enter a new era as a private company
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The bank, with offices in Lansing and a branch in Okemos, strives to carve out a niche in the small- to midsize business market, although it does offer personal and loan accounts."
 
Read the full article here. 

Meridian Mall shifts focus from smaller stores to larger retailers

There are lots of changing spaces at Meridian Mall as the nearly 50-year-old enclosed mall begins a slow transformation from a center focusing on smaller retailers to one featuring larger retail chains.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
". . . some industry watchers say the timing of the exodus appears coordinated, as malls across the country try to capture more shoppers in an increasingly digital retail world by selling experiences as much as goods."
 
Read the full article here.

Sears Outlet to open in vacated Value City site, create 20 jobs

A new Sears Outlet opening this June in Lansing's Delta Township will offer overstocked, lightly damaged or reconditioned merchandise for the home at substantial discounts to list prices.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"…the retailer chose Delta Township for its Lansing-area store because officials believe it will complement the Home Depot home improvement chain’s adjacent store. There also was a demand for discounted merchandise."

Read the full article here.

Vision released for Michigan Avenue, Grand River and M-43 corridor

A recently released report by a team of national and regional planners says that green space, rapid transit and mixed-use buildings will be among the pearls that will beautify the 20-mile stretch of roadway between the Capitol and Webberville.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The report is the result of a series of planning meetings, called charrettes, held last year that studied land use, transportation and the environment along the corridor — widely considered ripe for redevelopment. It was organized by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and funded by part of a three-year, $3 million federal grant."
 
Read the full article here.

Italian companies to expand to Lansing, bring dozens of jobs

Two Italian companies have selected Lansing as the base of their North American operations, creating up to 60 jobs within the next three years.
 
SAET, a Turin, Italy-based manufacturer of induction heat treating equipment, will locate a sales and service office in Lansing, while the Italian communications firm SATIZ plans to bring their technical publishing office to the region.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership is working with the two companies to find space for their operations.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 "Bernero sold Lansing as a medium-sized, manageable city with a small, yet globally connected airport. He touted Michigan State University's resources and the close driving distance to Chicago and Detroit."
 
Read the full article here.

More classes, more space on drawing board for Reach Studio Art Center

Reach Studio Art Center is undertaking a bold expansion that promises to beautify REO Town and give talented young artists a safe environment for creative expression.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The center, originally located at 1804 S. Washington Ave, plans to expand to nearly 10 times its current size, going from 1,100 square feet to 9,500 square feet."
 
Read the full article here.

State grants to fund much-needed shade for popular concert venue

Concert-goers and performers no longer need to sweat it out after the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs announced state grants to help fund a shade system for the popular Veterans Memorial Gardens Amphitheater in Delhi Township.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
"The shade system will make the amphitheater a more attractive, more pleasant venue for weddings, church services, and other performances."
 
Read the full article here.

Van Atta Road bridge construction slated to begin

Lansing's Davis Construction will begin work on a new Van Atta Road bridge over the Red Cedar River Feb. 10 pending improvements in the weather.  The new structure will include deck width for a future sidewalk, per the township's non-motorized master plan.
  
According to excerpts from the article:
"The $940,000 project will consist of replacing the existing 60-foot long bridge that was constructed in 1935 with a 100-foot long bridge that will straddle the existing bridge foundations."
 
Read the full article here.

Merge underway for two large health information exchanges

An East Lansing-based medical records exchange will merge with a similar Grand Rapids operation to provide services that help hospitals and doctor offices share patient information via computer instead of paper.
 
The Great Lakes Health Information Exchange and Health Connect are currently the two largest non-profit health information exchanges in Michigan.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

"The planned merger will create the largest health information exchange in Michigan with about 100 affiliated hospitals."
 
Read the full article here.

FRIB construction back on track

Persistent efforts from public and private constituents have put the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams back on track and ready for a spring groundbreaking at Michigan State University.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

"There is $55 million for FRIB in the federal budget that passed both houses on Congress last week. After delaying construction for nearly two years, FRIB now is poised to break ground in the spring, to invest more than $160 million in construction costs alone over the next four years."
 
Read the full article here.

Demolition makes way for new playground at Patriarch Park

Kids and adults will find a new place to play come July as crews from E.T. MacKenzie began tearing down the old wooden play structure at East Lansing's Patriarche Park.
 
The $576,000 project will reimagine the popular play area at the city's largest park, providing a more accessible, barrier-free design. Construction is expected to start in April.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
"The project was spearheaded by the Rotary Club of East Lansing. It launched a fundraising drive in early 2012 and has raised more than $407,000 toward the project through community organization and individual donations, as well as a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund."
 
Read the full article here.

Redevelopment of former trailer park approved in Delhi Township

Plans to build an $8.1 million apartment complex on the former site of the Holt Manor Mobile Home Park have been approved by the Delhi Township Board of Trustees.
 
Construction on the 91-unit Prestwick Village is expected to begin in 2014, and will occur in two phases.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
"The Delhi Township Planning Commission recommended approval of the site, with conditions such as requested open space to comprise of at least 35 percent of the site, and a privacy fence along the west side of the property, that is next to homeowner properties."
 
Read the full article here.

Construction contractor Christman acquires Tennessee firm

Lansing-based construction contractor Christman Co. will expand its reach into the Southeast by merging with the Knoxville, Tenn.-based Rentanbach Constructors, Inc.
 
According to excerpts from the article, the two companies will retain their separate business names for the "near term."
 
Read the full article here. 

Swedish retailer bringing popular clothing line to Meridian Township

Scandanavian clothing retailer H&M will be opening a store at Meridian Mall this spring.

According to excerpts from the article the 20,000-square-foot store in Meridian Township will be the first Lansing-area location for the Swedish-based company.

Read the full article here. 

Mason eyes public transportation hub in master plan

Officials in Mason are fine-tuning the focus of what the city will look like in the coming decade.
 
According to excerpts from the article a new formal master plan is in the works that acknowledges the growth of public transportation across the state, and calls for Mason to eventually have a “Public Transportation Hub.”
 
Read the full article here.

New fitness center looks to Motiv8 area residents

A new fitness studio has opened in St. Johns.

According to excerpts from the aritcle:

There is no “membership,” and there is no open gym. To utilize the facility, you need to join a class and show up on time. Some classes will have drop-in opportunities.

Motiv8 Fitness & Training offers personal training, sport and life coaching as well as group fitness classes.

Read the entire story here.

New health facility coming to Delta

Work on a new, $9-million Ciena Healthcare facility is underway in Delta Twp. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Scheduled to open next fall, the 78,500-square-foot, 100-bed facility will provide both long-term skilled care and short-term rehabilitative services and bring 120 new jobs to the area.

Read the entire story here.

Group continues to upgrade Green View Point Park

Lions Twp. volunteers who made improvements to the Green View Point Park have plans to continue their work in 2014.

According to excerpts from the article:

It has been approximately 12 years since the group first pitched their ideas for improvements at the Ionia County-owned park, which is located on Kimball Road east of the village of Lyons. The park was opened in 1927 and dedicated to Fred Green of Ionia, who served as Governor of Michigan from 1927 to 1931.

Read the entire story here.

VIDEO: Real-life Polar Express back on the tracks in Michigan

After a four-year effort to refurbish the steam engine that inspired The Polar Express, it is back in service in Owosso.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Pere Marquette 1225 rolled out of the garage Wednesday in Owosso, ringing its bell and spewing steam for train enthusiasts and volunteers gathered to watch the engine take its maiden voyage following the overhaul.

Read the entire story here.

New In Town Firehouse Sub's/ Sawyer´s Pancakes

A new destination for sub sandwiches is coming to downtown Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Work is underway on a second local location for Firehouse Subs, which is set to open Jan. 6 at 200 S. Washington Square in downtown. The space was formerly used for state offices. The restaurant is part of a national chain that boasts “700 locations and counting,” but owner Sam Shango was simply taken with the product.

Read the entire story here.

Ribbon cutting marks end of St. Johns HS renovation

An area high school recently celebration the completion of building renovations.

According to excperts from the article:

Following an open house at St. Johns High School Nov. 26, a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony in the school’s food commons symbolically marked the completion of the schools building/ renovation project.

Read the entire article here.

Whole Foods store advances in Meridian Township

Plans for the Whole Food store coming to Meridian Township are moving forward.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods plans a 35,000-square-foot store on roughly five acres of land on East Grand River Avenue, near the border with East Lansing. The company would hire 150 people by the time it opens in 2015.

Read the entire story here.

Award winner: Investment in Knapp's changing downtown

Eyde Co. is being recognized by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce it's historic Knapp’s renovation project in downtown Lansing.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

The $36 million project will house retail space, offices, residential space and a business incubator focused on the fashion industry. 
 
Eyde employs about 25 workers in its office at 4660 S. Hagadorn in East Lansing. The company is preparing for its big move to the Knapp Center, which is expected to be completed in early spring.

Read the entire story here.

Niowave to receive $12M in local incentives for airport expansion

Niowave Inc. will receive more $12 million in local tax incentives to benefit an expansion project at Lansing’s airport.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Lansing-based company, which produces superconducting linear particle accelerators from its Walnut Street headquarters, plans to build a $79 million manufacturing facility at Capital Region International Airport in DeWitt Township. Altogether, officials say the project could reach $202 million and create as many as 120 jobs.

Read the entire article here.

Meridian Mall expansion proposed

Okemos' Meridian Mall may soon expand.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Okemos mall is proposing an 18,650-square-foot addition near a J.C. Penney Co. Inc. department store — on what is now a mall service area — and convert other retail space for a new retailer, according to an application the mall filed with Meridian Township.

Read the entire story here.

Flurry of new restaurants, retailers opening along Saginaw corridor in Delta Township

A number of new business are cropping up in Delta Twp. along the Saginaw Highway corridor.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher said a national economy that is gradually recovering from the recession is leading the charge, along with new local residential construction in various neighborhoods, including Ashford Manor and Pointe West.

Read the entire story here.

Planet Fitness to open gym in Meridian Mall

Fitness company Planet Fitness plans to open a facility inside the Meridian Mall early next year.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The fitness center’s franchise owner said it will create 15 jobs and spend more than $2 million when it opens inside 23,000 square feet near Shoe Carnival and Macy’s stores in the Okemos mall.

Read the entire story here.

Bath Twp. buys property for non-motorized path

A $40,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant will allow Bath Township to purchase the last piece of property needed for a non-motorized pathway around Park Lake.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

Supervisor Paula Clark and clerk Kathleen McQueen were authorized by the township board Oct. 7 to finalize the purchase of the 4.2-acre site at the southeast corner of the lake from the Laughlin Trust for $60,000. The undeveloped land is on the west side of Park Lake Road south of State Road.

Read the entire story here.

Transforming Michigan Avenue: Private developers taking the lead on key thoroughfare

With developers investing in mixed-use projects, the Michigan Avenue corridor is positioned to be Lansing's next big area for growth.

According to excerpts from the article:

It’s the subject of an expansive ongoing study looking at land use, transportation and streetscapes along the 20-mile stretch that includes parts of Grand River Avenue in East Lansing and Meridian Township and M-43 to the east. Regional planners have been collecting thoughts on the way buildings should look, from their proximity to the street to the placement of parking.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing-based IDV Solutions opens third site near Washington, D.C.

Lansing-based IDV Solutions will soon open a Washington, D.C-area office.

According to excerpts from the article: 
 
IDV Solutions, which has its headquarters on Executive Drive in Lansing, opened its third site in Reston, Va., where it will work largely with federal agencies and the military, the company said Wednesday.

Read the entire story here.

Sparrow-Mayo partnership pays off

Aftter a year of partnership, the Mayo Clinic and Sparrow Health System are sharing some of their successes.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
In June 2012, Lansing’s Sparrow became the first Michigan-based hospital system to join Mayo’s nationwide provider network, a group of hospitals and health organizations that share common practices and some patient care.

Read the entire story here.

Neogen buys N.C. vet equipment supplier

Neogen Corp. is growing its portfolio.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Lansing-based food and animal safety company bought Prima Tech USA, which makes veterinary tools used for injections, topical or oral use, for $12.9 million, Neogen said Friday.

Read the entire article here.

Soil tests next for proposed Red Cedar Golf Course redevelopment project

Soil samples soon be collected at the former Red Cedar golf course determine if a redevelopment project will be built there.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann said the samples and Red Cedar River floodplain models he collects from the Red Cedar Golf Course will be used to draw up plans for a series of rain gardens and collection ponds he wants to build to divert storm runoff from emptying into the river.

Read the entire story here.

REO Town plant touted as model for clean energy

A national energy program said the Lansing Board of Water & Light’s new REO Town power plant could serve as a nationwide model.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
“This is one of the cleanest and most efficient plants in the country so we had to come see it,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, a part of the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, after touring the site. “We think this is a prototype of what could be happening in many other communities across the country.”

Read the entire story here.

Michigan Avenue corridor study to resume this week

Webbervilled hosted the second half of the Michigan Ave. corridor planning project.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission will hold the second of two planning efforts, called charrettes, starting this week to gather public input about how to update a 20-mile section of road that includes Michigan Avenue, Grand River Avenue and M-43.

Read the entire story here.

Owosso bus company plans to add 100 jobs

An Owosso-based bus company will add about 100 workers after securing a a $31.4 million contract.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Midwest Bus Corp., which revamps transit buses so they can be put back into use, will rebuild 192 buses for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority under the two-year contract, President Dan Morrill said during a Monday announcement.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing school board approves bids for new MacDonald Middle School wing

MacDonald Middle School will be getting an addition. 

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Finance director Richard Pugh said East Lansing school board members approved 15 of 17 bid packets Sept. 23. The contracts approved represent $5.8 million worth of work.

Read entire story here.

New specialization gives students a chance to study LGBT issues

A new LGBTQ and sexual studies specialization at MSU recently.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday at Snyder-Phillips Hall, the Center for Gender in Global Context is hosting a series of events celebrating and thanking those who contributed to creating the new LGBTQ and sexuality studies specialization.

Read the entire story here.

Michigan groups receive $1.2 million to fight housing discrimination

Nearly $1.2 million in federal funding will be spent combating housing discrimination through new grants awarded to Michigan fair housing organizations.

According to excperts from the article:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday announced four Michigan organizations were among 95 agencies in 38 states to receive a total of $38.3 million in grants.
 
The money will help the organizations investigate and test alleged housing discrimination and educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims about the Fair Housing Act, according to HUD.
 
Read the entire story here.

Grand Ledge presents plans for riverfront

A new riverfront park has been proposed in Grand Ledge that could include an amphitheater, farmers market and fishing pier.

According to excerpts from the article:

The group’s goal is to develop the area along the riverfront east of the Opera House into a destination for the region, with improved access and facilities designed to bring more and larger events to the area. The total cost of the project is estimated to be about $3.2 million. Funding has not yet been identified, although planners assume it will be constructed over several years using a mix of local funds, grants and donations.

Read the entire store here.

Early childhood programs begin at re-opened Holbrook

The “Little Comets” child care program at the re-opened Holbrook School has begun, and enrollment has exceeded expectations.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The program is now up to 107, and a growing waiting list may lead to the opening of an additional classroom, said Breanna Cleeves, the program’s supervisor.

Read the entire story here.

Eaton Co. agency gets $171,000 grant for struggling veterans

A federal grant will help veterans with housing needs in Eaton and Barry counties.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Eaton County Housing Services will use the one-year, $171,380 grant from the U.S. Veteran Affairs Office to find and help an estimated 100 veterans between the two counties. The non-profit is one of 12 recipients in Michigan this year - which is the third cycle for the grant program, entitled “Supportive Services for Veteran Families.”

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing, Grand Ledge, Delhi Twp. get $60,000 in state grants for farmers markets

Three local communities have received grants for their farmers markets.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
East Lansing was awarded $35,000 for a covered plaza for the market and other events; Grand Ledge will receive $15,000 for a multi-use building along the river and Delhi Township was awarded $10,000 to create a community kitchen intended to expand the market into a year-round event and to provide space for community events such as wine tastings.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Grand River plant's milestone 'means confidence'

The Lansing State Journal recounts the history of the General Motors Co.'s first assembly plant opened in more than a decade twelve years ago.

According to excerpts from the article: 
 
The plant was more flexible, more robotic, than any other factory in the Detroit automaker’s lineup at the time — including four others in and around the city that wouldn’t survive the decade. It was modeled after GM’s own plants overseas, which were more innovative than those in North America and not organized under the powerful auto unions of the United States and Canada.

Read the entire story here.

New in town: St. Vincent De Paul

After a 2011 fire destroyed a REO Town non-profit just before Christmas, the organization has reopened. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The REO Town renaissance continues next week with the grand re-opening of the renovated St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, 1020 S. Washington St. After a twoyear move to temporary quarters on South Cedar Street, it’s back in its 23,0000-square-foot home in the bustling historic district. 
 
Read the entire story here.

Plan for former City Center II property on fast track

DTN Management Co. plans to redevelop the 2.8-acre area of East Lansing known as City Center II on the fast track.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
East Lansing City Council members Tuesday approved a nine-page pre-development agreement with the Lansing Township-based firm, which last month was chosen to redevelop publicly owned property near the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road. The agreement gives DTN six months to complete a long to-do list — including holding multiple public forums — before it can put a shovel into the ground.

Read the entire article here.

2 Lansing-area commercial real estate firms merge

Two local real estate firms have announced a merger.

According to excerpts from the article:

NAI Mid-Michigan, of DeWitt Township, and Alaiedon Township-based TMN Commercial are operating as one firm effective immediately, said Jeff Shapiro, a principal in the new firm. Financial details weren’t disclosed.

Read the entire story here.

Grove Gallery & Studios celebrates five years in business

A downtown East Lansing business is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

According to excerpts from the article:

Several community members came to join a Celebrating Survival event at Grove Gallery & Studios, 325A Grove St. The event included group participation in a weaving using mixed materials, seeing the upgraded space and enjoying a versatile mix of the 12 members’ latest works.

Read the entire story here.

Waverly board OKs ISD tech partnership

The Waverly School Board has entered into a “hybrid proposal” for technology services with the Ingham Intermediate School District.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
“Given our situation, we need to do it,” said board member Alan Wright, who is the IT director for the state Senate. “We really need the help and they can provide it fast.”

Read the entire story here.

Recession alters shopper attitudes, secondhand shops thrive

Though technically over, resale shops are still feeling a boom from the recession. 

According to excerpts from the article:

For a variety of reasons — recession-weary customers looking for deals, an eco-friendly way to update wardrobes, a general aversion to buying mass-produced clothing in the wake of fatal factory accidents in developing countries — more people are considering resale shopping over buying new.

Read the entire story here.

Ingham County Land Bank has $56M impact on region, study says

The Ingham County Land Bank has created more than $56 million in economic activity and more than 400 jobs, according to a Michigan State University study.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
The study examined home sale price data from 2006 to 2012. MSU researchers determined that homes closest to a renovated land bank property sold for 5.2 percent more in that time period. Those farther away, between 500 and 1,000 feet, saw sale prices drop by 9.5 percent.

Read the entire story here.

B/A Florist has deep roots, rich local history

Since Barbara Hollowick opened B/A Florist in 1979, the Okemos business has become a unique local business beloved by the community.

According to exceprts from the story:
 
Three moves later, she found the perfect location in 1984 and settled in the East Lansing spot. Almost a year after buying the house and remodeling it, the store opened in 1985. Now, after 34 years, Hollowick has turned over the reins to her daughter, Laurie Van Ark, But you’ll still find Hollowick at the cheery, homey shop, taking care of things here and there.

Read the entire article here.

Leaf Salad Bar to open Friday near Lansing's Frandor area

Leaf Salad Bar, a new restaurant, has opened near Frandor Shopping Center.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Leaf Salad Bar will open inside roughly 1,200 square feet at 1542 W. Grand River Ave., near the triangle between Grand River, Saginaw Street and Coolidge Road. Owner Igor Jurkovic, who also owns Restaurant Mediteran and Deli in downtown Lansing, said its menu will feature smoothies and three different soups daily.

Read the entire story here.

New sushi restaurant adds to growing trend

East Lansing has a growing number of sushi restaurants. 

According to excerpts from the story:

With at least five sushi restaurants already established in the East Lansing area, another is about to join the pack of sushi options nearby.
 
An employee at Tamaki Custom Sushi and Wraps in Lansing confirmed they will be opening another location within the next few weeks in Brookfield Plaza, 1331 E. Grand River Ave.

Read the entire story here.

Five Below teen retailer to open in Delta Twp.

A new teen retailer will soon open in Delta Township.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Five Below Inc., a Philadelphia-based retail chain that sells fashion and other accessories for $5 or less, will open its newest store in The Marketplace at Delta Township, near West Saginaw Highway and Interstate 96.

Read the entire story here.

Meijer to hire 400 employees for Lansing-area stores

Meijer will soon hire 400 new employees in Lansing-area stores.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
The Walker-based retailer said today the jobs are needed because of the company’s expansion and an anticipated busy holiday shopping season. It is opening six stores this year and nine more in 2014.

Read the entire story here.

New stores opening in Meridian Mall

A number of new store have opened in the Meridian Mall, and more will open soon.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Shoe Carnival Inc., an Evansville, Ind.-based retailer, opened last week inside a 12,150-square-foot space near the Macy’s department store, the mall said. It will have an exterior entrance as well as access from inside the shopping center.

Read the entire story here.

Whole Foods coming to Lansing area; plans call for 2015 opening

A Whole Foods grocery store will open a new store store near Michigan State University's campus in 2015.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
In its latest quarterly report, Whole Foods Market Inc. said it has already secured a lease. Its newest store will be located at 2758 E. Grand River Ave. in Meridian Township.

Read the entire story here.

Bar 30 to become Capital Prime steakhouse in September

The new Bar 30 closed last month, but the business will re-open near Eastwood Towne Center by September under a different name and concept.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Capital Prime will open in The Heights at Eastwood, a $47 million development under construction near the shopping center at U.S. 127 and Lake Lansing Road in Lansing Township. It replaces Bar 30, pegged as an upscale bar before it closed in June after less than a year.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Mall site prepped for new cinema

A new movie multiplex will open at Lansing Mall next year.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The former Mervyns department store wing on the mall’s north side has been demolished to make way for a 12-screen theater from Knoxville, Tenn.-based theater chain Regal Entertainment Group. Construction on the new cineplex could start before winter.

Read the entire story here.

$3M Program Aims to Boost Mich. Food, Agriculture

Michigan's food and agriculture industry will soon benefit from a $3 million grant program.

According to excerpts from the article:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams this week announced the Strategic Growth Initiative Grant Program, which aims to foster economic opportunities for food processors, agri-business and those in agricultural production.

Read the entire story here.

Bath Township board approves new library center

The Bath Township Board has approved a new library center in a 2,240-square-foot storefront.

According to excerpts from the story:

The vote came after Mercer outlined a 17-month $74,665 budget for the center to the board, something she had been asked to do in June when the committee presented a five-month budget. The figure includes $38,680 in salary and benefits for a certified library technician earning $15 an hour to run the center 30 hours a week.

Read the entire article here.

DTN favored to develop blighted East Lansing site

East Lansing city administrators have said DTN Management Co. will be the best choice to redevelop a long vacant downtown property.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing Township-based rental housing developer won the recommendation of city leaders to redevelop a 2.8-acre stretch of property near the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road. It was sent to East Lansing City Council members for consideration.

Read the entire story here.

Sparrow breaks ground on $5.4 million emergency services building in St. Johns

Sparrow Health System has broken ground on a new $5.4 million facility in St. Johns.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
The building will house a state-of-the-art emergency services department for Sparrow Clinton Hospital, 805 S. Oakland St. in St. Johns.

Read the entire story here.

Red Cedar golf course project progresses

Work continues on the redevelopment plan for the property that was once the home of the Red Cedar Golf Course.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Developers Chris Jerome and Joel Ferguson aren’t revealing many details, but say they are in talks with unnamed national investors who could finance the proposed Capital Gateway project at the 61-acre Red Cedar Golf Course in Lansing. The project would include student and professional housing, dining and entertainment venues and recreation activities and cost upward of $100 million by the time it’s completed.

Read the entire story here.

Michigan Avenue: Connecting the corridor

The Michigan Avenue corridor has been under redevelopment for some time, with lots of room to continue growing.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Some areas, such as the Stadium District near the Capitol, have been reinvigorated, with adult stores and bars razed and replaced with a baseball stadium, new apartments and condos, restaurants and updated streetscapes. Others are a tired mix of small business storefronts and houses. Still others have taken on a suburban look, with strip malls and parking lots dotting the landscape.

Read the entire story here.

English Inn begins $550,000 expansion

Eaton Rapids' English Inn is now under construction, beginning a major expansion.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
Nelson, whose family bought the inn at 677 S. Michigan Road in 1996, wanted to add to the operation in 2007, building more cottages on the property. But the economy soured, leaving the English Inn with two existing cottages that sit beside the 1927 Tudor Revival house and expansion plans on hold.

Read the entire story here.

Upscale thrift store opens in Lansing Twp.

The Lansing City Rescue Mission has opened a new upscale thrift store.

According to excerpts from the article:

The store, which carries a blend of quality new and used merchandis, will help supply the Mission’s guests with items they might need - food, shelter, hygiene products and clothing. The money also enables staff to meet their operational expenses and purchase needed items that aren’t often donated.

Read the entire story here.

Emergent BioSolutions wraps work on new building

Emergent BioSolutions has finished their $9.6 million development of a new administration building.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
The three-story, 32,000-square-foot building includes modern offices, conference rooms, a workout facility and dining space in a design that suits Emergent’s culture, company officials said.

Read the entire story here.

Former East Lansing Barnes & Noble store being renovated

The former Barnes & Noble location in East Lansing is undergoing renovated for office use.

According to excerpts from the article: 

A demolition permit was issued within the last few weeks for the building at 333 E. Grand River Ave., said Tim Dempsey, East Lansing’s planning, building and development director. An application was filed by Holt contractor Moore Trosper Construction Co. Officials with the construction firm could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Read the entire story here.

E.L. Planning Commission to develop apartments

The East Lansing Planning Commission approved an application to convert an extended stay hotel at 1600 E. Grand River Ave. into apartments.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
The current property, composed of three two-story buildings and a one-story maintenance building, was built in 1984 based on a site plan approval from 1982. It is currently branded as Gatehouse Suites but was once a Residence Inn.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing Council accepts two choices for downtown Park District project

Two companies are being considered to redevelop a the eastern edge of the Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
By a 3-2 vote June 11, with Kevin Beard and Victor Loomis dissenting, the council will proceed with the evaluation of DTN Management Co. and Lurvey White Ventures to take on the task of creating a new face on an downtown area bounded by West Grand River and Abbot Road, including the former Citizens Bank building.

Read the entire story here.

Construction begins on Gillespie's Marketplace project

Work has officially begun on the major residential project near Lansing's City Market. 

According to excerpts from the article: 

Environmental work is under way on the Marketplace mixed-use building from Lansing developer Pat Gillespie. When finished, it will be an $8.5 million, five-story building with 80 apartment units near Cedar and Shiawassee streets, north of the Lansing City Market.

Read the entire story here. 

Meridian Township to place sense of place sculpture on Hamilton Road

Meridian Township has received $10,000 for public art.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Meridian Township has selected the Hamilton Road roundabout as the site for its outdoor art.
 
The township was one of three communities awarded the grants during a formal announcement June 4. The cities of St. Johns an DeWitt will also receive the grants.

Read the entire story here.

MSU and Lansing Community College team up for international program

International learners will benefit from the educational resources of MSU and LCC with the institutions' new partnership.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
MSU and Lansing Community College, or LCC, are teaming up with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, or TVTC, of Saudia Arabia to provide practical education and experience for Saudi Arabian managers. The program is called the Training-Global Leadership Workshop for Higher Administration Management for the Technical Vocational Training Corporation of Saudi Arabia.

Read the entire story here.

Old Town General Store open for business

Maria Van Atta's Old Town General Store is now open for business.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Old Town General Store’s stock includes boxed water from a Grand Rapids company; Higher Grounds, a fair-trade, organic coffee roasted in Traverse City; organic beef; candy and gelato from Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor; and a selection of handmade body and facial products.

Read the entire article here.

Dart exec talks expansion in Mason

Dart Container Corp. Executive Vice President Jim Lammers talked to the LSJ about his role in the company's upcoming transformation.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
In November 2012, Dart announced a $47 million investment plan that will include the construction of a new warehouse and office building in Mason and the hiring of as many as 325 workers in the process.

Read the entire story here.

Developer Pat Gillespie's Marketplace, riverfront redevelopment project underway in downtown Lansing

The much anticipated, 80-unit Marketplace development is now moving forward in Downtown Lansing.

According to excepts from the article: 

Developer Pat Gillespie’s Marketplace project is officially underway, with the Lansing City Pulse reporting environmental remediation of the site has begun, a process that will take about 60 days to complete. 

Read the entire story here.

Francesca's opens in Eastwood

A new women’s clothing and accessories chain recently opened a Eastwood Towne Center location.

According to excerpts from the article:

Houston-based Francesca’s Holdings Corp. is an apparel and accessories retailer that caters to 18- to 35-year olds. It has about 400 stores nationwide, including 10 in Michigan. Nearby locations are in Grand Rapids and Novi.

Read the entire story here.

Salvation Army store set for Meridian Township

A new resale shop is coming to Okemos.

According to excerpts from the article:

Meridian Township officials said the Salvation Army has signed a lease for the 28,000-square-foot building at 2655 E. Grand River and hopes to open Aug. 2. The storefront has been largely empty since the defunct Circuit City chain closed its location there more than seven years ago.

Read the entire story here.

Michigan State University commits to buy more from in-state suppliers

MSU has announced plans to buy more goods from Michigan suppliers.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Each year the university spends hundreds of millions of dollars on services, office supplies, construction materials, food, vehicles and other products. MSU on Tuesday announced it will make sure that at least half of the transactions are with in-state suppliers.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Asphalt has opened new facility in Delta Township

Lansing Asphalt has opened it's new facility.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The company, part of Superior Asphalt Inc. in Grand Rapids, is operated by Jeff Kresnak. He hopes to hire 20 to 30 workers. The project, started in fall 2011, cost $6 million to $7 million.

Read the entire story here.

St. Martha nearer to $5 million dream of new parish hall, gymnasium, classrooms

St. Martha Catholic Parish in Meridian Township has asked local officials to approve an expansion of their facilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Rev. Jon Wehrle put it this way: St. Martha Catholic Parish’s $5-million plan to build a gymnasium, library, classrooms, parish hall, and locker-rooms has been in the dream stage for 24 years.

Read the entire story here.

After 40 years, Kositchek's reopening boys department

The Kositchek's boys department is reopening after closing in the 1970s. 

According to excerpts from the article:

This time, the department, which opens later this month in a revamped mezzanine space, will cater to boys ages 8-18 in sizes 8-20. Part of the lineup caters to college students.
 
Kositchek took about 300 square feet about a dozen steps from the main floor and gutted it, installing new lighting, ceiling, floors and remodeling the space.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing scholarship program addresses IT talent shortage

A group of local organizations are working togeter to creat the Capital Area Tech Knowledge E-Pathways scholarship program to meet talent demands from the IT industry.

According to excerpts from the article

The Capital Area IT Council, Capital Area Michigan Works, Lansing Community College and other partners are working to provide an answer to the IT sector’s talent shortage through a $4.4 million U.S. Department of Labor grant.
 
Read the entire story here.

Jackson National Life growth a boost for Lansing

Jackson National Life has announced a $100 million expansion and plans to hire 1,000 new employees. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The insurer and and financial services company plans to add two buildings to its corporate headquarters site near Okemos Road and Interstate 96. The 1,000 jobs that will come with it — at an expected clip of 100 to 200 a year — will have a ripple effect on the local economy, which many community leaders welcome with open arms.

Read the entire story here.

Re-opening CADL’s South Lansing Library

The Capital Area District Library’s South Lansing branch is open after $125,000 worth of innovation.

According to excerpts from the article:

The library, at 3500 S. Cedar St., closed for seven weeks for renovations and its success has been immediate. It’s almost unrecognizable to long-time patrons.

Read the entire article here.

Grocery chain Valu Land to open Lansing location

The new grocery store coming to Colonial Village is Valu Land. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Valu Land, owned by Grand Rapids-based Spartan Stores Inc., is expected to open by late summer, spokeswoman Jeanne Norcross said. It will occupy roughly 20,000-25,000 square feet in the Colonial Village Shopping Center near the intersection of West Mount Hope Avenue and Boston Boulevard.

Read the entire article here.

3 development proposals advance for blighted downtown East Lansing area

Three firms are vying to redevelop a key downtown East Lansing property after a committee narrowed the field down from six.

According to excerpts from the article:

The three firms — rental housing company DTN Management Co. of Lansing Township; Urban Cultural and Arts District LLC, represented by Lansing’s Studio Intrigue Architects LLC; and Lurvey White Ventures, a Flint developer — survived the first cut in an effort to repurpose 2.8 acres of publicly owned land near the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road.

Read the entire story here.

FRIB might get $55 million from federal government

MSU's FRIB is included in President Obama's 2014 budget proposal.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
In his proposal, $55 million was allotted for MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, in addition to more than $1.2 billion for various national higher education awards and contests and an increase in Pell Grant funding.

Read the entire story here.

Mayor Bernero welcomes new business owners to Old Town during ribbon-cutting ceremonies

Five new and two relocated businesses in Old Town celebrated ribbon cuttings with Mayor Virg Bernero last week.

According to excerpts from the article:

The businesses, each of which has opened or re-opened in the past nine months, include Linda J. Beeman Studio, Salon 1131, Old Town Marquee, Portable Feast, Bradly’s Home and Garden, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and Michigan Community Resources.

Read the entire story here.

New hangar construction to start next month

The Charlotte airport will soon get new airplane hangar space that is expected to generate $27,000 a year.

According to excerpts from the article

Charlotte City Council approved a contract for construction of the 10-unit T-hangar with Johnson Diversified Services of Mason at its April 8 meeting. The addition will cost $424,092, which will be paid for through Federal aviation funds that are awarded annually for Fitch H. Beach Municipal Airport.

Read the entire story here.

HopCat brewpub gets final approval

The site plan for the East Lansing version of the Grand Rapids-based HopCat brewery was approved East Lansing City Council meeting at City Hall.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The bar is scheduled to be built on the ground floor of The Residences, 211 Ann St., the eight-story apartment building under construction downtown.
 
At its Feb. 27 meeting, the East Lansing Planning Commission unanimously recommended council approve the special use permit and site plan for the brewpub.

Read the entire story here.

HopCat brewpub gets final approval

The site plan for the East Lansing version of the Grand Rapids-based HopCat brewery was approved East Lansing City Council meeting at City Hall.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The bar is scheduled to be built on the ground floor of The Residences, 211 Ann St., the eight-story apartment building under construction downtown.
 
At its Feb. 27 meeting, the East Lansing Planning Commission unanimously recommended council approve the special use permit and site plan for the brewpub.

Read the entire story here.

Ingham County OKs clean-up funds for Douglas J project

Douglas J’s $10 million development plan has received a boost with the approval of funds from Ingham County to demolish the exsiting buildings and clean up contaminated soil at the site.

According to excerpts from the article:

The county board of commissioners approved a plan provide up to $328,000 through the county’s redevelopment authority to demolish the former Traveler’s Club, Triple Goddess Book Store and White Bros. A date for demolition is not finalized.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Township seeks Ingham County help to redevelop contaminated trucking facility

Lansing Township is asking Ingham County's help with a new development project.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Township leaders want to borrow money from the state to front cleanup costs at a contaminated former trucking facility developers want to convert into a business park. But Ingham County would have to essentially co-sign on a brownfield loan from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality because the township has more outstanding debt than allowed under law and can’t borrow any more until some is repaid.

Read the entire story here.

Eaton County gets $3M park grant from Snyder

Eaton County will receive $3 million to purchase 424 acres of land for a new park. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The money in the bill signed Wednesday comes from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which consists of royalties from sales and leases of state-owned mineral rights. Most of the 76 grants will go to local governments that also cover part of the projects’ costs.

Read the entire story here.

First G.A.R. museum in state headed to downtown Eaton Rapids

Local supporters in Eaton Rapids are seeking support for a building to become the only G.A.R. museum in Michigan. 

According to excerpts from the article:

In the late 1800s the building was a Grand Army of the Republic Hall, where members of the country’s first veterans organization who served in the Civil War, gathered. Today it’s nearly empty - but awaiting a bigger purpose.

Read the entire story here.

Michigan State University students score SXSW win for new app, TempoRun

Michigan State University students won a SXSW contest with their running app.
 

According to excerpts from the story:

TempoRun, an iPhone app designed to help runners maintain their ideal running pace will be hitting the market later this month.

Read the entire story here.

Meijer expands its Made in Michigan program

Meijer is expanding its Michigan-made grocery selection.

According to excertps from the article:

Company Co-Chairman Doug Meijer announced Tuesday that the Made in Michigan initiative will feature 55 new locally made grocery products in all its stores statewide.
 
Meijer launched Made in Michigan early last year with the Michigan State University Product Center for Food-Ag-Bio.

Read the entire story here.

North route chosen for Connector extension

The Delta Twp. board has decided to route the East-West Connector extension north of the Delta Township District Library.

According to excerpts from the article:

Safety and aesthetics were the two reasons the north route was chosen. The south route would have crossed two library parking lot entrances as well as a drainage swale. It would also have been close to detention ponds.

Read the entire story here.

Documents show DTN Management Co. acquires rights to former City Center II parcel

DTN Management Co. now has an ownership interest in the City Center II building in downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

The property, located at 100 W. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing, had been slated for redevelopment as part of the failed public-private City Center II venture but fell into foreclosure in Oct. 2012.

Read the entire story here.

GM looks to invest $38M, add 150 jobs at Lansing Grand River plant

General Motors Co. plans to make a $38 million expansion of the Lansing Grand River assembly plant though tax incentives.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Detroit automaker was tightlipped Thursday about its plans. Local spokeswoman Erin Davis would say only that GM is “developing a business case for a potential future investment ... (that) would fund facility improvements aimed at strengthening the plant’s manufacturing capability.”

Read the entire story here.

Jackson National Life profit rises in 2012

Jackson National Life's profits increased in 2012.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
The insurer, owned by the United Kingdom’s Prudential Group PLC, reported today it earned a record $992 million last year. That was better than the $572.8 million it earned in 2011.

Read the entire story here.

Halo Burger to open new locations in Burton, East Lansing, six other cities in 2013

The fast food chain Halo Burger will be bringing several new locations to Michigan, including East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the artice:

In addition to the Burton location, Polly Dortch-Conlan, director of marketing for Dortch Enterprises, said that the company will open an additional seven locations before the end of 2013 in Troy, Bingham Farms, Novi, Clarkston and Farmington Hills – all in Oakland County – and locations in East Lansing and Brighton.

Read the entire story here.

Selection process for redevelopment of city-owned properties in East Lansing set to begin

The process of selecting a proposal East Lansing's city-owned property downtown is now underway by a review committee. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The parcels, located west of Abbott Road and south of Valley Court in East Lansing, total about 2.8 acres and include six buildings owned by the city’s Downtown Development Authority and two municipal parking lots.
 
The city received seven proposals for the city-owned properties that were slated to be redeveloped as part of the failed City Center II public-private partnership with Strathmore Development Co.

Read the entire story here.

J.W. Knapp's downtown Lansing redevelopment taking shape

Work in the historic Knapp's building in Downtown Lansing is currently underway.

According to excerpts from the article: 

By the end of the year, Meridian Township-based Eyde Co. hopes to complete its $36 million renovation of the downtown Lansing landmark, which is being converted into the Knapp’s Centre complex of offices, retail, apartments and a fashion-based small-business incubator. Construction began in early December and is beginning to take shape.

Read the entire story here.

GM hires new workers for Delta plant

Approximate 45 workers will be hired at General Motors' Lansing Delta Township assembly plant, replacing employees who transferred to other plants.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
About 25 employees already are at work, with another 20 expected in the next few weeks, said Erin Davis, a Lansing-based GM spokeswoman. They will build the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia crossovers at the Delta Township factory. Hiring is completed.

Read the entire story here.

Okemos to get new teen retailer, Penn Station restaurant

Okemos will soon be the home of a new restaurant and retailer.

According to excerpts from the article:

Five Below Inc., a Philadelphia-based chain that sells accessories and other merchandise for $5 or less aimed at older kids and teens, will open a store April 12 next to a Marshalls apparel store in the Meridian Towne Centre on Marsh Road.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing airport lands new cargo shipping company

A major cargo company will soon to open an office at the Capital Region International Airport.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
EMO Trans Customized Global Logistics, which bases its U.S. operations in Freeport, N.Y., is expected to move into the DeWitt Township airport’s new, 48,000-square-foot air cargo terminal by March 1, the airport said in a statement.

Read the entire story here.

Construction to start on Dart's $47M expansion

Dart Corporation is moving forward on its Alaiedon Township expansion.

According to excerpts from the article:

Tractors are moving earth and preparing for Dart's planned $47- million expansion will include a new 389,000-square-foot tri-level warehouse and a 189,000-square-foot new world headquarters office building, according to plans submitted to the township.

Read the entire story here.

Homes planned at College Fields golf course in Okemos

An Okemos housing development is now planned for the College Fields golf course.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
East Lansing’s Mayberry Homes plans to build the 73-unit Parkside at College Fields development, which would include homes priced between $275,000 and $400,000 aimed at families with children, said Will Randle, Mayberry’s community development manager.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing-area builders optimistic as new homes market shows steady recovery

The Home Builders Association of Michigan is predicting a significantly stronger year for homebuilding in 2013.

According to excerpts from the article:

In Michigan, the state’s homebuilding trade association is projecting nearly 14,000 new homes will be built this year, up 33 percent from a year ago. A steady increase has been the trend for the past five years — 2013 projections are 123 percent more than the 6,236 homes built in 2009.

Read the entire story here.

Two businesses pledge proceeds to Okemos library renovation

Efforts to renovate the Okemos Library will receive a boost from Culver’s of Okemos and Asian Buffet in Okemos.

According to excerpts from the article: 
 
The restaurants will give 10 percent of their proceeds on specified days, according to township officials.
 
On Feb. 24 and March 24, Culver’s of Okemos will offer their support, and Asian Buffet in Okemos will join in Feb. 25-28. The proceeds will go towards the renovations of the Okemos Library.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Meijer store to be rebuilt

Upcoming improvements to the Meijer store in South Lansing will be a part of a $160 million investment by the Michigan retailer.

According to excerpts from ther article:
 
The Walker-based chain’s Lansing store, at 6200 S. Pennsylvania Ave., will be rebuilt over a period of 14 months, Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi said. Construction could start within weeks.
 
The 192,000-square-foot store will gain a drive-up pharmacy, a relocated garden center and a redesigned electronics department, among other upgrades, Meijer said.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing schools seek $5.3M for technology

East Lansing Schools is proposing a milage for a $5.3 million, 5-year to fund upgrades to security and communications systems.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
If approved the levy would add 1.25 mills, or $125 annually, to the tax bill of a home with a taxable value of $100,000.
 
But school officials point out that in the fourth and fifth years of the new millage, if it passes, the overall property tax bill from the school district actually will decline.

Read the entire story here.

New apartment complex, HopCat bar discussed by planning commission

Issues before the East Lansing Planning Commission last week included use issues as a new apartment complex and the proposed HopCat bar on the first floor of The Residences.

According to excerpts from the article:

The proposed building would be four stories tall and feature 21 four-bedroom apartments, with the first floor used for both commercial space and for parking.
 
Community Development Analyst Tim Schmitt said the project, “should be an economic positive to the city because it is increasing taxable value to the property.”

Read the entire story here.

Lansing vying for MSHDA's Michigan Main Street Program

Downtown Lansing Inc., the organization behind the downtown Lansing Principle Shopping District, presented before  MSHDA's Michigan Main Street Selection Committee this month in the hopes of being designated a Select Member of Michigan Main Street program.

According to excerpts from the article: 

Downtown Lansing Inc. made the presentation at the MSHDA Building Wednesday afternoon, with representatives from the DLI Board, CATA, local businesses, and even appearances from Mayor Virg Bernero, Big Lug, and Sparty.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing receives seven proposals to redevelop City Center II site

The City of East Lansing has received seven proposals to redevelop the City Center II development project in Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
City administrators last fall sought proposals to develop a roughly 2.8 acre section near the intersection of Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue after the $105 million City Center II project from East Lansing developer Scott Chappelle dissolved last summer amid financing concerns.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing airport seeing passenger traffic rise as new flights arrive

The Lansing Airport has been witnessing a rise in traffic after several years of decline.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Passenger traffic at Capital Region International Airport climbed 8 percent in 2012, airport officials reported, marking the second consecutive year of growth after two years of sharp declines. And airport officials hope to sustain that trend this year, though popular low-fare carrier Southwest Airlines Co.’s entry to into the Flint and Grand Rapids markets could draw passengers away from Lansing.

Read the entire story here.

LEAP awarded $500K for small business incubator

The Lansing Economc Area Partnership received $500,000 from the state for a small business incubator.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc. received the funds from the Michigan Strategic Fund, an arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., for its work managing a network known as the Lansing Regional SmartZone. The SmartZone is a defined area of economic development, created out of state law, that is intended to draw technology firms near universities.

Read the entire story here.

Clinton County Habitat purchases parcel for next building project

Habitat for Humanity of Clinton County have purchased property in St. Johns on which to build a home.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
“We are excited to build another affordable home in St. Johns for a deserving family,” said Sue Carroll, director of Habitiat for Humanity of Clinton County. “The property we purchased is in a great location close to schools, playgrounds and commercial outlets. There is even a terrific bike and walking trail nearby.”

Read the entire story here.

Coffee Barrel in Holt celebrates 30 years of business

A local couple celebrates 30 years of bringing unique coffee experience to Holt.

According to excerpts from the article:

For husband-and-wife owners Tim and Shawn Brenner, the Coffee Barrel’s unique method for making java is the main ingredient for shop’s long-running success.
 
“It’s the process,” Shawn Brenner said. “From being sent across the world to Holt, Michigan, the way the beans are selected and prepared are the key to taste and quality.”

Read the entire story here.
 

South Lansing Meijer store to be remodeled

The South Lansing Meijer store will soon undergo a remodel.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Frank Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Walker-based superstore chain, said the store at 6200 S. Pennsylvania Ave. is gearing up for a renovation project but would not disclose details. Guglielmi said more information should be coming within weeks.

Read the entire story here.

New upscale rentals under construction in Lansing area

Several new luxury apartment development are underway in Lansing. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Knapp’s Centre, a $36 million redevelopment of the former J.W. Knapp’s Department Store in downtown Lansing into retail, office space and apartments. Most of the 22 units are expected to have two bedrooms and could range from 900 to 1,200 square feet.

Read the entire article here.

New park, artwork planned for Mason

The City of Mason have recieved a grant, with which they plan to invest in public art and a new park.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Mason City Council approved a public art policy and learned more about plans for the new park at its Jan. 7 meeting.
 
The plans came after Mason learned it would be one of two communities in the area to get a The Lansing Economic Area Partnership Public Art for Communities grant for $10,000. DeWitt Township was given the other grant.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Mall to get new 12-screen movie theater in former Mervyns space

A new 12-screen movie theater will open at the Lansing Mall. 

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Regal Entertainment Group plans to open a 50,0000-square-foot theater at the Lansing Mall, mall owner Rouse Properties Inc. said. With 12 screens, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based chain’s new theater will double the number of screens currently available to moviegoers at an adjacent mall-owned site.

Read the entire story here.

New Sparrow East Lansing opens doors for business

Sparrow East Lansing has been under construction since September and the project was completed this month.

According to excerpts from the story:

Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital opened the doors of the East Lansing Urgent Care clinic Wednesday, providing students and East Lansing residents access to another health care site within blocks of campus.

Read the entire story here.

Popular Portland pizzeria reopens

A small business in Portland recently reopened under new ownership.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Portland Party Store and Pizzeria reopened on Dec. 3, offering a variety of pizza and beverage choices as before. The store is under the ownership of brothers Adam, Alexander and Ted Keusch, who have brought in their own touches to the business.

Read the entire stoy here.

Community music school relocates facility

The MSU Community Music School has opened in a new space on Hagadorn Rd.

According to excerpts from the story:

The school moved because its lease at the previous location on Timberlane Street expired. It then moved to an MSU building, formerly the University Reformed Church.

Read the entire story here.

Sparrow opens primary carebranch in Holt

Sparrow Medical Group has opened a new office in Holt.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Two full-time family physicians and a physician assistant will practice at the new site in the Holt Plaza at the corner of Holt and Aurelius roads.
 
Sparrow Medical Group, part of Sparrow Health System, has established eight primary care locations, including sites in Okemos, DeWitt, Mason and Potterville.

Read the entire story here

Opening of The Residences in East Lansing on target for fall

Construction on The Residences, East Lansing's new eight-story apartment building, is on target to be finished by late summer.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
The $8.5 million Residences project is being developed by A&G Partnership LLC, a joint venture of Douglas Cron and David Krause of East Lansing-based Cron Management LLC.

Read the entire story here.

MLive Media Group to open new hub in downtown Lansing

MLive Media Group will open a new office in downtown Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

The new hub will be located at 108 S. Washington Square in a former Secretary of State office, just two blocks from the state Capitol and Lansing City Hall.

Read the entire story here.

Greenlight Business Model Competition Coming To East Lansing With $50K In Prizes

A new Greenlight  Business Model Competition will come to East Lansing in the spring.

According to excerpts from the article:

This event will bring entrepreneurs from all over Michigan to the East Lansing area to pitch their ideas to an amazing panel of judges with chances of winning a total of $50,000 in cash prizes along with networking with angel and venture capital investors from throughout the state.

Read the entire story here.

$10.5M East Lansing Amtrak station upgrade still on track

A $6.3 million upgrade to East Lansing’s Amtrak station is awaiting the funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

According to excerpts from the story:

Debbie Alexander, CATA’s assistant executive director, said she had hoped the agency would have money in hand to move forward this fall. FTA spokesman Dave Longo said CATA’s application is under review and funds should be released in 2013. A more specific timeline wasn’t available.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing GM facilities recognized for energy efficiency

Two Lansing-are GM facilities have recieved certifications for energy efficiency.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Detroit carmaker’s Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales parts building received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program as part of a voluntary “energy reduction challenge” to cut energy usage by 10 percent over five years. GM’s Lansing Delta Township assembly plant retained the certification it received in 2011.

Read the entire story here.

Fundraising kicks off for CADL Okemos branch

The Okemos library is kicking off a fundraiser in the hopes of renovating their facility.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
The campaign’s goal is matching $200,000 allocated by the Meridian Township Board of Trustees in its 2013 budget with $100,000 in donations from the community. Previously, a similar group raised more than that to help move CADL’s Haslett branch into a larger location at 1590 Franklin St.

Read the entire story here.

Keeping the Sun from setting

The family-owned Sun Theater hopes to upgrade to a digital projector with the help of crowdfunding.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Robitailles, who work day jobs while also managing the Sun, launched an online fundraiser at savethesun.net with a goal of $80,000. The cost would cover the costs for the high-tech equipment needed for the projection and sound upgrade. As of Tuesday, the Sun had raised $19, 000.

Read the entire story here.

Knapp's project enters construction phase

Downtown Lansing's history J.W. Knapp’s rennovation is now underway.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, other city leaders and representatives of East Lansing-based developer Eyde Co. on Tuesday plan to announce the launch of the formal construction phase of the Knapp’s project, a $36 million effort that will transform the Art Deco building into commercial and residential space. A fashion-based small business incubator, The Runway, also will be housed there.


Read the entire article here.

Studio C movie theater to open Monday in Okemos

The new dine-in movie theater, Studio C opened this week.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The theater, in an outlot near the Meridian Mall, will officially open with a 3 p.m. screening of “Playing for Keeps,” with Gerard Butler. The new Peter Jackson film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will open Friday in regular and 3-D screenings.
 
In all, 37 employees have been hired, said Steve VanWagoner, a Celebration spokesman.

Read the entire story here.

Music used as health aid for disabled children

The MSU Community Music School hosts music therapy for disabled children.

According to excerpts from the article:

As a part of the school’s music therapy program, the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association, or CADSA, sponsors a special music session, called Together…Let’s Jam!, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. one Wednesday every month.

Read the entire story here.

Dart to add 325 jobs in Mason

Dart Container plans to expand by $47 million after acquiring Solo Cup this year.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
In all, Dart plans to add as many as 325 jobs in the next few years as it accommodates workers from Lake Forest, Ill.-based Solo Cup Co., which makes the popular colored party cups. Dart bought the company in May in a $1 billion deal that included $315 million in cash and $700 million in debt. It is in the early stages of transferring some Solo employees to Michigan. That could happen in 2014, Lammers said.

Read the entire story here.

New grocery store possible at L&L site

The Colonial Square Shopping Center may be getting a new grocery store where the former L&L Food Store was located.
 
According to excerpts from the story:
 
Craig Singer, who owns the plaza on West Mt. Hope Avenue, told the Colonial Village Neighborhood Association on Wednesday that he is negotiating a possible lease for “a supermarket prospect” interested in the location.

Read the entire story here.

New program aims to help Greater Lansing area job seekers, employers meet in the middle

The Prima Civitas Foundation has launched their 12-week Job Seeker Strategy Group to help job seekers find work.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
Unlike other programs currently available through various state and local agencies, the Prima Civitas offering doesn't focus on training participants for the ever-changing workforce, but on how to market themselves to make sure they're getting the jobs they're qualified for.

Read the etire article here.

Business incubators look to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit

Business incubators are on the rise in the Lansing area, spurring local business growth.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
For four years, dozens of entrepreneurs in such fields as information technology and biotechnology have cycled through what’s known as the Technology Innovation Center — 6,500 square feet near the corner of Grand River Avenue and Charles Street — in search of low rent and help to turn their dreams into startup companies.

Read the entire story here.

Jackson National Life sales up 9.5 percent

Major area employer Jackson National Life Insurance announced good news recently, with sales and deposits up 9.5 percent in the first nine months of the year.

According to excperts from the story:
 
The Alaiedon Township-based insurer reported Wednesday sales of $19.6 billion for the year through Sept. 30. That was up from $17.9 billion in the same period a year ago.
 
JNL said much of the increase is due to higher variable annuity sales, which climbed 11.3 percent over the period.

Read the entire story here

E.L. group discusses City Center II site

A group of citizens in East Lansing recently met in the East Lansing Hannah Community Center to discuss the former City Center II site in Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the story:

The site’s ownership is split between the city and CADA Investments, LLC, and City Center II, LLC. Roughly 25 percent of the site is privately owned.
 
Now that the public comment period for the RFQP for the publicly owned portion is over, the draft is undergoing an approval process with city officials before any proposals can be considered.

Read the entire article here.

MSU's FRIB: New building wins approval

Michigan State University leaders approved plans for a new building for assembly and testing of technology for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

According to excerpts from the article:

At $15.5 million and 27,000 square feet, the building is larger than MSU had originally planned. Fred Poston, the university’s vice president for finance and operations, said the administration had “challenged the FRIB project to think also in terms of upgrades,” wanting the facility to be large enough to accommodate future iterations of the project.

Read the entire story here.

The World's Best Wine Cellars: For Billionaires And Maybe For You Too

Forbes contributer Larry Olmsted reviews the works of East Lansing's Revel Custom Wine Cellars, described as “the Bentley of wine cellars.”

According to excerpts from the article:

If you thought the wine cellar did not need reinventing, you were wrong, or at least in disagreement with Revel founder James Cash, who has a day job as COO of Michigan-based Christman Capital Development Company, a diversified construction and real estate development company he has been with for 20 years. CCDC has made a reputation as an expert on historic structures, hired to restore the Michigan State Capitol Building, the Golden Dome at Notre Dame, the Virginia State Capitol Building, President Lincoln’s cottage next to Arlington Cemetery, and is currently working at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

Read the entire story here.

Meridian Township ranked as a top place for entrepreneurs

Meridian Township was named one of eight top communities for entrepreneurial growth and economic development in Michigan by researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
"I’m thrilled by the fact that the township received an Outstanding Community Award in 2012, and that we received a five star rating for the third consecutive year," said Rick Brown, Meridian Township’s associate planner.
 
The eCities research surveyed 114 communities from 40 counties in Michigan that are home to 34 percent of Michigan residents and nearly half of its college graduates.

Read the entire story here.

Martin-Brower gets state incentive for St. Johns expansion

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. will award Martin-Brower Co. $500,000 to expand its operations in St. Johns.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
Martin-Brower is a food and materials supplier whose main customer is fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. Martin-Brower will use the money as part of its $16.3 million expansion of the former M&M Restaurant Supply location it bought earlier this year.

Read the entire story here.

Leslie school district celebrates opening of nature center

A new Leslie School District nature center celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 14.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Russell Miller "Wild 100" was used over time for field trips and various nature-related programs, but without any facilities on site for water or restrooms, the visits were limited

Read the entire story here

Oldham Project gets a permanent home

The Oldham Project now has a new home provided by McLaren Orthopedic Hospital.

According to excerpts from the article:

The space gives Shaver a home base as she works to expand her Lansing-based organization throughout mid-Michigan, she said. The portraits Shaver takes helps patients, many of whom are women diagnosed with breast cancer, feel more confident, said Marlene Johnson, of Dimondale, who had her photo taken this spring.

Read the entire story here

Red Haven Farm to Table Grand Opening

The Purple Carrot's Red Haven Farm to Table restaurant is now open.

According to excerpts from the article: 

Wednesday, October 17th marks the grand opening. Chef Tony Maiale and Nina Santucci bring their focus on local Michigan foods and products to the world of fine dining with their tapas-style restaurant, located at 4480 S. Hagadorn Road within The Hamptons mixed-use apartment complex near Mount Hope.

Read the entire story here

Smart tweeting

A Michigan State University professor has found that Twitter can be used to improve student engagement in the classroom.

According to excerpts from the article:

Christine Greenhow, an assistant professor of education at MSU, found that college students who use Twitter as part of their classes tend to be more engaged with course material, the instructor and fellow students. In some cases, using Twitter led to higher grades.

Read the entire article here.

Financing approved for Knapp's redevelopment

A $5.9 million federal loan has been approved to renovate the Knapp's Building in Downtown Lansing

According to excerpts from the article:

The loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program was approved this week, paving the way for Meridian Township-based Eyde Co. to soon begin construction on the $36 million Knapp’s Centre project, said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc.

Read the entire story here.

Food truck at MSU open for business

Michigan State University students have a new dining option with an on-campus. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The truck serves roughly 200 customers each day, he said. MSU rents a vehicle from a company in California through a yearlong lease costing about $30,000.

Read the entire story here.

Cyclists celebrate bike lane on Saginaw

Lansing bikers now have a safer way to travel in on Saginaw with a dedicated bike lane.

According to excerpts from the article:

The wide new bike lane along busy Saginaw Street and its deluxe link to the Lansing River Trail at the new Saginaw Street bridge over the Grand River is the most dramatic evidence yet of “complete streets” planning in Michigan.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing-area food trucks expand business with permanent restaurants

The forthcoming restaurant, Red Haven is the next venture to spring from an area food truck.

According to excerpts from the article:

Red Haven, The Purple Carrot’s sophisticated younger relative, will offer upscale small plates made with mostly Michigan ingredients to what is expected at first to be mainly a dinner crowd. The restaurant could open within weeks in The Hamptons of Meridian, a mixed-use development near Mt. Hope and Hagadorn roads in Meridian Township.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing's NEO Center to host Startup Weekend, event aimed at launching new businesses

This year's Startup Weekend in Lansing will be hosted by the NEO Center.

According to excerpts from the story:

The event begins Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at the NEO Center, located at 934 Clark St. in Lansing.
 
Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas Friday evening. Attendees vote for the best ideas, then form teams to further develop the business ideas before pitching their plans to investors and "thought leaders" Sunday evening.

Read the entire article here.

MEO is tops in LEED

Michigan Energy Options announced their level of LEED certification at an event in September. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing-based, statewide nonprofit that conducts renewable energy outreach just had its headquarters at 405 Grove St. certified at the most coveted level for energy efficiency. It’s the first building in East Lansing and the third in the state to achieve LEED Platinum status.

Read the entire story here.

MSU Professor in ArtPrize's Top 25

MSU professor Henry Brimmer‘s ArtPrize entry is among the top 25 in the contest.

According to excerpts from the article:

As one entry in 1,517 this year at ArtPrize, Brimmer didn’t have to work too hard to stand out. Brimmer believes his piece to be one of the most photographed and didn’t come in with a marketing plan.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing and Lansing officials plan large development

Redevelopment plans are underway for Michigan Avenue that could include student apartments, a shopping center and an outdoor movie theater.

According to excerpts from the article:

A development group composed of Lansing and East Lansing entrepreneurs and public officials, as well as the Hobbs Black Architects, has created a conceptual plan to redevelop roughly 70 acres of the Michigan Avenue corridor from Clippert Street in Lansing to the abandoned Red Cedar Golf Course property near Brody Complex Neighborhood.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing-based Neogen Corp. announces 11 percent increase in first quarter net income over last year

Lansingi-based Neogen Corp. announced record first quarter revenues and net income last week.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
Net income for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2013, which ended Aug. 31, increased 11.8 percent from the prior year to more than $6.7 million, or $0.28 per share.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing airport's expansion into foreign trade a long-term process

The Capital Region International Airport is working to establish the DeWitt Township airport as a hub for international trade.

According excerpts from the article:

More than $27 million has been invested in airport infrastructure upgrades since 2005 — roughly $5.8 million from the airport itself and the remainder from grants and other programs. That includes a runway extension and a new U.S. customs station required when Capital Region became an international port of entry in 2008.

Read the entire story here.

$2.9M East Lansing development progresses with land sale, construction

A $2.9 million mixed-use development underway in East Lansing has been sold to Wolf River Development Co.

According to excertps from the story:

Koehler's will remain in business during construction of the new building, and is temporarily located at 1510 Rensen St., Suite D in Lansing, according to the release.
 
Project plans call for construction of a four-story, 23,200-square-foot building on the 0.33-acre site.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Community College's downtown campus growing

Lansing Community College’s Board of Trustees has approved the purchase the property on northwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Genesee Street for $1.45 million.

According to excerpts from the article:

The 19,500-square-foot building, which once housed offices for the Michigan Catholic Conference, is “a good solid structure, a good footprint,” said board Chairman Larry Meyer, “and it has additional parking, which is always a constraint for us.”

Read the entire story here.

Davenport sells current campus sites

The Lansing Housing Commission and the Boji Group have purchased parts of Davenport University’s downtown campus.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Housing commission Executive Director Patricia Baines-Lake said her organization bought the private, Grand Rapids-based university’s Cherry Street facility for $950,000. Boji Group purchased academic buildings on Kalamazoo Street for an undisclosed price.

Read the entire story here.

Sparrow satellite clinic to be in Holt

Sparrow will expand its operations with a new satellite office in Holt.

According to excerpts from the article:

A 6,000 square-foot building that will house a Sparrow satellite facility will be located in the Holt Plaza, according to Sparrow officials a Lansing Economic Development Corporation memo from the plaza owners in July.

Read the entire story here.

New mobile food truck debuts at Saturday's game

Michigan State's first food truck debuted this month during an MSU football game.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Eat At State On-The-Go truck is MSU’s first mobile food vendor and hopefully will appeal to MSU community members whose needs were not being met with stationary cafeterias and Sparty’s convenience stores, said Bruce Haskell, associate director of Residential Dining.

Read the entire article here.

DeWitt Pharmacy preparing new home

A new DeWitt Pharmacy Store is under development in downtown DeWitt.
 
According to excerpts from the story:
 
The new store, located at 116 S. Bridge St., will be more than 4,000 square feet and is expected to open is spring 2013.

Read the entire article here.

Michigan State, IBM team on education efforts

A new business analytics graduate program is soon coming to Michigan State University's Broad College of Business.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The program, a collaboration between the university and IBM, was announced Thursday as part of a daylong symposium devoted to the growing economic impact of analytics, the process of gleaning useful information from a large amount of data.

Read the entire story here.

MSU Board Approves Contract for F-RIB

Further progress has been announced on MSU's FRIB project. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The MSU Board of Trustees gave approval to sign contracts with the Department of Energy for developments to the Facility for Rare Isotopes Beams or F-RIB Project.
 
The Department of Energy will continue to work on the $600 million project.
 
Read the entire story here.

Allegiant Air coming back to Lansing

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air will soon add nonstop flights from Capital Region International Airport to Orlando.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Allegiant will offer the only year-round route from Lansing to Florida. But it will compete with fellow low-fare carrier Sun Country Airlines, which will offer seasonal service to Orlando this winter. It also will go up against Delta and United airlines, which offer service to Orlando and other Florida destinations through connecting flights in Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago.

Read the entire article here.

Home brewing store opens in Frandor

A new home-brewing supply store called opened in early August called That’s How We Brew near Frandor.

According to excerpts from the article:

“Our whole idea is to expand people’s education on crafting beer and to create a user-friendly, casual environment,” store owner Patrick Brazil said. “We will have a lot of products for the very experienced brewer to the intermediate brewer to the beginners.”
 
The store specializes in outfitting buyers with everything they would need to make their own individual brew.

Read the entire story here.

Ground broken in Delta for new senior complex

On Aug. 15,  the new Delta River Senior Village celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony.

According to excerpts from the article:

Delta River Senior Village will be a three-story, 38-unit apartment building for low and moderate income seniors 62 and older.
 
Made possible by a $3.67 million HUD grant, it is the first new apartment building in the township in five years, according to township community development director Mark Graham.

Read the entire story here.

LCC Campus Getting Huge Renovations

Lansing Community College will receive $67 million worth of campus upgrades in less than 2.5 years.

According to excerpts from the article:

As for the $67 million paying for the makeover, President Knight says most of the money is coming from a bond insurance and the rest from savings. He promises it won't hurt the college's budget, and do a lot for the students.

Read the entire story here.

$1.85M Haslett Road project under way

More than two miles of Haslett Road will recieve $1.85 in improvements.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
When completed in late October, the busy road that handles 15,000 vehicles daily will be revamped from Park Lake Road at the East Lansing-Meridian Township boundary east to Shaw Street in Haslett.

Read the entire story here.

Parents Have Say in District's $5 Million Technology Upgrades

St. Johns Public Schools is requesting feedback from parents through an online survey regarding in upcoming technology upgrades.

According to excerpts from the article:

That might be an option soon, thanks to a $64 million bond from 2010 that allocated $5 million to technology improvements throughout the district. Extensive renovations - including high speed wireless internet, new telephones, and two-screen projectors in classrooms - have already cost about $3 million.

Read the entire story here.

Summer construction at schools ongoing as fall nears

In 52 working days 40 contractors are working to complete $14.7 million worth of work to the Charlotte School District.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The work, funded by a bond that voters approved in 2010, includes $12.5 million worth of work at Charlotte High School, where a new heating system, new main entrance and office and new science rooms are among the projects. It is here that some of the work began in the spring and will continue over the next year.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing-area eateries made to order: Restaurants need to fill niche

Like the Kellogg family, who just opened Penn Station East Coast Subs in Lansing, restaurantuers are finding success with niche markets. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Restaurateurs such as the Kelloggs are part of a breed of entrepreneur trying to push into a field that some experts call the toughest around.
 
The hospitality industry in Michigan is expected to generate some $12.6 billion in sales revenue and employ 374,800 people this year, based on figures from the National Restaurant Association.

Read the entire story here.

$300K grant to help Delhi Township connect pathway to River Trail

Part of $38 million in Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grants will fund a $300,000 Delhi river trail project.

According to excerpts from the article:

The state grant was half of what the township expected but still will pay about 10 percent of the nearly $3 million project, township Manager John Elsinga said.
 
The township expects to receive about $1.4 million in a state Department of Transportation enhancement grant, leaving the township’s share at about $1.2 million, he said.

Read the entire article here.

Knapp's building redevelopment taking shape

Development firm Eyde Co., is marking progres on the redevelopment of the Knapp's building in Downtown Lansing with the completion of asbestos removal and will soon seek construction bids.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

The developer should close on a financing package that includes a $5.9 million federal loan by the third week of September, said Mark Clouse, Eyde’s chief financial officer and general counsel. Should that happen — and Clouse said he doesn’t have reason to believe the deal won’t go through — construction could wrap within 12 to 16 months.


Read the entire story here.

Olive oil business fills a niche

Great Lakes Olive Oil at Eastwood Towne Center is a family business looking to fill the local niche market for olive oil and balsalmic vinegars.

According to excerpts from the story:

Elyse Lee, her sister, Elexis Meloy, and their mother, Terri Lee, opened their first Great Lakes Olive Oil Co. store in 2010 in Frankenmuth, selling a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Two years later, they’ve opened a second store at Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing Township.

Read the entire story here.

Williamston Community Library Foundation given $50,000

The Williamston Community Library Foundation has received a gift of $50,000 from the estate of the late June M. Stover.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The long-time public school teacher designated $50,000 to establish a “a specialized area of need for the library, which will be designated as the ‘Ronald R. and June M. Stover Library Endowment.’” Included in the gift is a grandfather clock, according to Jack Helder, the president of the group.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing earns $6.3M grant to upgrade train station

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin’s office announced that the East Lansing train station will receive a $6.3 million upgrade with a federal grant. 

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The funding will be awarded to the Capital Area Transportation Authority, which plans a train station and additional facilities for bus transit, vehicle parking and improved traffic, Levin and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow said in a news release.

Read the entire story here.

Delta Meijer drive-through pharmacy OK'd

A drive-through pharmacy window is on the way to the West Saginaw Meijer.

According to excerpts from the article:

The 120-square-foot addition to the 220,250-square-foot Meijer store will fit under its existing overhang. There will be curbs and a wrought iron railing to discourage pedestrians from walking in the drive through lane, as well as signs to direct drivers.

Read the entire article here.

DeWitt welcomes new chiropractor

A new chiropractor has opened for business in DeWitt.

According to excerpts from the article:

“I just kept missing Michigan and I’m glad to be back,” said the DeWitt High School grad whose new clinic, Chambers Chiropractic at 12775 Escanaba, has been open three months.

Read the entire story here.

Homeless shelter playground gets a makeover

The playground at the City Rescue Mission Shelter for Women and Children will soon receive an upgrade.

According to excepts from the article:

South Lansing Kiwanis raised $12,000 to help fund the project, Mission Play, which was matched by Lansing-based Lake Trust Credit Union. The project had a group of 50 volunteers working Saturday to replace playground equipment at the site.

Read the entire article here.

Old Town businesses mark move, opening

An Old Town business celebrated its openings and another marked its new location last week.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
Redhead Design Studio, which recently moved to the Walker Building at 1135 N. Washington Ave., and new restaurant Meat Southern B.B.Q. & Carnivore Cuisine, 1224 Turner St., were part of a ribbon-cutting event that spotlighted their new locations in Lansing’s Old Town business district.

Read the entire article here.

New senior housing going up on Michigan Ave. in Delta Township

The Volunteers of America will soon begin work on a new senior citizen housing complex.

According to excerpts from that article:
 
Delta River Senior Village will be a three-story, 38-unit independent living apartment building for low and moderate income seniors 62 and older. Income limits, adjusted for medical expenses, will be about $38,500 for one person and $44,000 for two people, according to VOA vice president of housing Karlynne Tucker-Scaggs.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing's hotels post gains in occupancy, room rates

Lansing’s approximately 4,300 hotel rooms reported 53 percent occupancy in 2012 through May, 

According to excerpts from the article:

Locally, hotel managers in those corridors say their properties are showing signs of progress in a hospitality industry that slid along with consumer spending during the 18-month recession that officially began in late 2007 but hit Michigan much sooner. The industry is expected to post slight gains this year in occupancy, rates and revenue, based on national market research data.

Read the entire story here

LEAP takes over economic development for city of Lansing

LEAP and the City of Lansing have signed an agreement shifting the city’s development efforts to the regional agency.

According to excerpts from that article:
 
Local officials touted the contract, which had been in the works for months, as a major shift in the region’s strategy to attract new development, create jobs and boost business investment.

Read the entire story here.

Meridan AMC turning into high-end Celebration Cinema

An Okemos theater is undergoing renovations to become a Celebration Cinema.

According to excerpts from the article: 

The former location of AMC Meridian 6 Theatres is being renovated to house Studio C!, a high-end movie theater venture from Celebration! Cinema. However, the theater will stray from the traditional movie-going experience — patrons will have the option to order prepared food and possibly alcoholic beverages from their seat to enjoy during the film.

Read the entire story here

Broad Art Museum opening a pop-up museum in Old Town Lansing

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will share art with the Greater Lansing area this summer with an off-campus exhibition.


According to excerpts from the article:
 
In Old Town Lansing, a show featuring the work of Kristin Cammermeyer, a recent graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, kicks off Friday.
 
The exhibit is at the former Chrome Cat bar on Grand River Avenue.

Read the entire story here.

Emergent BioSolutions, MSU to create vaccines against bioterrorism threats

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that Emergent BioSolutions Inc. will be one of three new centers to develop vaccines against bioterrorism threats and pandemic illnesses.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Emergent, a Rockville, Md.-based biopharmaceutical company, will partner with Michigan State University, Kettering University in Flint and the University of Maryland to create the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. Emergent’s contract spans eight years and is worth $220 million, an amount that will include investments from both the company and the federal government.

Read the entire story here.

Niowave planning $10 million Lansing expansion

Lansing-based Niowave Inc. plans to expand and test new particle accelerators.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Niowave is asking the city for a tax incentive package that would waive $233,312 in personal property taxes for the 14,000-square-foot expansion for the next six years. That package is contingent on the 6-year-old company hiring 15 to 25 more workers within two years.

Read the entire story here.

Ingham County among communities awarded drug disposal grants

Ingham County is among five organizations in Michigan receiving nearly $250,000 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for projects that focus on the disposal of unused household drugs.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Community Pollution Prevention grants are designed to increase public access to free drug collection programs and to help develop successful disposal programs that can be implemented in other areas of the state.

Read the entire story here

Lansing companies focus on global communication

Fathy Shetiah, owner of 7C Lingo, has witnessed a rise in the need for business interpreters in Lansing, as well as those interested in becoming them. 
 
According to excerpts from the article:

As the economy globalizes, the need for people who can translate written documents or interpret during business meetings is increasing. Locally, companies such as 7C Lingo want to capitalize on the demand by expanding their services into cultural sensitivity training and digital translation using a webcam and an Internet connection.

Read the entire story here.

Delivery service comes to MSU

A new business allows East Lansing residents and students to order delivery from restaurants that typically do not offer those services.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Straight2YourDoor, an online delivery service operated out of an office at 2875 Northwind Drive, opened last Monday, bridging the gap between customers and local restaurants that don’t have an option for delivery.

Read the entire story here.

Drew Stanton's golf outing raises $60,000 for charity

Former Michigan State athletes and others participated in the Drew Stanton High 5ive Foundation charity golf outing at Hawk Hollow last week.

According to excerpts from the article:

Danielle Robinson of the High 5ive Foundation said this year’s event featured the best turnout and the most money raised for charity. Robinson estimates they will raise $60,000 from the event, which will benefit Children’s Miracle Network, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Special Olympics.

Read the entire story here.

Moe’s Southwest Grill receives steady traffic

Moe’s Southwest Grill opened recently at 551 E. Grand River Ave., in East Lansing.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
Moe’s — an established Mexican restaurant chain popular in the southern United States — opened its doors Thursday in the former location of OZ Gallery and Hand-Blown Glass, which moved its store to Lansing in November 2010. Currently there are about 25 employees working, and Austin said he plans to hire more when the students return.

Read the entire article here.

Historic Lansing Community College home gets facelift

Lansing Community College's Herrmann House has belonged to the college for nearly 50 years, and now the three-story, 13-room home is getting a makeover. 


According to excerpts from the article:

The 119-year-old house is now in the early stages of renovation, the carpeting torn up to expose the damaged hardwood floors underneath, much of the woodwork covered in plastic tarps.
 
It will cost the college just under $50,000 to update the electrical system and replace water pipes, and there will be other expenses: fixing holes in the plaster, replacing kitchen appliances, putting down new carpeting and a new coat of paint, possibly the removal of asbestos and lead paint.

Read the entire story here.

Bath Township Meijer opening brings shopping closer to home

The new, 158,000-square-foot Bath Township Meijer store opened its doors last Thursday.


According to excerpts from the article:
 
“A lot of people have been waiting,” said store director Teri Gross, who will head the Bath Township store after working for Walker-based Meijer Inc. in Saginaw. “We’ve had to turn them away earlier this week.”

Read the entire story here.

New Eastwood pizzeria to open on May 21

An expanded section of Eastwood Towne Center that will soon host four new restaurants saw its first open on Monday.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza will occupy 4,500 square feet in The Heights at Eastwood, a new, roughly $45 million mixed-use development north of the shopping center along U.S. 127 and Lake Lansing Road. The pizzeria will open at 11 a.m. Monday. Other restaurants are expected to open in the coming months, including Bar 30, a 7,900-square-foot restaurant and nightclub; Carlos and Jorge’s, a 5,000-square-foot Latin eatery; and Eleven Prime, an 8,000-square-foot steak and wine bar.

Read the entire story here.

Lodges attempts to expand; community atmosphere in mind

The Lodges of East Lansing is proposing an expansion of their facilities to the Meridian Township board.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
The Lodges, located at 2700 Hannah Blvd., first opened in August 2011, are part of a larger redevelopment project in place for the 81-acre area, which could include retail and office space in the future. The opening of the student housing complex was the first of three planned phases for the area.
 
The current proposal would add additional units to The Lodges, but Capstone Development — the development company heading the project — hopes to improve drainage to the man-made wetlands in the area before it can continue.

Read the entire story here.

University Reformed Church to double in size

The University Reformed Church has been growing and growing. The large congregation will soon move into a building  double the size of its current location that will offer triple the parking in the former administration building for the East Lansing School District.
 
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
A $2.2-million purchase agreement between the school district and the church was approved by the school board Monday, May 7.
 
The sale will mean the administration will have to find a new home by July 2013, and the Michigan State University Community Music School will have to move by November this year when its lease expires.

Read the entire story here.

MSU to host international trade conference

Lansing’s business community will have the chance to network and learn at upcoming conference focused on international trade.


According to excerpts from the article:
 
The Port Lansing 2012 Global Logistics Conference is scheduled for Tuesday at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University. Speakers will include former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard and Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Read the entire story here.

Jackson National Life sales up 3 percent

It's been a year of growth so far for Jackson National Life Insurance Co., whose sales and deposits climbed 3 percent during the first quarter.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
The insurer reported today it had sales and deposits of $5.9 billion for the quarter that ended in March. That was up from $5.7 billion one year earlier.

Read the entire article here.

Habitat For Humanity Breaks Ground On Four 'Green' Homes

Lansing's Habitat for Humanity organization broke ground on the first of a series new homes that will be part of a new green development on Wayne Street.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Four new 'green,' energy efficient homes will be built.
 
A groundbreaking ceremony was held to thank sponsors whose donations help Habitat continue their mission to improve neighborhoods and help economically disadvantage families.

Read the entire story here.

Dart Container completes $1B takeover of Solo Cup

Dart Container Corp. has closed on the $1 billion deal to buy Solo Cup Co. announced earlier this year.
 
According to excerpts from the story:
 
The takeover, announced last month, brings Lake Forest, Ill.-based Solo’s container operations, including the iconic Solo party cups, under the Dart umbrella. Dart is the world’s largest maker of foam cups and also makes other containers.
 
Dart, which doubles in size with the deal, is paying $315 million in cash for Solo and assuming $700 million in debt.

Read the entire story here.

Aldi adding jobs in Webberville, Lansing stores

Aldi, the discount grocery store has announced that it is adding jobs at a warehouse in Webberville and two Lansing stores.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

The German grocer said will host a job fair from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at the warehouse, 2625 N. M-52. Aldi wants to fill eight to 10 positions at the warehouse. It also is hiring 10-15 workers at stores at 5625 Saginaw Highway and 6555 Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing, and a store in Howell.

Read the entire story here.
 

Michigan State Creates Spartan Innovations to Launch Spin-Offs

The new MSU subsidiary Spartan Innovations will help the university’s faculty and students form spin-off companies based on technology developed at MSU, while also building the local culture of entrepreneurship.

According to excerpts from the article:

Hasemann says Spartan Innovations will provide five key resources: university-wide entrepreneurship education that engages the community, stipends to support student startup business participation, CEO mentors-in-residence to help manage startups and take MSU technology to market, access to a network of external angel and early-stage investors, and gap funding from the MSU Foundation to support the earliest stages of MSU technology development.

Read the entire article here

Lansing-area students, General Motors pair up in GREEN efforts

General Motors partners  Eaton Intermediate School District’s Career Prep Center to help students participating in the Project Global Rivers Environmental Education Network, or GREEN.

According to excerpts from the story:

This is the 20th year General Motors Lansing has teamed up with nonprofit Earth Force to analyze local waterway pollution with local students. Three years after the first local effort, Woldumar Nature Center joined in the education as well.
 
GM officials recognized the milestone by donating $10,000 to Woldumar Nature Center on Thursday.

Read the entire story here.
 

Potterville resident to publish children's book

Pottervile resident Jo Lehman will soon be publishing a children's book called A Run in the Park with the help of 2 Moon Press. 


According to excerpts from the article:

The soon-to-be children’s book, which will be available at Barnes and Noble and on the Web site Amazon.com, was created during a car trip that Lehman took with a few of her grand-kids. The ride to Florida was noisy, remembered Lehman, and the youngsters were all chatting.

Read the entire story here.

Construction on cancer center scheduled to start before fall

Work on cancer treatment center is set to begin before this fall.

According to excerpts from the article:

A certificate of need for Compass Health Care’s Compass Cancer Center, 1525 W. Lake Lansing Road, was approved earlier this April by the Michigan Department of Community Health, a move that should allow construction to start before this fall.

Read the entire story here

South Lansing hotels renovate, create fresh atmosphere

Two hotels in south Lansing are undergoing changes, including new ownership and renovations.

According to excerpts from the article:

The renovation at the Causeway Bay hotel, 6820 S. Cedar St., has been more than three years in the making. Though its operators won’t discuss specifics, the project’s cost hit eight figures and included taking on the Best Western Plus name. Meanwhile, changes are just beginning to take shape at the Dads Inn, 6501 S. Pennsylvania Ave., which has been rebranded as the Magnuson Hotel Lansing.

Read the entire story here.

LEAP Transforms How The Region Writes Economic Development Grants

Lansing Economic Area Partnership has partnered with Kuntzsch Business Services Inc. to launch a pilot program aimed at  helping Lansing-area municipalities write grants for economic development projects or initiatives.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
In its first year, LEAP will fund 50 percent of the costs, up to $2,500 per municipality, for grant proposal development services provided by KBS. LEAP has made $10,000 available for the program, which will operate on a first come, first served basis.

Read the entire story here.

GM adding workers to Lansing-area assembly plant

General Motors' Grand River plant is hiring additional workers to assemble the Cadillac ATS.

According to excerpts from the article:

Theis will be one of about 600 new workers GM is adding to its local workforce when it launches a second shift at its Lansing Grand River assembly plant late this summer. The new shift coincides with the introduction of the Cadillac ATS, a new compact luxury car that the Detroit automaker eyes as a rival to foreign models.

Read the entire story here.

Spartan Motors overhauls emergency vehicle division

Charlotte-based Spartan Motors Inc. has announced the overhaul of its emergency vehicle unit. The company is partnering with European companies and renaming the division.

According to excerpts from the article:

The specialty vehicle and chassis maker, which makes fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, performs defense subcontracting work and produces commercial delivery vehicles, said Tuesday it has renamed its former Crimson-Fire division Spartan ERV and named former division Vice President Dennis Schneider to head the unit and Spartan Chassis. Spartan also outlined other strategies that have been six months in the making.

Read the entire story here.

MSUFCU expands to new locations in, around E.L.

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union has opened a new East Lansing branch.

According to excerpts from that article:

The branch opened March 5 after moving from its previous location at 600 Crescent Road at the request of another tenant at the location, said April Clobes, MSUFCU’s executive vice president.

“It’s a great location for us, and a more visible and more convenient location,” Clobes said.

Since opening in March, Clobes said the branch has seen an increase of visitors, and more people have opened accounts compared to this time last year.

Read the entire story here.

Lansing Couples on a Smart Budget Establish Dessert Trend

Okemos-based Gellocake brings an inexpensive dessert option to Lansing-area events. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Local TV station Production Manager Rob and his newlywed wife Jesse decided to hire Gellocake LLC to cater their wedding after hearing a recommendation from Jesse's father. Gellocake is a growing licensed home-based bakery run by Dessert Designer Lilian Chavira. Jesse mentioned that she loved how Lilian worked with them. She really made it easy to bring our ideas to life on a specific budget.

Read the entire story here

The World's Best Wine Cellars: For Billionaires And Maybe For You Too

East Lansing-based Revel Cellars has been getting national attention, including some celebrity cients.

According to excerpts from the article:

What do billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, former Amway CEO Dick DeVos, and celebrity adopters Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have in common?

At first glance, not a whole lot. To see the connection, you would have to look at their wine cellars, designed and painstakingly built by Revel Custom Wine Cellars, which someone familiar with the company described to me as “the Bentley of wine cellars.”

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing City Center II project work begins

Construction on the long-awaited East Lansing City Center II project is finally underway.

According to excerpts from the article:

The developer of the proposed $105 million City Center II development project in downtown East Lansing is moving ahead with demolition preparations even as City Council members pore over the latest plans for the project.

Read the entire story here.

Food trucks could move into E.L. with council approval

The East Lansing city council will consider a policy to allow food trucks to operate downtown.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

The policy revision builds on guidelines approved last year allowing food cart vendors to operate at three different locations in the city.
 
The revision would set aside space at two metered parking spaces near the Albert Avenue and Division Street intersection for two food trucks.

Read the entire article here. 

St. John's liquid fertilizer business growing

The St. Johns business, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers is growing into a new, 50,000 square foot facility.

According to excerpts from the story:

But the company soon plans to have ample room and then some for its growing staff. The company currently has 26 employees — seven added last month — and will add more as needed.

Read the entire story here.

Mason's Dart Container buying Solo Cup in $1B deal

Mason's Dart Container Corp. has announced the purchase of Solo Cup Co. in a $1 billion deal.

According to excerpts from the story:
 
Dart, based in Mason, said in a statement the deal to take over rival cup maker Solo is expected to close during the third quarter that ends in September.

Read the entire story here.

Developer: Financing secured for City Center II in East Lansing

The developer of the East Lansing City Center II construction project says he has secured the financing to move forward on the $105 million mixed-use complex.
 
According to excerpts from the article:
 
Plans for City Center II, roughly 5.5 acres near the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road and stretching to Valley Court Park, include a 110-room Hotel Indigo, owned by British hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group; a performing arts theater associated with Michigan State University; for-rent apartments and townhomes and various retail and dining options.
 
Read the entire story here

Fugly McGillicuddy part of growing Lansing-area fashion sector

A Webberville designer is getting national attention for his t-shirt designs.

According to excerpts from the article:

The meticulously detailed, carefully crafted caricature-like drawings that find a home on the bright T-shirts and sweatshirts in a clothing rack in Montalvo’s Webberville office make up the world of Fugly McGillicuddy, the clothing veteran’s local line he launched about a year ago.
 
Now, his work is grabbing the attention of some emerging musical artists and could end up with national TV exposure. He joins several other designer-entepreneurs who are helping build a fashion base in the Lansing area.

Read the entire story here.

LCC grads start new tie-dye business

Two St. John's entrepreneurs are finding success with their new business, Tie Dye Inc.

According to excerpts from the article:

Fox and Lenneman, both graphic design majors at Lansing Community College, have been working on their tie-dye business for about five months. Starting out small, Fox and Lenneman work out of their homes; specifically the dining room.

Read the entire story here.

New Plan in Works for Vacant GM Plants

Economic developers are looking at redevelopment plans for three vacant GM plants in Lansing and Lansing Township.


According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), along with Lansing, Lansing Township, RACER Trust and others have formed a task force with the goal of doing something with these sites.
 
RACER was formed during the 2009 bankruptcy process, tasked with selling off or disposing of old GM holdings.

Read the entire story here.

Business grows for Lansing-Jackson freight line operator

A new railroad company, Jackson & Lansing Railroad Line, took over the lines in Mason more than a year ago, and has been showing signs of growth.


According to excerpts from the article:

The railroad company has grown since taking over. It started with 28 employees and has grown to 52. It also had four locomotives when it started and recently finished the purchase of its sixth. Dobronksi said he is running 50 percent more freight now than what Norfolk Southern did back in 2010.

Read the entire story here.

Art Museums Giving It the Old College Try

East Lansing's forthcoming art museum is one of several popping up at universities across the country. 

According to excerpts from the article:

WHEN it opens this fall, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will be the latest in a series of new university art museums that have opened around the country.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing celebrates nation's oldest LGBT nondiscrimination law

The City of East Lansing is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the nation's first-of-its kind nondiscrimination law that protected people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

According to excerpts from the article:

On March 7, 1972, at the urging of the Gay Liberation Movement student group at Michigan State University, the city adopted a law prohibiting the firing or discrimination of a person based on "sex or homosexuality." City Council passed that first law, which applied only to city hiring practices, by a 4 to 1 vote.

Read the entire article here.

Tria Marketing & Design is seeing growth

Old Town-based Tria Marketing & Design is growing, both in staff and revenue. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Tria Marketing & Design added two new hires in late 2011 to double the size of the firm. In addition, the firms revenues were up 57% year over year from 2010. After undergoing a structural change in late 2010, where two long time partners left for other opportunities, President and CEO Ann Siegle embarked on a growth plan for the 9-year old female-owned marketing, web design & graphic design firm.

Read the entire article here.

Computer Science Academy offers Lansing teens IT skills

A new program is available to give students the opportunity to earn high school credit and will work with college and university partners to offer articulated college credit.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Capital Area IT Council and the Ingham Intermediate School District have partnered to develop a new program, the Computer Science Academy, aimed to teach students technical skills, employability skills and provide invaluable worksite experiences. 

Read the entire article here.

Lansing gallery lets patrons lease original artwork

The Lansing Art Gallery has rolled out an innovative new way for members of the public to more easily purchase fine art.

According to excerpts from the article:

For nearly five decades, the Lansing Art Gallery has let folks lease select pieces of art from their gallery. Now with the gallery's new Lease/Purchase Exhibit people can lease any of the 43 original pieces of art on display for about ten percent of the sticker price.

Read the entire story here.

Leslie Public School Board get bids for 100 acre nature preserve

The Leslie Public School Board is taking the next step to constructing a learning center at the “Russell Miller Wild 100”  south of Leslie in Rives Township. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Plans for a 100-acre nature conservatory and educational area are moving forward, as construction bids have been received by the Leslie Public School Board of Trustees.

Read the entire story here.


Emergent BioSolutions donates $25K to Red Cross

Emergent BioSolutions made a large donation to the Red Cross to help the provide assistance to its disaster response program. 


According to excerpts from the article:

Emergent BioSolutions handed over a $25,000 check to the American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter Friday morning in honor of March as Red Cross Month.

Read the entire story here

Purple Carrot featured in the 20 Best Food Trucks in the United States

Local food truck The Purple Carrot was named one of the best of its kind in the nation by Smithsonian magazine.

According to excerpts from the article:

According to Mobile Cuisine magazine, you won’t find America’s favorite vegetarian food truck in hippie-Meccas Portland or San Francisco, but in…Lansing, Michigan. The Purple Carrot is Michigan’s first “farm to truck” food stand and takes this mission seriously.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing airport gains ground after two years of decline

Lansing's airport has reported positive growth numbers.

According to excerpts from the story:

Hindered first by a large commercial airline merger that vastly reduced the number of available flights and later by economic recession, Capital Region International Airport in 2011 posted its strongest numbers in three years and sparked what its managers say could be the start of a turnaround for local air travel.

Read the entire article here.

Wells Hall Starbucks proves successful

The new Starbucks on MSU's campus is a success, according to patrons and workers.

According to excerpts from the article:

From the company’s drinks and food items, nearly 850 to 900 faculty, staff and student customers have found their caffeine fix each day at the central campus location, said Michelle Pell, the Starbucks operational coordinator at MSU.

Read the entire article here.

Six Lounge Hookah & Smoke Shop celebrates official grand opening

A new smoke shop and lounge has opened in Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

The lounge, located at 400 Albert Ave., opened for business Jan. 23, but held its grand opening this weekend, which featured a disc jockey with dance music and a light show.

Read the entire article here.

At long last, snow falls at Hawk Island

The new Hawk Island Snow Park is finally getting some snow, and staff hopes the park will open soon.

According to excerpts from the article:

The park was originally scheduled to open in mid-December but technical delays and an unusually balmy winter have delayed the opening. One side of park’s enormous hill will be used for tubing and the other will have rails and boxes for skiers and snowboarders.

Read the entire article here.

Sparrow, HGB eye affiliation

Two area healthcare facilities are planning to strengthen their partnership with a formal agreement.

According to excerpts from the article:

Officials from Lansing’s Sparrow Health System and Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital in Charlotte said Tuesday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a formal affiliation. 

Read the entire article here.

Mich. garment leaders off to Turkey to talk trade

East Lansing non-profit Prima Civitas is leading a trade mission to Istanbul with the Michigan Garment Industry Council.

According to excerpts from the article:

Members of the Michigan Garment Industry Council and economic development officials from around the state plan to attend Istanbul Fashion Week and meet with Turkish businesses and investors during their visit.

Read the entire story here.

The Post-Recession Power of Small Metros

The Urban Institute’s MetroTrends research team has created an interactive map tracking growth in jobs in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., including good news for the Greater Lansing area.

According to excerpts from the article:

The big winner here seems to be Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan, which is a top-performer in three sectors: goods producing, manufacturing and transportation and utilities. But it’s also worth noting that the same metro ranked dead last in the leisure and hospitality sector.

Read the entire story here.

Jewelry Feast: 3 Frandor shops open within blocks of each other

Frandor shoppers now have multiple options for purchasing jewelry. 


According to excerpts from the article:

Three jewelry stores operating within blocks of each other in the area north of Frandor Shopping Center has some customers confused.

Medawar Jewelers, Azzi Jewelers and Promise Jewelers have either moved or opened anew.

Read the entire article here.

Coffee shop outlets blanket area to satisfy caffeine, doughnut fans

Coffee and doughnut enthusiasts in the Lansing area now have several new options for dining.

According to excerpts from the article:

At least seven new coffee and bake shops have opened in the area in just the past couple months as popular chains expand their local presence.

Read the entire story here.

Home and Garden opens in Old Town

A new Old Town business, Home and Garden, has opened on East Grand River. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The business, located inside Absolute Gallery at 307 E. Grand River, offers home furnishings, accessories, lighting, reclaimed items, services and seasonal garden items. There will be an open house 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday.

Read the entire article here.

New E.L. Great Clips location brings competition downtown

A new salon will soon be joining the business mix in Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Students will have a new place to get their hair cut when Great Clips opens a new store on the corner of Grand River Avenue and M.A.C. Avenue in February.

Read the entire story here.

Meijer to hire 200 at new store

More than 200 workers will be hired to staff the new Meijer store being built in Bath Township, slated to open in the spring or summer of this year. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The Walker-based supermarket-general merchandise chain is building a 156,000-square-foot store on a 26-acre site on Saginaw Street west of Marsh Road. The project includes a superstore, a gas station and two outlots.

Read the entire story here.

Three big grocers remodel, upgrade their Okemos stores

Target, Meijer and Kroger in Okemos are all currently under rennovation. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Three major grocers have zeroed in on Okemos, pouring millions of dollars into their stores in an effort to keep up with consumer habits and remain competitive.

For area shoppers, that will mean spruced-up aisles, more food selections and revamped layouts.

Read the entire story here.

Medical center opts for new name

After 15 years as a part of the McLaren health system a local hospital is changing its name to create more unity within the company's brand. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Ingham Regional Medical Center has changed its name to McLaren-Greater Lansing as the hospital's owner pushes to unify its brand throughout the state.

Ingham Regional is owned by Flint-based McLaren Health Care Corp. Its Ingham Regional Orthopedic Hospital is now McLaren Orthopedic Hospital.

Read the entire story here.

Construction on $7.9M St. Anne Lofts project moves forward

The $7.9 million, 40,000-square foot residential project in  East Lansing is now underway.

According to excerpts from the article:

Construction of the St. Anne Lofts in downtown East Lansing will continue through the winter in anticipation of an August opening.

Crews already have razed two commercial buildings at 213-217 Ann St. to make way for a four-story residential and commercial building.

Read the entire story here.

A taste of elegance: MSU's $13M renovation of Case Hall cafeteria has Michigan, Great Lakes flavor

Michigan State University recently invested $13 million upgrading the cafeteria of Case Hall.

According to excerpt from the article:

It cost $13 million to turn the Case Hall cafeteria into South Pointe, a space redone in stainless steel and reclaimed wood where students have their pick of sushi, fresh crepes and regionally sourced entrees, alongside more typical college fare.

Read the entire story here.

New billiards lounge opens in East Lansing

Downtown East Lansing has a new spot for nightlife. 


According to excerpts from the story:

Heart Beats, 301 M.A.C. Ave., a combination billiards, karaoke and Chinese gaming lounge, will open for business after about nine months of planning and development between Chen and a team of four other business partners and MSU students.

Read the entire article here.

Airport area to be 'aerotropolis'

Businesses will now have extra incentive to choose to locate near the airport.

According to excerpts from the article:

Local officials can now tout a special tax incentive program as they try to attract a cluster of manufacturing, distribution, technology and other businesses to the Capital Region International Airport area.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board voted unanimously Wednesday to designate the Lansing airport and surrounding land as an "aerotropolis" under the Next Michigan Development program.

Read the entire story here.

Expansion near Eastwood Towne Center moves along

An additional 120,000 square feet of commercial space and a parking is under development near Eastwood Towne Center.

According to excerpts from the article:

A pizzeria and bar are slated to open this spring as the first new businesses in the development, which will eventually include several new restaurants and stores, 124 upscale apartments, a parking structure and an expansion of NCG Eastwood Cinemas.

The parking structure, stores and other restaurants should open in the fall of 2012. Developers hope to host a grand opening the week of Sept. 12.

Read the entire story here.

Plans for YMCA site in downtown Lansing advance

Construction on apartments and retail space on the site of the YCMA building in Downtown Lansing is scheduled to begin this spring.

According to excerpts from the article:

East Lansing-based Lawton Group Development plans to tear down the former YMCA building at 301 W. Lenawee St. and construct a 151,400-square-foot building with 228 apartments, first-floor retail space and underground and surface parking.

Read the entire story here.

New billiards lounge opens in East Lansing

An innovative new entertainment business opens in East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Heart Beats, 301 M.A.C. Ave., a combination billiards, karaoke and Chinese gaming lounge, will open for business after about nine months of planning and development between Chen and a team of four other business partners and MSU students.

Read the entire story here

For 35 years, Peckham has offered more than just a job for disabled

Disabled Lansing residents have been benefiting from the services of Peckham, Inc. for 35 years. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Lansing-based Peckham, now in its 35th year, got its start in 1976 as a small, grant-funded operation that worked with the state's rehabilitation service program and performed vocational assessments for people with disabilities.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing gas station to build new convenience store

An East Lansing gas station is investing $700,000 the facility. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The Marathon gas station, 1198 S. Harrison Road, near the I-27 and I-496 highways, is closed as construction crews overhaul the site and build a new convenience store.

Only the old gas station canopies will remain in place, and the convenience store will be expanded in size to include a Tim Hortons coffee shop and drive-thru, said Craig Hoppen, the president of J & H Oil Company, the organization who owns and operates the gas station.

Read the entire story here.

MSU pledges to cut energy consumption by 20% by 2020

Michigan State University is replacing windows in Erickson Hall, among other projects to actively reduce energy consumption.

According to excerpts from the article:

The university is now pledging to do similar work on 110 buildings across campus, and to reduce its overall energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 as one of only seven universities participating in President Barack Obama's Better Buildings Challenge.

Read the entire story here

New Charlotte health and wellness center impresses patients

The new Alive health and wellness center opened in Charlotte this October, and has been delighting locals and patients. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Hayes Green Beach broke ground on the $15 million project in October 2010.

The first phase cost about $12.5 million and spans 45,000 square feet. It includes indoor and outdoor walking paths, a cafe and demonstration kitchen, women's health center, rehabilitation facilities and a multipurpose gym with basketball court and a rock climbing wall.

The second phase, with a $2.5 million price tag, will include a child care center, more fitness facilities and conference space.

Read the entire story here.

New financing plan in the works for Knapp's redevelopment

The Eyde Company has announced a new financing plan that could move the redevelopment plans for the Downtown Lansing Knapp's building forward. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing developer will end up putting more of its own money into the roughly $36 million project because it did not receive a $2 million federal grant. That grant was part of a complex deal that includes millions of dollars worth of tax incentives.

Read the entire article here.

Austrian firm has eye on Lansing

A manufacturer of injection molding based in Austria is looking to open a facility with up to ten jobs in Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Elmet North America Inc. has its eye on 6,000 square feet in the Oakwood Executive Park, which straddles Lansing and Delhi Township, and plans to invest more than $750,000 in its business.

Read the entire article here

GM supplier Bridgewater plans to add up to 134 jobs

The Lansing facility of automotive supplier Bridgewater Interiors will supply parts for the new Cadillac to be built at the General Motors Co.'s Lansing Grand River assembly plant.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Detroit-based automotive supplier has built a $3.6 million expansion to its facility at 2369 S. Canal Road in Delta Township. The company hopes to add 134 jobs over the next couple of years and retain about 548 jobs, according to Delta Township documents.

Read the entire story here:

New business incubator opens in Lansing

The Center for New Enterprise Opportunity opened in Lansing this week. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The center, a low-profit limited liability company or L3C, welcomed nine small-business tenants to its building Monday, located at 934 Clark St.

Read the entire article here

MSU's Broad Art Museum on target for April opening

Michigan State University's $40-$45 million Broad Art Museum is on target to be finished in early 2012, though the project has been a long time in coming.

According to excerpts from the article:

But the construction is nearly complete. February is the target, with an opening late in April. On Friday, workers were preparing to hang the first of the metal pleats that will cover its concrete and glass exterior.

Read the entire article here.

Nonprofit's portraits of area women with terminal illnesses gain national attention

The Oldham Project, a local non-profit that photographs terminally-ill women and children, has been getting national news attention.

According to excerpts from the article:

Photos of women such as Turner prompted national attention for The Oldham Project, from cable news network CNN last month and broadcast network ABC News.

When the CNN article was posted online Oct. 1, The Oldham Project's website got more than 2 million hits. It crashed within four hours, Shaver said.

Read the entire article here.

St. Anne Lofts begin construction

St. Anne Lofts, a major multi-use development in Downtown East Lansing, is now underway.


According to excerpts from the article:

Kris Elliott, developer of the St. Anne project, said the building would hold 32 one- and two-bedroom lofts, as well as retail space on the first floor, and will be fully completed and ready for occupancy in
July 2012.

Read the entire article here.

Medawar Frandor moving, changing name

A familiar name in Lansing-area jewelry will be taking on a new one and moving to a new, Frandor-area location. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Medawar Frandor Diamonds & Fine Jewelry is moving to a new location and changing its name to Azzi Jewelers.

The jewelry store at 3101 E. Saginaw St. in Lansing is moving a block away to the building that housed Yaya’s Flame Broiled Chicken.

Read the entire article here.

CTS coupe a winner for GM, Lansing

The success of the new Cadillac CTS is good news for the 835 hourly employees who build the car at GM's Lansing Grand River assembly plant.

According to excerpts from the article:

GM has sold 10,234 CTS coupes this year through September, accounting for 24.4 percent of total CTS sales. Cadillac reported 41,900 CTS sales through September, up nearly 29 percent from the same period last year. That included 30,049 sedans and 1,617 wagons.

Read the entire article here.

New head of Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc. plans big changes

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership will soon have a new leader in Bob Trezise, the president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corp.

According to excerpts from the article:

Trezise, 45, said after the Tuesday announcement he will shift his focus from promoting business growth in the city of Lansing to a more regional focus.

And he is promising dramatic changes at LEAP

Read the entire article here.

$1M grant creates jobs to go green

A $1 million grant will allow the MSU Bioeconomiy Institute to expand. 

According to excerpts from the article:

MSU’s Bioeconomy Institute is going green.

The center is among a group of businesses — including the Prima Civitas Foundation in East Lansing — that received a $1 million grant from the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration earlier this month to fund an additional research center to develop green energy technology.

Read the entire article here.

Plans for Lansing aerotropolis program move forward

The City of Lansing and DeWitt Township have made progress on a land-sharing agreement that would pave the way for a Next Michigan Development zone "aerotropolis."

According to excerpts from the article:

Under the agreements, the city and township would equally split tax revenues from the Capital Region International Airport property in DeWitt Township. Lansing would take over services such as police and fire.

Read the entire article here.

Eastern Michigan University dedicates aviation center at Capital airport

Eastern Michigan University has leased a hanger in the Capital Region Airport to expand their pilot program. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The university is leasing the 10,000-square-foot hangar on the west side of the airport property at a graduated rate that begins at about $12,000, said Robert Selig, executive director of the Capital Region Airport Authority. The hangar was built about two years ago and had been vacant until the EMU program began.

Read the entire article here.

Old Town building may get new life

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network is considering the purchase of a vacant historic building in Old Town.

According to excerpts from the article:

Lansing economic development leaders want to sell what is knows as the Thelma Joyce Osteen Comfort Station building, 313 E. Grand River Ave., to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network for $60,000.

The network would locate its offices on the second floor and look for a first-floor commercial or professional tenant.

Read the entire article here.

Knapp's project still in works

Lansing developer Eyde Co. plans to begin work on the Knapps redevelopment project in Downtown Lansing by the end of the year. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing developer is working on securing funding to replace a $2 million federal grant it did not receive. That grant was part of a complex financing package for the $36.4 million project.

Read the entire article here

Casino talks underway for downtown Lansing

Lansing could have its own casino in the future.

According to excerpts form the article:

The city of Lansing and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians reportedly are discussing the possibility of a downtown Lansing casino, according to a published report.

Read the entire article here.

Downtown development: Developers looking for repeat success

Investors in Midland have looked for inspiration to Lansing's Stadium District development as inspiration for their own downtwon development model.

According to excerpts from the article:

Now, Gillespie Group is teaming with Caddis Development Group on the Midland Downtown Stadium District, which would bring a four-story, 230,265-square-foot office and retail center to the old McKay Press property at 215 State St., across from Dow Diamond.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing's Biggby Coffee fastest-growing in US

Lansing's own Biggy Coffee is getting national attention for its incredible rate of growth. 

According to excerpts from the article:

Biggby Coffee was named the fastest-growing coffee chain in the United States last week by news outlet CNBC, and CEO Bob Fish says the company's success can be linked, in part, to Michigan's tough economy. 

Read the entire article here.

Students to help develop City Center II future plans

A class at MSU will help student become involved in the development of the City Center II project, which will replace vacant buildings on the corner of Abbot Road and Grand River and Evergreen avenues in downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

In the course, which is offered through the School of Hospitality Business, students will work with Strathmore, city officials and others involved with City Center II to develop strategies for four different sections of the project: brand development, sustainability and sustainable development, optimal efficiency design and financial assumptions of market demand. The students will present their findings at the end of the semester.

Read the entire article here

Grand Ledge filmmaker to debut project

A Grand Ledge filmmaker is getting attention for his work on a documentary about Afgahnistan. 

According to excerpts from the article: 

Dennis Therrian, the editor, sound designer and composer of "Outside the Wire: The Forgotten Children of Afghanistan," is a Grand Ledge grad and lives on Royston Road, where the film studio is located.

The film is being evaluated by several TV outlets, including Nat. Geo, Discovery Channel, The Oprah Winfrey Network among others.

Read the entire article here

Lansing's housing commission approves Davenport land swap

The Lansing Housing Commission has agreed to an expansion proposal by Davenport University to swap the school's existing campus for the Oliver Towers apartments in downtown.

According to excerpts from the article:

The swap between Davenport and the city of Lansing would consist of two parts - Oliver Towers, 310 N. Seymour Ave., for the university property at 405 Cherry St., and an adjacent parking lot for the Davenport site at 220 E. Kalamazoo St.

In total, Davenport's $2.34 million in property would be exchanged for city land worth $2.26 million.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing grant application could mean new Grand River Ave. development

The City of East Lansing is applying for a Michigan Transportation Enchancement grant to help pay for a $750,000 project to make Grand River more pedestrian friendly.

According to excerpts from the article:

If the city is awarded the grant, additions to the area would include replacement of existing sidewalks, the addition of two medians to provide safe zones for pedestrians, trees and the addition of sharrow symbols — signs indicating the presence of a shared lane for bicycles and vehicles — East Lansing’s Community Development Specialist Heather Pope said in an email.

Read the entire article here

Biotech firm plans facility in East Lansing

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority board has approved a brownfield plan for an East Lansing biotechnology company who intends to redevelop a former public works property.


According to excerpts from the article:

Working Bugs LLC received approval for nearly $400,000 in state and local tax incentives to revamp East Lansing's former public works garage and administrative facilities at 2000 Merritt Road.

The company paid $350,000 for the property and plans to invest about $975,000 to clean up and turn it into a green manufacturing site.

Read the entire article here.

GM begins promoting Lansing Grand River-built ATS small car

Cadillac is beginning to promote the ATS, a new small call that is being built in Lansing's Grand River plant.


According to excerpts from the article:

And last week, Cadillac debuted a video online promoting the upcoming compact rear-wheel-drive car that is scheduled to begin rolling off the line late next summer at GM's Lansing Grand River assembly plant.

The automaker is adding a second shift of about 600 workers to build the ATS. Some new employees are expected to come in early next year.

Read the entire article here.

Blues workers move into Lansing office

Downtown Lansing receive a wave of new downtown employees this week as Blue Cross Blue Shield consolidated two offices into the former Accident Fund headquarters.

According to excerpts from the article:

Detroit insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is moving nearly 300 Lansing-area employees from a site on South Creyts Road in Delta Township and a small office in downtown Lansing into Accident Fund Holdings Inc.’s former 130,000-square-foot home office at 232 S. Capitol Ave.

Read the entire article here.

City of DeWitt to unveil new vehicle charging station

A free charging station for electric vehicles is now available for use in Downtown DeWitt.

According to excerpts from the article:

The City of DeWitt and the DeWitt Downtown Development Authority are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new vehicle charging station on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. at 110 South Bridge Street. City officials invites residents to join them as they unveil the station in downtown DeWitt.

Read the entire article here.

Waverly Middle School starts year with a $1.5-million improvement grant

Waverly Middle School began the year with new programming made possible by a $1.5 million grant.

According to excerpts from the article:

The grant, which came as a result of the district's efforts to improve after landing on the state's list of "least proficient" schools in August, 2010, made for some pretty big changes, including a one-week pilot academy last month that served 91 students.

Read the entire story here.

5 Lansing-area companies make magazine's list

The Lansing-area's Axiom Group, ICS Marketing Support Services, Liquid Web Inc., TechSmith Corp. and Top Flite Financial all ranked among the fastest growing companies in the United States in 2010.

According to excerpts from the story:

Five Lansing-area companies have made Inc. magazine’s annual list of the top 5,000 private companies in the nation based on three-year revenue growth.

Read the entire article here.

Okemos company to acquire Ind. firm

An Okemos software development firm is expanding with the acquisition of an Indiana company.


According to excerpts from the article:

Sircon Corp., which makes software for the insurance industry, is taking over an Indianapolis-based firm.

The Okemos company has an agreement to acquire the assets of Kaplan Compliance Solutions, part of New York-based Kaplan Inc.


Read the entire article here.

Behaviorist hired by MSU vet hospital

MSU has hired a new kind of veterinarian for their vet hospital with an eye on developing a veterinary behaviorist program down the road.


According to excerpts from the article:

Rigterink, MSU’s first veterinary behavior resident, started seeing exclusively behavior cases at the MSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, or VTH, in June.

Chairperson of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences Charles DeCamp said having an animal behaviorist resident is significant. There are only 40 or 50 board certified animal behaviorists in the U.S.

Read the entire article here.

Architect builds on passion for reinvigorating Lansing

Local architect David VanderKlok of REO Town's Studio [intrigue] Architects has received national recognition by the American Institute of Architects.

According to excerpts from the article:

VanderKlok and his business partner, Ken Jones, have put their marks on several downtown Lansing projects since they started the firm in 2003. The list includes the Lansing City Market, Stadium District building and Capitol Bancorp Ltd.'s headquarters.

Now, VanderKlok has made his own mark nationally. The 39-year-old, recently was named Michigan's 2011 Young Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects.

Read the entire article here.

Micro brewery on tap for Delta

Delta Township may soon have its first microbrewery on the corner of Mt. Hope and Marcy Ave.

According to excerpts from the article:

The township board agreed Aug. 15 to rezone the parcel, formerly the home of Joseph's Party Store, from low density residential to local service commercial, paving the way for the EagleMonk Pub and Brewery owned by Dan and Sonia Buonodono of Grand Ledge.

Read the entire article here.

DeWitt bakery receives national award

A DeWitt bakery recently received a prestigious award from the most widely read baking industry publications.


According to excerpts from the article:

Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe was one of only two bakeries across the country that received Modern Baking Magazine's 2011 "Leadership Award for Merchandising".

Read the entire article here.

Pet groomer opens in Gables Plaza

A new business has opened in Meridian Township offering pet grooming services.


According to excerpts from the article:

Groomingdales East has opened at 2830 E Grand River Ave.

The pet groomer, located in Gables Plaza, specializes in dog and cat grooming. It is owned by Marie Welter, who has 15 years of experience. She has one employee.

Read the entire article here.

Dancers Project seeks to energize Okemos, East Lansing communities

A growing non-profit dance company has been training local dancers at no cost in Okemos and East Lansing.


According to excerpts from the article:

In its start-up season, the Community Dance Project involved four choreographers and eight dancers.

Now, six years later, 16 choreographers and 42 dancers will bring their infectious energy to five shows, four dates and three locations, with two different dance programs.

Read the entire article here.

Another shot at golf course proposals

A proposal to approve the sale of the Red Cedar Golf Course and the Waverly Golf Course will appear in the November 8 election in Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

The proposals ask voters if they support selling off nearly 13 acres of the former Red Cedar Golf Course on Lansing's east side and all of the Waverly Golf Course and Waverly Golf Course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park in Lansing Township. Both courses were closed for budgetary reasons.

Read the entire article here:

East Lansing fraternity house becomes apartments

A new apartment building in East Lansing leads a new trend in upscale student housing.

According to excerpts from the article:

The area's newest apartments - including the old fraternity house and a 220-unit complex east of Hagadorn Road - discard the stereotype of cramped, run-down college housing.

Read the entire article here.

Non-motorized path to be extended in Grand Ledge

Grand Ledge walkers, runner and bikers are just a year away from being able to utilize an extended non-motorized path.

According to excerpts from the article:

Even though the route is not finalized, the City of Grand Ledge has put out a request for proposal for the design and construction engineering to extend the city's "wide walk" from its current terminus at the corner of Saginaw and Hartel to connect with the river walk in Jaycee Park.

The 10-foot wide walkway, officially known as a non-motorized pathway, is the fourth walkway built by the city, and will add nearly two-thirds of a mile to the city's existing pedestrian paths.

Read the entire article here.

MSU gets 'radioactive' pharmacy

A new pharmacy on MSU's campus will soon open, but not operate like a typical pharmacy.

According to excerpts from the article:

Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health Inc. opened a "radio-pharmacy" at MSU, where it will distribute radioactive materials used in PET scans. It will start dispensing doses in early August.

The company, one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical and medical equipment suppliers, has worked with the university for seven years. Cardinal pays MSU a lease and royalties fees to use its medical cylotron to produce radioactive materials that are injected into the body for PET scans.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing-area auto dealerships getting new looks

Several area auto dealers are taking advantage of increased car sales and and low construction costs to invest in their buildings and property.

According to excerpts from the article:

After years of operating in survival mode, car dealers throughout the country are beginning to invest significant money in their facilities. They're renovating showrooms, expanding service areas and in, some cases, constructing new buildings.

Read the entire article here.

GM's Lansing Grand River workers return after six-week hiatus

After a six-week shutdown, GM workers at Lansing's Grand River assembly plant are back on the job to build 60 Cadillac CTSs.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Detroit carmaker idled the plant, which makes the Cadillac CTS sedan, coupe and wagon, so it could be retooled for a new small Cadillac expected to debut next year.

Read the entire article here.

Michigan Flyer could expand bus routes

Michigan Flyer, which is associated with Owosso-based Indian Trails, is looking to add twice as many travel opportunities to and from East Lansing.


According to excerpts from the article:

Michigan Flyer, an airport shuttle service providing shuttle trips between East Lansing and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, plans to add a new route to its schedule this fall.

The additional route would utilize I-96 to make stops in Howell, Mich., Brighton, Mich., Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Read the entire article here.

MSU plans workshops to boost businesses

Michigan State University has announced plans to help Michigan companies find new markets with a series of workshops over the next 18 months.

According to excerpts from the article:

The university said it's using an $180,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to work with regional agencies on boosting exports in two of the state's most chronically struggling regions.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing-area hospitals step up marketing, set out to boost reputations

Lansing's two major hospitals are investing more in marketing efforts as they compete for business from local residents.


According to excerpts from the story:

Sparrow Hospital and Ingham Regional Medical Center have stepped up their marketing efforts with more billboards, television commercials and other advertisements, with each promoting itself as the best hospital for cardiovascular care.

Read the entire story here.

East Lansing businesses selected for grants

East Lansing was selected as one of two cities sharing a total of $26,000 in grants from the software company Intuit to benefit local businesses.


According to excerpts from the story:

After East Lansing was selected as a winning city, three local businesses in the city were selected in a raffle to receive a $5,000 cash grant. East Lansing's Chamber of Commerce also was awarded an $11,000 grant.

"The three that were chosen all have potential for expansion and so that's exciting that they were chosen," Mullins said.

How the money is used is up to the recipients to decide.

Read the entire story here.

Local restaurant looks to expand

Reno's Sports Bar in East Lansing plans to expand their current building including the patio and bathroom areas.


According to excerpts from the article:

Restaurant owner Jessie Stipcak said she hopes the changes made will give the restaurant a modern, polished look, while creating more space and increasing sales.

Stipcak said construction is scheduled to begin in late August and be completed in October.

The exact cost of the project is unknown but is expected to be more than $100,000.

Read the entire article here.

Hotel back on for City Center II

After previously changing plans, developers of the City Center II project in East Lansing have announced that the Hotel Indigo will be a part of the development.


According to excerpts from the article:

Strathmore Development Co. recently finalized architectural plans for the 115-room, 85,000-square-foot hotel. Hotel Indigo is operated by InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, whose chains also include Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

Hotel Indigo spokeswoman Mary Dogan said the hotel should open in spring or summer 2013.

Read the entire article here.

Cancer center sought for East Lansing

Compass Health Care is a group of 19 area physicians and health care businesses who have applied for state approval to open a cancer treatment center in East Lansing.


According to excerpts from the article:

The $9 million Compass Cancer Center, which could open in late 2012 or early 2013, would be paid for by the local physicians. They plan to construct a two-story, 22,000-square-foot office in East Lansing. Wald would not say where the center will be located because the group is still working on details with a developer.

Read the entire article here.

Downtown housing perfect for students

The East Lansing City Council approved ground-breaking on the St. Anne Lofts, an eight-story mixed used building in downtown East Lansing last week.


According to excerpts from the article:

The project — brainchild of A&G Partnership developers David Krause and Doug Cron — will have a little bit of everything: retail space, housing and parking. The developers also have plans to construct the St. Anne Lofts, a four-story, mixed-use building that will be mainly dedicated to retail space and housing, while also featuring an open-air restaurant.

Read the entire article here.

Meijer coming to Bath Township

Nearly five years after the project was announced, site preparation work has begun on a new Meijer location in Bath Township.

According to excerpts from the article:

Walker-based Meijer delayed construction during the recession but is now gearing up to break ground on the 156,000-square-foot supermarket-general merchandise store on Saginaw Street just west of Marsh Road. It's slated to open in April or May 2012, spokesman Frank Guglielmi said.

Read the entire article here.

Bernero seeks federal aid for two Lansing projects

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero took a trip to Washington last week to seek federal government funding for two local development projects.

According to excerpts from the article:

Bernero plans to talk with Obama administration officials about assistance to transform the site of the former GM plant on Verlinden Street into a "green" manufacturing park. Bernero also wants to make improvements in REO Town, including upgrades to sidewalks, lighting and other streetscape features to be made in tandem with street work on South Washington Avenue.

Read the entire article here.

Mason State Bank marks 125 years in town

The Mason State Bank, known as Farmers Bank until 1962, celebrates more than a century in business.

According to excerpts from the article:

If you placed historic photographs of Mason State Bank side-to-side, you'd see horses tied to wagons, Model T's, 1940s-era automobiles and modern cars. That's because the bank has been in business for 125 years, and is to celebrate that mark on June 28 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a rededication of the building at 322 S. Jefferson St.

Read the entire article here.

Holt-based company plans to add jobs

Orchid Orthopedic Solutions in Holt announced a new majority shareholder and plans to expand both globally and in Michigan.

According to excerpts from the story:

As the company expands globally, Miller anticipates that an additional 150 workers will be needed in Michigan. These jobs will include manufacturing, clerical and executive positions, but Miller wasn't able to estimate an average wage for the positions.

Read the entire article here.

Former L&L employees plan Okemos meat shop

A local couple will open a 2,400 square foot meat shop in Okemos.

According to excerpts from the story:

A week after L&L went into receivership Dec. 14, 2010, the couple had picked out a location to open their own specialty meat shop.

Now, Mert's Specialty Meats is expected to open in late June at 1870 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos, less than a mile from the former L&L location that is now home to Tom's Food Center.

Read the entire article here.

Spartan Tech Center to open downtown

A new computer repair shop opens on Abbott in Downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Spartan Tech Center will be filling the vacancy left by Swirlberry and is owned by Adna Technologies, a Lansing-based company that offers information technology services. The store will open for business sometime next week, with a more formal store opening happening in mid- to late July.

Read the entire article here.

Entrepreneurs learn how to turn a dream into success at MSU

Existing and hopeful business owners met for networking and sharing advice and ideas at the Entrepreneur Connect 2011 event.

According to excerpts to the article:

The two-day event, which wraps up today at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University, drew nearly 160 people Thursday afternoon. About 275 people were expected to attend evening events.

It's hosted by MSU's Entrepreneurship Network, the city of East Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc. (LEAP) and Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest (GLEQ).

Read the entire article here.

Michigan State University spin-off firm XG Sciences selling stake to steelmaker

The MSU spin-off XG Sciences has partnered with a large global steelmaker and has doubled its local staff in the last few months.

According to excerpt of the article:

High-tech manufacturer XG Sciences Inc. is selling a 20 percent stake to South Korean POSCO, a steel producer with subsidiaries in the energy, construction, logistics, mining and materials markets.

The arrangement will speed up development of XG Sciences' nanomaterial and help it continue to hire more scientists and engineers, said Scott Murray, vice president of operations.

Read the entire article here.

Governor unveils new program for covering new business' legal expenses

A new program aimed to help start up costs for small businesses was announced this week by the governor.

Today in Lansing, Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled a new program aimed at covering legal expenses for new businesses.

Overall there is around $1 million worth of help that will be provided through this program. Business will apply for the assistance.

Read the entire article here.

'Classy' power plant in REO Town is under way

The Lansing Board of Water & Light has unveiled the updated renderings for its new $182 million plant in REO Town.

According to excerpts to the article:

The building will have a total footprint of 46,500 square feet, though its actual square footage, including the multiple floors, is closer to 160,000 square feet.

About 180 BWL employees will move to the plant once it is complete - something that could be done by early 2013.

Read the entire here.

Lansing Township takes on role as developer, with risks

The Lansing Township board plans to take the role of developer in a proposed mixed-use building near Eastwood Towne Center. The project would include restaurants, stores and a parking ramp.

According to excerpts from the article:

The township issued about $22 million in mostly tax-exempt bonds to pay for construction with plans to pay back debt with lease payments and tenant fees. It also signed a 99-year lease with Eyde for the roughly 13-acre site.

Read the entire article here.

Compuware settles into downtown Lansing office

Detroit-based Compuware Corp. has opened a new office in Downtown Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Four full-time resources and sales employees work out of the office, while another 25 work at client sites throughout the Lansing area, Compuware administrative assistant Catherine Buxton said.

Read the entire article here.

Plans for new supplier plant moves forward near Grand Ledge

This month the Oneida Township held a public hearing on the establishment an Industrial Development District to encourage potential developer L&W, Inc. of Bellevelle to invest more than $10.5 million to upgrade a warehouse and create jobs.

According to excerpts from the article:

A multi-million dollar investment in a formerly empty warehouse, expected to produce 100 or more new manufacturing jobs, is drawing increased interest as the project moves closer to reality.

Read the entire story here.

Isuzu deal puts Spartan Motors in high gear

Despite posting a recent first-quarter loss, Chartlotte's Spartan Motors plans for future growth thanks to revitalization efforts led by a deal with Isuzu Commercial Truck.

According to excerpts from the article:

Now though, Spartan is revamping its business after a brutal recession that saw it shed some businesses, shift to others and weather tough financial times. It is focusing less on military work and more on other specialty operations.

That includes revamping the Mikesell Street building, thanks to a commercial delivery vehicle partnership with Isuzu Commercial Truck of America that promises to bring new products and hundreds of jobs.

Read the entire story here.

MSU-based website aids farmers with data, field recommendations

Michigan State University researchers have developed an online tool to aid farmers and other members of the agriculture industry with unique weather data.

According to excerpts from the article:

Enviro-weather is an MSU website run through partnerships between MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch and is partially funded by the Michigan Legislature’s Project GREEEN. The website synthesizes data from different collection sites around the state using basic parameters like temperature, humidity and rainfall. The site then uses that data to provide recommendations to users in terms of proper pesticide application and timing, said Larry Olsen, professor and the associate chair in the Department of Entomology. Olsen serves as one of the site’s co-directors.

Read the entire article here.

Michigan Hospitals Now Hiring

Lansing's Sparrow Hospital is among many hospitals in the state in need of nurses. Sparrow has recently launched an incentive campaign to attract new applicants, including critical care nurses.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Michigan Public Health Institute says the state is in need of 7,000 nurses. For the hundred LCC nurses now graduating that's good news.

"We expect all of our graduates to have jobs within 6 months," said Nancy Hayward, the chair of LCC's Community Health and nursing Department.

Read the entire article here.

Sun Country gives big lift to Capital Region airport

Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines has received a significant number of vacation travelers since December, providing flights to Cancun, Orlando, Fort Meyers, Las Vegas and Jamaica.

According to excerpts from the article:

Sun Country Airlines swooped into Lansing late last year, offering travelers nonstop service to sunny destinations and boosting airport traffic more than 60 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing YMCA site could get new life in $22 million deal

Developers are reconsidering three-year old plans to tear down the YMCA building in Downtown Lansing. The original plan included building a new 12-story office building.

According to excerpts from the article:

Now, Essa and Lawton-Essa, of East Lansing-based Lawton Group Development, plans to build a four-story building with 228 apartments, first-floor retail space, and underground and surface parking.

The price for the project, including construction, land and other costs, will be about $22.6 million, Essa said. But it depends on several financial incentives falling into place.

Read the entire article here.

Study: Lansing area in top 20 for job growth

The Lansing area has been ranked 19th in a list of midsize regions for job growth in the nation by public affairs website NewGeography.com.

According to excerpts from the article:

New Geography used unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile its list of 90 midsize cities. It also ranked large and small cities in separate lists.

With a few exceptions, the Lansing area's jobless rate has been falling the past year. It was at 8.6 percent in March. Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties have consistently been among the lowest jobless rates in the state.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing eyes redeveloping Red Cedar golf course

The Lansing City Council looks at proposals to sell a portion of the abandoned Red Cedar golf course for development.

According to excerpts from the article:

Lansing's economic development officials want the Red Cedar Golf Course transformed into a mixed-use development with housing, restaurants and retailers surrounded by a natural recreation area.

Read the entire article here.

MCDC efforts bring expansion financing to small businesses

The Michigan Certified Development Corp in East Lansing has recently earned the he U.S. Small Business Administration's Michigan financial services champion award for their work support local companies.

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing-based nonprofit, led by President Jane Sherzer, has helped hundreds of small businesses statewide secure financing for their expansion projects.

Among the more recent projects, the MCDC in February financed $148,000 for a $360,000 expansion of Bluegrass Lawn & Landscape Services in Mason.

Read the entire article here.




Haslett's Burgdorf Winery on growth path

The Burgdorf Winery in Haslett has been making a name for itself while, making wines from grapes grown on MSU's teaching vineyard. Now the winery is about to expand.


According to excerpts from the article:

This small operation is what people call a "boutique" winery — but that's about to change.

Owners Deborah and David Burgdorf are excited over a number of medals at this year's wine competitions and their plans to move the winemaking out of the current cramped space this fall. They'll move to a 2,400-square-foot barn behind the tasting room and will ramp up production from their current 1,000 cases a year to five or 10 times that.

Read the entire article here.

Couple plans to open restaurant on wheels

A couple plans to bring the national food truck trend to the Greater Lansing area, beginning in East Lansing.

According to excepts from the article:

Maiale and girlfriend Nina Santucci, who co-own a truck they plan on turning into a mobile restaurant called The Purple Carrot, said the truck likely will be in different locations throughout the city once it’s up and running and will serve a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items.

The truck is scheduled to open May 6 in the parking lot of 4360 S. Hagadorn Road.

Read the entire article here.

Vietnamese congregation breathes new life into site of former Holy Cross church

The former Holy Cross Catholic Church on Lansing's west side was boarded up for two years, but thanks to a growing population of Vietnamese parishioners from the St. Andrew Dung-Lac church, it is getting new life.

According to excerpts from the story:

The Vietnamese congregation of about 180 families simply grew out of its former building on South Washington Avenue.

The congregation's move to the Holy Cross site on West Oakland Avenue gives the parish room to grow. It fills a neighborhood hole created when Holy Cross closed in 2009, leaving a once-bustling site lifeless. It even helps fill a hole in the heart for former Holy Cross parishioners.

Read the entire article here.

90 years and counting: Emil's still a favorite for downtown dinner crowd

Family-owned Emil's restaurant celebrates 90 years of growing and serving the Lansing community.

According to excerpts from the article:

Ninety years after the southern Italy immigrants Emil and Carmella DeMarco went into business in Lansing, people are still lining up for Emil's Old World traditions, said grandson Mark Grescowle.

"We've not just seen the children of customers grow up, we've seen their children's children come through here," said Grescowle, who owns the approximately 4,000-square-foot restaurant with his brother, Paul Grescowle. The restaurant seats 150 people.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Gets $4.1 Million for Plant Study

Michigan State University researchers have been awarded a $4.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to uncover secrets of plants.

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing school says Thursday that researcher Robert Last will lead a team of plant scientists to uncover how plants evolve to make compounds necessary for their survival.

They'll use cultivated and wild tomato species from the Andes Mountains in their research.
Last is the MSU Barnett Rosenberg Chair of Biochemistry. He and others will work to determine the specific genes that control chemical evolution and plant metabolism.

Read the entire article here.

What's next on the development front?

Now that the Accident Fund has completed their new development, the Lansing State Journal checks in on other pending downtown developments, including the REO Town power plant, the former Accident Fund headquarters, the Knapp's building, the Marketplace and Ballpark North.

According to excerpts from the article:

REO Town power plant: The Lansing Board of Water & Light plans to build a $182 million natural gas-powered electric and steam generation plant in REO Town, moving 180 workers to the district south of downtown Lansing. The public utility plans to construct an eight-story, 46,500-square-foot plant adjacent to the former Grand Trunk Western Railroad Depot on Washington Avenue. The depot will be restored and house office and meeting space. Construction is slated to begin in June and the plant should on-line by early 2013.

Read the entire article here.

Charlotte's St. Mary School to expand offerings

A small Charlotte elementary school will grow to include middle school grades based on the requests of staff and parents, as well as some serious fundraising.

According to excerpts from the article:

Around it, public schools are dealing with significant deficits, but St. Mary School, a private Catholic school with just 64 students, is riding its own wave.

This coming fall the school will expand to offer sixth grade, with plans to offer seventh and eighth grades in subsequent years. The school has proven it has the financial means to do it - and growing enrollment numbers to sustain the move.

Read the entire article here.

Volunteers to focus on city parks

The City of East Lansing reaches out to volunteers to help protect local native plants from a growing invasive plant population.

According to excerpts from the article:

In an attempt to remove invasive plant species from local parks, East Lansing officials are asking community members to roll up their sleeves and help root out the problem.

A series of volunteer workdays are planned for April in some of the city’s larger parks, the first of which will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at White Memorial Park, north of Saginaw Highway.

Read the entire story here.

Marshall Music revamps stores to boost its image

Marshall Music is revamping the image of its flagship store to create a hangout scene for local musicians.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing-based chain of seven music stores recently invested about $50,000 in its flagship store in the Frandor Shopping Center to liven things up. A performance stage near the entrance hosts live music shows and the retail floor has been reconfigured to bring flashier instruments to the forefront.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing's Journey to Jobs job fair draws 500 seekers

A partnership between Capital Area Michigan Works and Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc brought 75 local employers and 500 job seekers together in the Lansing Center last week.

According to excerpts from the article:

In the few months since she moved from Germany to St. Johns, Marion Marek has found more help in her job search than she did in her home country.

"I'm pretty impressed," she said of the Lansing-area's resources for job seekers.

Marek, 51, picked up some more tips and pointers Friday at the second annual Greater Lansing Journey to Jobs event at the Lansing Center.


Read the entire article here.

MSU alumni-run Thai food restaurant to open in E.L.

Ann Arbor business owners bring their contemporary No Thai! restaurant to East Lansing in the former Senior Georgio's location on Grand River.

According to excerpts from the article:

No Thai!, a quick-serve Thai food restaurant serving dishes such as pad thai, drunken noodles and curry, began in 2005 in Ann Arbor by co-owners Jeff Cho, Brian Kim, Victor Kim and Noerung Hang — most of whom attended MSU as undergraduates. They recently made the decision to open a No Thai! location in East Lansing.

Read the entire article here.

Indoor shrimp farming could grow into big Michigan industry

Local indoor shrimp farmer has developed technology that could change the commercial shrimp industry in Michigan.

According to excerpts from the article:

Today, Russ Allen is looking for a way to build a shrimp Rouge Plant -- a pollution-free, recirculating facility that could breed, grow, process and ship a million pounds of shrimp a year.

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Allen, who spent 23 years establishing outdoor shrimp farming in Central and South America, has been raising shrimp indoors in Okemos since 1994 at his Seafood Systems research facility.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing ranked 6th smartest college town

The home of Michigan State University recently appeared high on the list of smartest college towns, with two-thirds of the population age 25 and older holding bachelor's, graduate of professional degrees.

According to excerpts from the article:

East Lansing was ranked sixth in a list of America’s smartest college towns in a list complied by The Daily Beast, an online news publication. The company based the rankings on the number of bachelor and graduate degrees per capita as well as median math and reading SAT scores for student populations in the cities. This year, the rankings also took the number of libraries per capita into consideration.

Read the entire article here.

Sun Country begins nonstop flights from Lansing to D.C.

On April 1, U.S. Sen Debbie Stabenow was a passenger on the first direct commercial flight from Washington D.C. to Lansing in five years.

According to excerpts from the article:

Sun Country now offers nonstop flights from Lansing's airport to Washington Reagan National Airport Sunday through Friday.

Lansing has been without a direct flight to Washington since 2006, when Northwest Airlines Corp., since purchased by Delta Air Lines Inc., dropped its route. At one time, there were 11 nonstop flights to the nation's capital.

Read the entire article here.

Credit unions now seeing more activity than banks

The 13 credit unions in the Lansing serving more than 455,000 members have seen significant increases in activity over the past year.

According to excerpts from the article:

Meanwhile, Michigan credit union deposits grew about 7.5 percent during that same period, from $31.7 billion to $34.1 billion, according to the National Credit Union Administration.

That trend continued throughout the year. Credit unions reported $34.5 billion in shares and deposits at year-end, up from $32.5 billion in 2009.

Read the entire article here.

Next Bright Idea prizes awarded for fitness center, job application

Two local entrepreneurs-in-the-making got an boost from LEAP, Inc for their ideas, including a universal job application and fitness center powered by patrons' kinetic energy.

According to excerpts from the article:

Tomina's "Universal Job Application" was named the best Next Bright Idea in the college/community division at an entrepreneurship competition for local high school and college students and community members. The competition is organized by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, or LEAP Inc.

Tomina walked away from the competition with a new Apple iPad provided by LEAP and said he's got a jump start on turning his idea into a profitable business.

Read the entire article here.

Jackson National Life tops $100 billion in assets

Jackson National Life surpassed $100 billion in assets in 2010, it's 50th years in businesses.


According to excerpts from the story:

As Jackson National Life Insurance Co. marks its 50th year in business in 2011, the company is marking a second milestone.

It surpassed $100 billion in assets last year, making it the nation's 17th largest insurance
company by that measure.


Read the entire story here.




Spartan Motors creating 400 jobs

After the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a $8.8 million state tax credit, Spartan Motors plans to add 400 jobs.


According to excerpts from the article:

Spartan Motors Inc. plans to add hundreds of jobs to its Charlotte operations as it brings production of a new delivery vehicle to Michigan next year.

Spartan, with 673 workers in Charlotte and about 1,500 companywide, plans to invest $5.4 million over the next five years to expand or buy production plants and install new equipment to support production of the commercial vehicle, the Reach, unveiled at a trade show in Indianapolis last week. The Reach is a joint project between Spartan and Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, a unit of Japan's Isuzu Motors Ltd.

Read the entire article here.




East Lansing program helps budding cultural entrepreneurs get off to a good start

An East Lansing program uses Community Development Block Grand funds to help entrepreneurs launch creative businesses.


According to excerpts from the article:

Trenell Anderson sat among several other Lansing-area creative minds at a workshop designed to help cultivate the cultural presence in East Lansing.

Through the Downtown East Lansing Cultural Entrepreneurship Program, Anderson and others seeking to launch a creative business can receive Community Development Block Grant funds to help their work. But they must meet low- to moderate-income standards and plan to grow their business in downtown East Lansing.


Read the entire story here.

Auto supplier expanding in Fowlerville

A Fowlerville auto supplier will add an 8,000 square foot garage and office building and will hire four to six additional employees.

According to excerpts from the article:

Techno of America LLC plans to expand its test track and build a new garage and office building in Fowlerville.

The nearly milelong straightaway on the western side of the Fowlerville Proving Ground will be four lanes wide and simulate several types of road conditions, said Mike Benjamin, FT Techno manager of operations and administration.

Read the entire article here.




New assisted living center opens in DeWitt

A DeWitt home has been converted into a 24-hour assisted living facility providing meals, housekeeping services, activities and more for residents.


According to excerpts from the story:

When they decided to open an assisted living center at 607 Turner St., Howard and Brenda Green had their work cut out for them.

Now, after a year of preparation, the New Life Assisted Living Center is open for business.


Read the entire article here.

Charlotte's Downtown Development Authority to market 'Corral' property

The Charlotte DDA is seeking developers for plans to develop a portion of the .61 acre property the board recently purchased. The DDA hopes to pave another portion of the lot for increased downtown parking.


According to excerpts from the article:

The city's Downtown Development Authority has decided to begin marketing the now vacant "Corral" building in hopes it will be used for more than just parking.

The DDA purchased the building, located at at the corner of Washington and Lovett streets, late last October for just over $200,000. The funds were loaned to the DDA by the city.


Read the entire article here.

City Center II's developer might be close to getting loan

The long-stalled proposed $97 million City Center II project in the City of East Lansing may be able to move forward as developers announce that financing could be secured in the next 60 days.

According to excerpts from the article:

Scott Chappelle, president of Strathmore Development Co., said he expects to close on construction financing in the next 60 days. He would not provide further details.

City Center II would span about 5.5 acres from Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road to Valley Court Park. Plans include a hotel, residential units, office space, retail space and a performing arts theater.

The latest estimates peg the project cost at $97 million, Chappelle said.Chappelle said he hopes to break ground sometime this year.

But there still are issues that need to be worked out.The East Lansing planning commission on Wednesday will consider a one-year extension of the site plan and special use permit, said City Manager Ted Staton.

Chappelle is working on some changes to the project scope. It's unclear whether the changes would require separate city approval.

He had signed a deal with InterContinental Hotels Group PLC's Hotel Indigo chain to run a roughly 120-room boutique hotel. But now, he's working with a different, unnamed operator to run a hotel with more suites and meeting space.

Read the entire article here.

Meridian Twp. L&L store expected to reopen soon

Detroit grocery store owners have purchased the L&L Food Centers in Meridian Township and Martin Luther King Blvd. The MLK location should remain open throughout the transition, while the closed Meridian Township store is expected to reopen in the near future.

According to excerpts from the article:

The L&L Food Center in East Lansing closed on Monday, but it should reopen, according to the store's new operator.

Brothers Randy and Roni Watha, owners of Seven Mile Food Inc. in Detroit, bought the inventory and fixtures from the store at 6075 Hagadorn Road in East Lansing for $60,000.

Randy Watha said he hopes to work out a lease in the next couple weeks and reopen the store with the same employees as soon as possible.

The Wathas also purchased the property, buildings, inventory, equipment and fixtures for the L&L store on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Lansing for $740,000.

That store should remain open through the transition, Watha said.

L&L, which was founded in 1931 by the Levandowski family, had been operating under receivership since Dec. 14. It couldn't secure financing to keep operating and couldn't pay back $2.47 million in loans to Flint-based Citizens Bank.

Five of its stores closed since last spring.

Read the entire article here.

E.L. seeks input on park plan

The City of East Lansing is asking community members to be a part of developing a parks plan. They will solicit input from citizens on parks programming, as well as facilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will invite community members to participate in workshops to help determine where the community’s priorities should lie.

The commission is holding the community forum workshops for the first time since 2006 to gather input for the city’s Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenways Plan, said Wendy Wilmers Longpre, the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts assistant director.

The plan covers all facilities and programs available for parks and recreation in the city of East Lansing as well as the community centers, greenways and open space and is updated every five years to keep in touch with community interest and the city budget.

Community members will offer two different workshop times at 7 p.m. March 7 and March 23 in the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, to gather in a group setting to share what they think should be prioritized in the plan should the commission’s budget decrease. She said no budget cuts have been made yet, but the commission is working to prepare just in case.

In the East Lansing City Council’s March 1 meeting, Councilmember Roger Peters said the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission went through the same process five years ago and would attempt to find out what direction the community wanted to go in terms of parks and recreation while keeping potential budget cuts in mind.

Read the entire article here.

Taking on temps: Cautious businesses find low-risk solution

Temporary employment offers an option for growing Lansing-area businesses to expand with less risk, as well as providing jobs for local workers. Around 3,500 people are employed as temps in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton Counties.

According to excerpts from the story:

Eleazar De Los Santos, laid off from a tool and die maker, had a strategy for getting past employers' hesitation to directly hire permanent workers in a down economy.

Temporary work.

But De Los Santos is fine with that. He works at least 40 hours a week, has health insurance through the staffing agency, Employment Plus, and has a direct deposit option for his paychecks.

H&H has 27 permanent employees along with seven temporary workers.

Nationally, staffing companies employed an average of 2 million temporary and contract workers in January, up from about 1.8 million a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That was the case in Michigan. Temporary jobs dropped nearly 16 percent from 89,600 in 2008 to 75,400 in 2009, only to rebound by 18 percent to 88,800 in 2010, according to the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (which has been renamed the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs).

Kent Housler, vice president of Lansing-based Personnel World, said he's noticed an increased demand in the area for CNC machinists, assemblers and welders.

About 75 percent of the people he places into these jobs are on a trial hire basis, with opportunities for long-term employment, Housler said.

Read the entire story here.

Food bank conference encourages residents to rethink community food systems

The Greater Lansing Food Bank recently hosted a conference to spur conversation and grow local knowledge on how the food systems works in the community. "Growing Our Food System: Nourishing Our People II” was the second such event organized but the group.

According to excerpts from the article:

Residents of Greater Lansing interested in alternative methods of growing, distributing, processing, selling and consuming food were offered the opportunity to listen to speakers and discuss issues at a citywide conference Thursday.

“Growing Our Food System: Nourishing Our People II” was an all-day conference hosted by the Greater Lansing Food Bank at the South Washington Office Complex, 2500 S. Washington Ave., in Lansing. This is the second time the food bank has hosted such a conference.

Link said many sessions offered at the conference discussed topics such as food safety, education of youth in the food system and connecting food growers with institutions. The event also featured lunch and a speech from keynote speaker Judy Wicks. Wicks, a leader in the local living economies movement, has co-founded many businesses and organizations which use sustainable business practices, including what is now known as Urban Outfitters.

The event likely helped many people who attended sessions offered at the conference see the community’s food system in a new way, said Ann Rausher, director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Garden Project.Michelle Napier-Dunnings, a local business owner who works with local, state and national food systems on a regular basis, said Wicks and other speakers at the conference gave attendees new ways to look at the issues being presented and helped motivate people to make positive changes to how they interact with the food system.

Link said he received a lot of positive verbal feedback about the conference and that there likely would be more such conferences in the future.

Read the entire article here.

Former Country Markett in East Lansing may get new use

The East Lansing Planning Commission will soon hold a hearing to consider allowing a Bagger Dave's restaurant to open in a portion of the vacant East Lansing building that used to house Country Markett. The building has been unoccupied since 2007.

According to excerpts from the story:

Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern is being proposed to occupy a portion of the former Country Markett building in the Brookfield Plaza at the corner of Grand River and Hagadorn Road.

The East Lansing Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider a site plan and special use permit from Krieger Associates Architects, LLC for vacant space at 1367 E. Grand River.

Country Markett closed on New Year's Eve 2007, and since then there was a failed grass roots effort to attract Trader Joe's to the site, and the East Lansing Food Co-op eyed the building, but decided against relocating from its site on Northwind Drive in Meridian Township.The proposed restaurant is planned to occupy about 4,500 square feet of the former grocer's 20,000 square-foot space.

If approved, the East Lansing restaurant -- which would serve alcohol -- would be the fifth in Michigan, after locations in Ann Arbor, Berkley, Novi and Brighton. The property is zoned B-2, Retail Sales Business District.The menu features many Michigan-made products, from the ground turkey for the chili and burgers to the Alpena-grown potatoes for their fresh-cut fries to the Koeze Cream-Nut peanut butter from Grand Rapids to the Detroit-baked buns in three styles -- plain, sesame and honey wheat.

Read the entire article here.

FRIB project included in Obama’s budget

President Barack Obama has included funds for the construction of MSU's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The $30 million included in his budget is important to the completion of the facility, but the budget must first be approved by Congress.

According to excerpts from the article:

With the inclusion of a $30 million award from the Department of Energy in President Barack Obama’s budget, the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, moves one step closer to its expected completion in 2020.

The money was specified in earlier negotiations and was used to shape the project’s budget, said Alex Parsons, FRIB’s Project Communications Manager.

“That request in the Department of Energy is consistent with the budget that was worked out,” Parsons said. “It’s not new — it’s not an increase.”

Completing FRIB will cost about $500 billion, said J. Ian Gray, vice president for research and graduate studies. In the next 20 years, the project is expected to spur about $1 billion in economic activity, he said.

Despite the crippled economy, FRIB has remained a priority because it’s one of the highest research tools in maintaining American innovation, according to officials from the department.

FRIB will help maintain MSU’s position as one of the top nuclear science graduate programs in the country and earn the university global recognition, he said.

“Completion will allow us to be one of the three (international) sites where scientists will study rare isotopes,” Gray said.

“This is very important to the institute’s research reputation.”

Read the entire article here.

Solid sales fuel Spartan Motors profits

Spartan Motors announces a 31.4 percent increase in sales for 2010 as the company prepares to unveil plans for production of a new delivery van next month.

According to excerpts from the article:

Spartan Motors Inc. closed out 2010 with solid sales and profit gains as it adjusted its business mix.

"In the past ... our growth strategy was primarily organic and today we have a blended strategy," company President and CEO John Sztykiel said.

Sales rose 31.4 percent to $126.9 million in the recent quarter from $96.5 million one year earlier.

Last year's results reflected the acquisition of delivery van subsidiary Utilimaster and the sale of the Road Rescue ambulance division to a unit of Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc.

Spartan continues to assemble and manufacture components for specialty vehicles such as recreation vehicles, delivery vans and military vehicles.

Spartan has shifted its production mix in the past two years. It had relied on production of mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, for the military but orders dropped off as the U.S. Department of Defense prepared to scale back operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The companies also plans to build new Isuzu vehicle known as the Next Generation Commercial Van, that will debut next in March at a trade show in St. Louis.

Spartan says the van's fuel economy is 35 percent better than existing delivery vans. It id designed to make loading, entering and exiting easier.

Read the entire article here.

Health care consulting firm MedAssurant to add Lansing jobs

Medical consultant firm MedAssurantplans to hire 404 and expand into new Frandor facility after receiving $2.2 million MEGA state tax credit.

According to excerpts from the article:

A Maryland medical consultant firm plans to hire up to 404 people in Lansing over the next five years as part of an area expansion.

MedAssurant on Tuesday received approval for a five-year, $2.2 million state tax credit to expand into a vacant storefront at 3301 E. Michigan Ave. in the Frandor Plus Shopping Center in Lansing.

The company, which has an office in Delhi Township, uses data analysis to help health care insurers and providers improve management and financial performance.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit is contingent on the city of Lansing granting a 12-year personal property tax abatement. The company would save $183,000, based on an initial investment of more than $1 million.

In all, the company plans to invest about $4 million. It would move about 50 employees from its offices in Delhi Township and Pontiac. MedAssurant also would hire new employees with an average weekly wage of about $850, MEGA said in a statement.

Read the entire article here.

Capital seeing job growth in law, accounting, engineering and other sectors

Despite a national recession, the Capital region is seeing growth in key job sectors such as law and engineers, and the trend is expected to continue.

According to excerpts from the article:

Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith has bucked a trend in the past three years.

While other companies cut jobs and the Lansing area's jobless rate peaked at 12 percent in July 2009 amid a national recession, the Lansing law firm hired 15 law school graduates.

And Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is currently seeking 11 engineers.

The sector has struggled for several years. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 19,200 jobs in the Lansing area that fell under the business and professional services category in 2009, down 17.6 percent from 2000.

Nonetheless, some professions are poised for double-digit job growth, according to a 2006 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including accountants, receptionists, engineers and landscape architects.

CPAs have the most job opportunities, said Lynne Zelenski, director of academic services for MSU's Accounting and Information Systems department. The CPA is a professional designation licensed by the state, and CPAs participate in ongoing education.

Read the entire article here.

Shared space co-working facility finds a following in Lansing's Old Town

Home-based office workers are finding networking opportunities, office space and amenities at Second Gear Coworking in Lansing's Old Town.

According to excerpts from the story:

Derek Kastner sometimes heads to a coffee shop when he feels cooped up in his home office, even though it's not always an ideal workplace.

Kastner was starting to consider opening his own co-working facility when he learned about Second Gear Coworking at 1134 N. Washington Ave. in Lansing's Old Town district. Now, he has a place to go when home gets to be too much—and he pays for access without feeling as though he's taking advantage of a business.

Second Gear came about when Gravity Works Design and Development decided to lease the 700-square-foot space next to its office.

Second Gear markets itself as an ideal spot for entrepreneurs, freelancers, writers, designers, software developers, educators, lawyers, small-business owners and startups.

Users can pay $15 a day or up to $240 for 20 visits to use the facility's desks, Internet access, conference area, projector, printer and other office amenities.

Read the entire story here.

Former Flint Mayor to lead East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation

Former interim Flint mayor Michael K. Brown has been appointed as president of Prima Civitas as the East Lansing economic development agency begins to expand statewide.

According to excerpts from the article:

Michael K. Brown, who led the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is increasing its financial commitment to the agency.

With ties to Michigan State University, Prima Civitas launched in 2006 to focus on bringing, partnerships, resources and funding to mid-Michigan communities.

“The brain drain has been a critical part of our challenge over the past few years, and we’ve got to find other ways to keep the young people in the community,” Brown said.

Under Brown’s leadership, Prima Civitas plans to expand its efforts to a more statewide approach. But Brown says a big focus of his will be working in his home town.

“The long and short of it is, bringing Mike Brown on board brings a tremendous amount of talent and leadership,” said Steven Webster, Vice President for Governmental Affairs at Michigan State University and the new CEO and chairman of Prima Civitas.

Read the entire article here.

$2 million in renovations nearly complete at Lansing YMCA facilities

Members are enjoying the YMCA of Lansing's nearly finished $2 million in renovations at its Oak Park, Parkwood and Westside branches, as well as its Mystic Lake Camp near Clare.

According to excerpts from the article:

Walls crumbled, floors were torn out and YMCA members sought different exercise routines during renovations at the Oak Park branch in south Lansing.

Improvements are essentially done, except for the Mystic Lake work set to start once the winter weather clears. The camp will become Mystic Village with renovations to the main lodge and expanded food service and outdoor education programs.

Besides the new first-floor wellness center, there is a revived studio and upstairs weight area. There also are new family locker rooms and a learning center with computers for youngsters. Walls that were once turquoise are now the soft russet shade of Amber Waves.

Money for the renovations came from donations. Contributors included the Dart Foundation.

Read the entire article here.

Growing insurance and financial sectors looking to hire in Capital region

Insurance, financial services and IT continue to be strong and growing job sectors in the Capital region as hiring picks up again.

According to excerpts from the article:

The insurance industry employed about 6,000 people in the Lansing area in 2009, according to the most recent data released by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. The financial services sector, which is often lumped in with insurance in labor numbers, employed nearly 4,000.

Rich Howard, director of Greater Lansing Insurance and Financial Services Council, said he expects roughly 800 new insurance jobs and 250 to 300 new financial services jobs in about five years.

The Lansing region boasts a concentration of large, locally based insurance companies, such as Auto-Owners Insurance Co., Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, Delta Dental of Michigan and Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan. Other insurers, such as Accident Fund's Detroit-based parent Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, also have sizable area operations.

Read the entire article here.

Spartan Dance Center making jump to East Lansing's Gaslight Village

East Lansing's Spartan Dance Center, formerly located at 217 Ann St., is moving to Gaslight Village on Abbot Road. The new studio is currently under construction.

According to excerpts from the story:

After only six months of operation in downtown East Lansing, Spartan Dance Center is closing its doors and moving north.

The dance studio, formerly located at 217 Ann St., closed its doors because the building is scheduled to be torn down for redevelopment, said Tiffany Russell, owner of Spartan Dance Center. She said a new studio is under construction in Gaslight Village on Abbot Road and classes are being held in a temporary location at 3498 Lake Lansing Road., Suite 130, until the new location is finished.

Wittney Ransome, a hospitality business senior who has taken her daughter to classes at Spartan Dance Center, said the new location would be more convenient for her because of its close proximity to her home. But she said the studio might lose some business from students living closer to downtown East Lansing.

Read the entire article here.

$1.8 million endowment enables $80,000 in student grants at MSU

Michigan State University has received a $1 million endowment from the Forest Akers Trust to fund entrepreneurial grants for undergraduates across all programs.

According to excerpts from the article:

If it weren't for a $5,000 grant, Sam Goodsitt probably would have filed away his idea for a hybrid home generator.

But with the help of the grant, the 22-year-old Michigan State University student is working with professional engineers to create a prototype for the wind and solar-powered generator.

Goodsitt was the recipient of an entrepreneurship grant through a $600,000 endowment established last year by the Midland-based Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation.

MSU liked what it saw with that endowment, so it went after more money. The Forest Akers Trust answered the call with a $1 million endowment to provide students with grants of up to $5,000.

The Akers endowment is open to students in all fields, while the Gerstacker endowment is focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The combined $1.6 million should generate about $80,000 in interest earnings each year for student grants and programming.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing, DeWitt Twp. plan to partner on new airport investment zone

The City of Lansing and Dewitt Township plan to form a Next Michigan Development Zone, creating an "aerotropolis" with a cluster of manufacturing, distribution, technology and other businesses surrounding the Capital Region International Airport.

According to excerpts from the article:

Local officials hope to spur economic development around Capital Region International Airport through a series of tax breaks and other business incentives.

"In order to compete not just here in Michigan, but with other similar international development programs around the country, we've got to have an incentive package that enables us to recruit businesses to our region," said Bob Selig, executive director of the Capital Region Airport Authority, which oversees the airport

The state in December approved legislation to allow up to five of these zones to offer a variety of tax advantages to companies located there, such as property tax abatements or Renaissance Zones that eliminate most state and local taxes for a certain period.

In order for a company to take advantage of the program, it would have to be a new venture or an expansion of an existing one. It couldn't simply transfer operations from another site.

The Lansing City Council and DeWitt Township board should discuss the issue in the next 30 to 60 days, said Rodney Taylor, DeWitt Township's manager.

Read the entire article here.

Two day East Lansing art expo and sale highlights local art scene

East Lansing Public Art Gallery and the City of East Lansing hosted an Art Expo in the Hannah Community Center featuring the works of Capital region residents.

According to excerpts from the article:

Yvette Robinson said the Art Expo hopefully would show community members the importance of local art in the area.

"Art is something that has been affected by the cuts in the communities all across the state," Robinson said. "This is a way to show . . . that art does play an intricate role in all the communities in and around town."

Stevie Thompson, a criminal justice junior, said she thinks it’s important to support local artists, even though she does not have a lot of experience with art herself. She said she has some handmade jewelry pieces, and appreciates the uniqueness of original, local art.

"You can introduce new styles to people," Thompson said. "If someone thinks it’s cool, they’ll ask you where you got it — you’re promoting the people that made it."

Read the entire article here.

Homebuilder invests $10 million to revive stalled East Village project in Lansing

Portage-based developer Allen Edwin Homes purchased the foreclosed East Village housing project off of Saginaw St., getting the City of Lansing's Brownfield Development Authority off the hook for steep bond payments.

According to excerpts from the article:

In 2004, the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority issued about $2.2 million in bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements and environmental cleanup at the site on the city's east side. The authority planned to capture increased tax revenues from the new residential units to pay back the debt.

Portage-based Allen Edwin Homes' decision to take over the project and invest $10 million in it is "nothing short of a miracle," said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corp

Allen Edwin Homes plans to build six townhouses and 52 detached homes in the next three years. It's also in the process of completing and selling 10 units the previous builder never finished.

Allen Edwin Homes should start construction on the new homes early next month, said Jim Sanderson, a company vice president.

Read the entire article here.

City of Lansing launches $200,000 green technology loan program

A new loan fund for businesses to invest in green technology is now available from the City of Lansing. The city will finance two to four loans totaling $200,000 in its first year.

According to excerpts from the article:

The city of Lansing launched a new loan fund today that will work to help Lansing businesses finance energy-efficiency upgrades and install renewable energy technologies.

Wind turbines, solar arrays and heat capture systems are possibilities, city officials say.

The deadline for the first round of applications is March 25. Exactly $200,000 will be available to fund two to four loans ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, according to the mayor's staff members.

The city received a federal grant to embark on the loan project. The Lansing Economic Development Corp. and Bernero's Greater Lansing Go Green! Initiative will administer the fund.

Interested applicants should schedule a pre-screening meeting by Feb. 25. For more information, visit www.lansingmi.gov/gogreen or call (517) 702-6903.

Read the entire article here.

Pitava women's clothing opens new location in downtown East Lansing

Downtown East Lansing's new Pitaya retail store brings affordable women's fashion to shoppers featuring unique, American-made Pitaya-brand items.

According to excerpts from the article:

Female students looking for a new place to shop for clothes in downtown East Lansing have another option this week with the opening of Pitaya, a clothing store hoping to fill a niche for affordable fashion in the area.

Pitaya originated in Bloomington, Ind., in 1990 and has 16 other locations across the country.

"We have an incredible selection for such a small store," Mazor said. "I think it’s a winning concept.”

Heather Pope, East Lansing’s community development specialist, said the city was notified of Pitaya’s opening last fall and said she thinks Pitaya will be a positive addition to the downtown market because it adds to the number of shopping destinations in East Lansing.

Some local businesspeople who cater to a similar student demographic said they think the proximity of Pitaya to other clothing retail stores will be good for all the downtown businesses.

Read the entire article here.

NEO Center targets north Lansing site for new small business incubator

Thomas Stewart of the Center for New Enterprise Opportunity hopes to open an incubator in a former print shop in north Lansing, giving entrepreneurs a place to grow their businesses.

According to excerpts from the article:

Thomas Stewart has been working the past couple of years to open the incubator as a place for budding entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Now, he's working to secure a spot for the offices at 934 Clark St., between Grand River and Oakland avenues.

"What we're trying to do is spur economic growth, trying to create this network of incubators," he said.

The 6,920-square-foot, two-story brick building is a former print shop that most recently housed ARQ Internet Solutions. The company owned the building and appears to have gone out of business.

The Ingham County Land Bank plans to sell the property for roughly $45,000 through a land contract to RKH Investments LLC, associated with East Lansing-based Kincaid Henry Building Group Inc., according to city documents and Eric Schertzing, the land bank board chairman.

Read the entire article here.

The Hatch student business incubator gets its first tenant in Jolly Digital

The Hatch business incubator in East Lansing will host a new online gaming business, launched by a 22-year old Michigan State University student.

According to excerpts from the article:

Michigan State University student Bryce Colquitt plans to move his company, Jolly Digital, into the flexible co-working space by Monday. The 1,400-square-foot facility is housed at 325 E. Grand River Ave., home of the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center. The TIC is a city-run incubator for technology businesses.

The incubator cost about $48,000 to build out. The city covered the costs up-front, and will recoup it through rent paid by the university over three years, said Jeff Smith, who manages The Hatch and the TIC.

Colquitt, 22, is a senior studying English literature. He pitched his idea for an educational online game at Startup Weekend, an event held at the TIC in November where participants worked in teams to develop business strategies and received advice from professional mentors.

Colquitt had to go through a screening process to be accepted into The Hatch, said Megan Gebhart, a student co-director of the incubator.

Read the entire article here.

17-year old DeWitt student wins chance to open a small business

DeWitt high school junior Trey Williams' business plan won a local contest, giving him the chance to operate his "Trey's Snack Shack" business at a popular local sledding hill.

According to excerpts from the article:

For the 17-year-old junior at DeWitt High School, the snack shack is a real business venture. And it's up to him to make it work.

"I've always thought about someday owning my own business," said Williams, who won a contest to run a concession in the warming shack at the sled hill for the winter. "And when this (contest) came up, I thought to myself, 'I'd like to win this.'"

Township Manager Rod Taylor came up with the idea as way to fill a need at the sled hill while providing real-life business experience for a young adult.

Taylor pitched the idea to Kelly Williams, a business teacher at DeWitt High, who happens to be Trey's mother.

The exercise was designed to teach a young entrepreneur about things like record-keeping, inventory, pricing and financing.

DeWitt Township is part of a consortium participating in the Creating Entrepreneurial Communities program run by Michigan State University's Land Policy Institute.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing BWL Secures Permits for New $182 Million REO Town Power Station

The Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) now has the permits needed for a new $182 million natural-gas powered electricity and steam plant in REO Town that would replace the coal-fired Moore's Park Steam Plant.

According to excerpts from the article:

The BWL next plans to secure funding for the project by issuing bonds, utility spokesman Mark Nixon said.

Construction is scheduled to start in the late spring or early summer of 2011, and the plant would be operational by early 2013.

The project will employ 1,000 construction workers, and approximately 180 utility employees will work at the plant.

The facility also will expand the BWL's ability to sell steam to customers in the downtown Lansing area.

"We are now the first utility in Michigan to receive a permit for a modern, clean, efficient generating plant that will actually reduce emissions," BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark said in a statement. "By switching to natural gas and closing an old, coal-fired steam plant, we will avoid burning 139,000 tons of coal each year."

The construction of the power plant is "terrific news," said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Read the entire article here.

Retired GM Employee Starts Own Faith-Based Fashion Line in Lansing

Ray Jackson, a Lansing resident and retired GM statistician, ventured into the fashion business about seven years ago, aiming to combine evangelism and fashion with his business, Kingdom Dreams.

According to excerpts from the Article:

Jackson, 52, started off about seven years ago with an online business selling T-shirts with the logo for his brand, originally called Kingdom Wear.

He grew the label by selling clothes at Christian music concerts, fashion shows and other events.

In October 2008, Kingdom Dreams, as the company was renamed, expanded into a kiosk at the Lansing Mall, selling sweatshirts, jeans and other apparel.

Now, Jackson has a full line of men's and women's casual and formal clothing he sells online and at a recently opened a 2,020-square-foot storefront in Lansing Mall.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing LAUNCHED Event Celebrates Successful Local Entrepreneurs

The successful second annual LAUNCHED event, held on Dec. 9. at at Dublin Square Irish Pub, celebrated the entrepreneurial successes and commitment of local innovators to growth in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

The event began in 2009 as a celebration of the first-year anniversary of the Technology Innovation Center, 325 E. Grand River Ave., said Nicholas Chilenko, a principal of Nicholas Creative and one of the organizers of the event.

At Launched!, East Lansing Mayor Vic Loomis presented an Innovator of the Year award to Good Fruit Video, a local company that creates videos for businesses to increase their Internet presence, and a Student Innovator of the Year award to Eric Jorgenson, an economics and general management senior who has been involved in many local business startups and organized the recent event Startup Weekend Lansing to promote business building.

Read the entire article here.

$40 Million Headed to LCC and MSU For Science Facilities Upgrades

Thanks to an influx of state funds, Lansing Community College in Downtown Lansing will receive $10 million, and East Lansing's Michigan State University will receive $30 million to help the schools upgrade buildings for science and technology education.

According to excerpts from the article:

Tucked into a $383 million capital outlay bill was $10 million for renovations to the Arts & Sciences building on LCC's downtown campus.

The $20 million project — LCC is required to match the money from the state — will add 10 new labs and nine new classrooms to the building, many of them in the space now occupied by a cafeteria on the building's second floor.

The outlay bill, the first approved by the state since 2008, also included $30 million for additions and renovations to plant science facilities at Michigan State University. MSU already had begun one such project, a $43.2 million structure that will link the existing Plant Biology and Plant and Soil Sciences buildings,

Read the entire article here.

Lansing-Based ECIC Awards More Than $900,000 in Early Childhood Grants

The Lansing-based Early Childhood Investment Corp. has awarded $928,233 in ReImagine Early Years grants to school districts across the state.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Early Childhood Investment Corp., based in Lansing, (ECIC) has awarded $928,233 in ReImagine Early Years grants to 11 school districts across the state to foster innovative P-8 (prenatal through age 8) educational reform.

"Making sure children have high quality early learning opportunities from birth through age 8 is crucial to their later success in school and in life," said Jessica Gillard, director of early learning and innovation for the ECIC, a public/private initiative that is spurring investment in enhanced delivery of early childhood programs through system-building.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan prioritized the focus on early childhood education as a key component for Project ReImagine applications.

"We understand the value of providing children with quality learning well-before they toddle into kindergarten classrooms," Flanagan said. "These grant funds will go a long way to help every school district realize that necessary shift."

Read the entire article here.

Popular Student Book Store Celebrates 50 Years in Downtown East Lansing

The Student Book Store (SBS) at 421 E. Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing is celebrating its golden anniversary: 50 years in business.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Howard Ballein was first hired to work at a bookstore in 1952, he was paid 70 cents per hour. When he opened Student Book Store, or SBS in 1960, books sold for about $6 and the store was 1,800 square feet.

Ballein decided to open a store in East Lansing because of the market potential for used books sales and another, less business-related draw, he said.

“I was 26, and I thought the women here were the best looking ones,” said Ballein as he sat with his wife and two sons, who all work with him, in his office overlooking the store. “I got offered the job, so I came up here.”

Now as Ballein, 76, celebrates the store’s 50th year in East Lansing, textbook prices have increased tenfold and SBS, 421 E. Grand River Ave., has expanded to 25,000 square feet of retail and 19,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Read the entire article here.

Well-traveled Entrepreneurs Open East Lansing's New Wanderer's Teahouse

After traveling and working across the globe, Eizabeth Marazita and Michael Spano have set roots in East Lansing with their business, Wanderer's Teahouse and Cafe.

According to excerpts from the article:

Marazita and Spano, who have seven part-time workers, offer 35 to 40 varieties and blends of tea. They also educate students and residents about tea, herbal medicine and cultural traditions.

The couple is trying to carve a local niche in a giant business. U.S. tea sales came in at about $8.5 billion in 2009, according to Specialty Coffee Retailer, a trade publication for the retail coffee and tea sector. Citing market researcher Packaged Foods, Specialty Coffee said tea sales climbed 32 percent from 2005 to 2009.

As the East Lansing shop's name suggests, Marazita, 49, and Spano, 42, are well-traveled. Their personal stories are as intricate and compelling as the paintings, tapestries, trinkets and books that fill the cozy teahouse.

Read entire article here.

Lansing-based EcoSynthetix Raises $7.2 Million for Green Chemistry Initiatives

Lansing-based Ecosynthetix, a company that uses "Green Chemistry to transform renewable resources into high-performance biobased products," has $7.2 million in support for its initiatives.

According to excerpts from the article:

The filing does not list the investors in the financing. However, it does note that the $7.2 million that the firm reports in the filing under Rule 506 represents equity sold to U.S. investors only, and that the total equity sold was more than $30 million. “The remainder of the issue was sold [outside] of the U.S.,” the company stated.

Read the entire article here.

$2.8 Million Budgeted For Improvements to Cedar and Larch Streets in Lansing

If you've driven down Cedar or Larch streets lately and thought, "Hey, these roads need a little work," then your thoughts have been heard. The State is investing $2.8 million to fix these roads next year.

According to excerpts from the article:

Cedar and Larch streets, two of Lansing’s major north-south thoroughfares, will acquire the benefits of $2.8 million in state money next year.

The dollars will finance resurfacing, patching, drainage work and ramp upgrades for approximately five miles, from Grand River Avenue south to just north of Interstate 96.

Long term, the spring 2011 project appeals to local drivers and business owners. Short term, they have no yen for more orange barrels, detours and congestion.

Read the entire article here.

$2.83 Million Effort Officially Secures 120 Acres For Lake Lansing Park

Lake Lansing Park has officially acquired 120 acres of land that has been used as part of the park for many years, saving the land from being developed.

According to excerpts from the article:

The newly acquired 120 acres added to Lake Lansing Park-North's south side have been used by joggers, cross country skiers and trail enthusiasts for years but weren't officially part of the park.

Volunteers spent more than two years raising funds, writing grants and working through other paperwork to buy the land for $2.83 million so it could be protected for years to come.

The addition means the park has grown from 449 acres to 569 acres.

The new land is home to more than 500 species of plants and a mix of swamps, forest, wetlands and wet meadows, making it the most diverse environmental area in Meridian Township, according to Ingham County Parks officials.

Read the entire article here.

National Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour Hits Capital Area High Schools

Thanks to sponsorship from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) Inc., and area students, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour made its way to Lansing last Wednesday.

According to excerpts from the article:

Author and entrepreneur Arel Moodie spoke to about 450 high school students from 14 Lansing-area high schools as part of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour's stop in Lansing. The tour then moved on to East Lansing.

"Entrepreneurs solve problems for people in the form of a business," Moodie said.

Moodie, 26, started his first company in college and is now part owner of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education Corp., the New York company that presents the nationwide tour.

LEAP's president and CEO, Denyse Ferguson, hopes broadening the program gets the entrepreneurial gears turning in high school students' minds.

"Expanding our reach to these students enables us to tap into our youth at an even earlier stage of their lives and introduce them to an entrepreneurial mind-set," Ferguson said.

"The kids totally responded to it, they all wanted to talk to Arel (Moodie) and hear more. I think part of the lesson is to get them that young. College is great, but if you can start with some of those freshman, it's fantastic."

Read the entire article here.

Lansing’s Paramount Coffee Partners with MSU to Support Rwandan Agriculture

Lansing-based Paramount Coffee Company is partnering with MSU's Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL) endowment program. The company is donating $1 from every bag of Fair Trade Rwanda Coffee sold.

According to excerpts from the article:

After the Rwandan genocide, MSU's Institute of International Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development developed a program that linked Rwanda's struggling coffee farmers with Paramount and other members of the coffee industry throughout the world.

The proceeds from the sale of Paramount's Fair Trade Rwanda coffee have funded, for example, the purchase of 400 goats for the rural coffee-growing village of Gashonga.

The goats serve as a source of protein through their milk and cheese and, when they die, their meat. The goats also produce fertilizer for coffee growers and — since the number donated was so sizable — procreate to sustain the herd.

Read the entire article here.

Kraig Biocraft Lab's Breakthroughs Featured in Technology Review

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. is a Lansing-based company that was honored with a mention in the well-known Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

According to excerpts from the article:

"MIT's Technology Review is a very prestigious publication, and we are pleased with the interest in our company," said Kim Thompson, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories CEO and founder.

"The fact that Technology Review featured Kraig's recent genetic engineering breakthroughs as the headlining story highlights the importance and commercial potential of this new technology. Frankly, our research team has earned these accolades by creating a technology that has the potential to revolutionize material science and have an exciting and positive impact on the textile markets."

Read the entire article here.

Lansing-Based Neogen Again On Forbes' List of Best Small Companies

Lansing-based bio-tech firm, Neogen Corporation has made it onto Forbes Magazine's annual List of Best Small Companies in America for the ninth time in 11 years.

According to excerpts from the article:

"We are pleased any time we receive independent recognition of our company's solid performance, and especially when it comes from a source as trusted as Forbes," said James Herbert, Neogen's CEO. "Companies must clear a series of tough hurdles in order to be recognized, and the winners come from virtually every business segment in America."

Being named to the Forbes' list adds to Neogen's recognition from the financial community. Neogen was also recently named to Fortune's list of the "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" for 2010. Fortune's list includes foreign and domestic companies traded on a major U.S. stock exchange with a market capitalization of at least $250 million.

Read the entire article here.

Kositchek's Celebrates 145 Years of Business in Downtown Lansing

Kositchek's, a men's clothier in Downtown Lansing is now one of the oldest independent retailers in Michigan, celebrating 145 years in business this month.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Henry Kositchek started selling fabrics and leather goods door-to-door, Abraham Lincoln was president and the Civil War still raged.

It's likely the European immigrant never realized that, four generations later, his great-grandson still would be selling menswear under the family name or that his humble beginnings would grow into one of the most celebrated businesses in downtown Lansing.

"We often use Kositchek's as an example of how an independent retailer can be successful," said Tom Scott, senior vice president of the Michigan Retailers Association. "They have unique products that you can't find anywhere else and tremendous customer service that makes a fan of all their customers."

Kositchek's has been passed down through the family and is now owned by David Kositchek, great-grandson of the founder.

Through the years, the family has opened and closed other locations but have been on North Washington since the late 1800s.

Read the entire article here.

GM Announces Plans to Invest $190 Million and Add 600 Jobs in Lansing

General Motors has announced plans to invest $190 million in its Lansing Grand River assembly plant, in order to produce the new Cadillac model.

According to excerpts from the article:

The investment will create 600 jobs and result in the addition of a second shift.

"America's fastest-growing luxury brand this year is about to get even more competitive with the addition of an all-new small luxury car," said GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson. "This investment demonstrates GM's commitment to Cadillac and to a strong U.S. manufacturing base."

Built in 2001, Lansing Grand River is GM's second-newest U.S. assembly plant and the manufacturing home of the Cadillac CTS and STS as well as their V-series performance versions. Earlier this year Lansing Grand River received the J.D. Power and Associates Bronze Plant Award for initial quality.

Read the entire article here.

$750,000 Capital Regional International Airport Grant Could Support DC Flights

A $750,000 federal grant to the Capital Region International Airport is going to be used to help Lansing secure a United Airlines nonstop flight to Washington, D.C.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing airport plans to use the $750,000 grant to provide a minimum revenue guarantee for service to Washington Dulles International Airport through one of United's regional airline affiliates.

The airport also is pursuing a deal with Mendota Heights, Minn.-based Sun Country Airlines for nonstop service from Lansing to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which is closer to the nation's capital. But the Dulles application was in the works first.

Read the entire article here.

World Record Unofficially Broken By Lansing Man's Cockroach Feat

Lansing man and Preuss Pets employee, Sean Murphy, set an unofficial word record on Sunday, Oct. 24 by filling his mouth with 16 Madagascar hissing cockroaches for 10 seconds.

According to excerpts from the article:

Paperwork is being sent to Guinness World Records for official verification, Murphy said.

He set an unofficial record last year by stuffing the same number in his mouth but did not have the necessary documentation for an official record.

Read the entire article (and watch the video!) here.

Leap Inc. Receives $200,000 Grant to Promote Regional Business Growth

Lansing-based Leap Inc. has received nearly $200,000 from the Regional Entrepreneurial Collaborative grant program. They will be using the funds to expand existing programs and promote entrepreneurship.

According to excerpts from the article:

Leap Inc. was one of nine state organizations to receive the grant, which was funded through Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind Program and sought to promote new business growth in the state, according to a statement from Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The Lansing-based organization gathers business leaders in Greater Lansing to help foster entrepreneurship and was spotlighted because of its work with young people in business.

“We will focus on identifying our current entrepreneur support assets and work to reduce duplication,” Jodway said. “We will host programs to connect entrepreneurs with each other — something of great interest to this group.”

Leap Inc. also hopes to use the money to build an online showcase of resources and fund programs about innovation in schools.

Read the entire article here.

Finnish Turbine Manufacturer Expanding and Adding Jobs in Eaton Rapids

URV USA, a manufacturer of wind turbine castings based in Finland, is expanding its Michigan operations in Eaton Rapids and creating more jobs.

According to excerpts from the article:

While initial plans called for a 40,000 metric ton facility, the company now plans to increase its capacity to 80,000 metric tons, which will double the number of direct jobs being created by 2014 to 276.

Pending financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the company's foundry could grow to 160,000 metric tons, creating more than 550 jobs. 

Read the entire article here.

General Motors Investing $37 Million in Lansing Delta Township Plant

General Motors has announced plans to invest $37 million in its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant to improve manufacturing capabilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Plant manager Scott Whybrew said GM wants to keep the plant on the "cutting edge." The factory opened in 2006 and is considered the most modern domestic plant in GM's portfolio.

"Four years ago, when we opened, some of the equipment here had electronics in them that were state-of-the-art," Whybrew said. "We'll now be able to update them so that they'll still be state-of-the-art."

Read the entire article here.

Dewitt Entrepreneur Started Serving, Now Owns Five Denny's Franchises

More passionate about being on the swim team, Joe Lopez of Dewitt picked his college major with his eyes blind-folded. It turns out that his hospitality and restaurant management major was perfect for him; he now co-owns five Denny's franchises in Michigan.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Grand Ledge Denny's caps a three-year dream-come-true for Lopez, a man whose first Denny's job was serving up Grand Slam breakfasts.

"Great service by great people," Lopez said, quoting the company philosophy. "I love what I do."

His journey from waiter to owner — at least as he describes it — is one part loyalty and one part "being in the right place at the right time."

After rising through the ranks and spending several years as a regional manager, Lopez had a chance to meet with the CEO of Denny's Corp.

"I told him I had always wanted to open my own Denny's," Lopez said.

"So, he told me, 'Why don't you come meet with me tomorrow morning?'"

Read the entire article here.

The Wanderer's Teahouse Opens On Grand River Ave. in East Lansing

After opening in September, the new Wanderer's Teahouse and Cafe in East Lansing held its grand opening last week.  Located at 547 E. Grand River Ave., the shop offers a range of teas as well as gluten-free sweets and sandwiches.

According to excerpts from the article:

At the beginning of September, Elizabeth Marazita and her husband of eight years, Michael Spano — like Marazita, he's a globe-trotting master herbalist certified in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) who has trekked the jungles of South America and the streets of Beijing — opened Wanderer's Teahouse. 

The overriding theme of Wanderer's is exploration, intellectual as much as physical. Through the front doors, visitors first encounter a tea bar where long vials of tea stand in a rack, lining the front counter.

This is a space, Marazita says, for the curious to learn more about tea by touching, tasting, smelling and seeing assorted tea leaves. Accompanying the sensuous experience is a printout of types of teas detailing health benefits and suggesting blends.

Read the entire article here.

Young Professionals See Lansing As a Place Of Potential and Progress

Not everyone leaves Lansing for assumed greener pastures. The so-called brain drain phenomenon does not apply to everyone. There are many who see the potential and progress in the Capital region, and choose to stay.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Amanda VanderMeulen looks out the window from her office at Biggby Coffee headquarters, she sees a different Michigan than the one so many other young people see.

She sees a place of potential and progress.

Show them there's a reason to stay, says VanderMeulen, 22, business development coordinator for Biggby.

"There are great things happening," she says. "Above all else, Michigan is a place where you can start something."

"A lot of students don't understand that there are jobs here," she says.

Read the entire article here.

Michigan Ranks Third Nationally In Location of Alternative Energy Companies

Business Facilities Magazine has ranked Michigan in third place nationally for the number of alternative energy locations in the state.

According to excerpts from the article:

The wide variety of energy companies that Michigan is trying to attract helped the state nail the third ranking. The magazine cited announcements by Dow Chemical to invest as much as $1 billion in alternative energy research and development could result in as many as 7,000 new jobs.

The magazine tracks where companies make location decisions and what state and local governments are doing to draw them to their sites.

Read the entire article here.

Rustwire E-zine Highlights Lansing's Entrepreneurial Incubation Efforts

Entrepreneurial incubators in the Capital region are fueling the economy and creating jobs by enabling business owners to get their ideas off the ground at a lower cost.

According to excerpts from the article.

Incubator is a loose term generally used to describe the capture of new talent, economic programs and business support in a physical structure. The greater Lansing area has four: The TIC, the Hatch, ITEC and the NEO Center. Between the four, approximately 45-60 jobs have been created.

Of the 20 original TIC companies, 13 remain. Some of them closed and some moved back into home office space but two of them — Enliven Software and Gravity Works — outgrew the TIC, moving their businesses to larger spaces within the community.

Read the entire article here.

Fast Company Magazine Notes MSU's Role In Global Bio-Fuel Summit

Working to breed a more robust version of a potential bio-fuel plant called Jatropha,  researchers from Michigan State University are among those excited about the upcoming Jatropha World Summit in Rotterdam.

According to excerpts from the article:

Could a homely succulent save the planet? Maybe. Oil squeezed from the Jatropha curcas plant helped fuel a train from Delhi to Mumbai and a 90-minute Boeing jet ride in Houston last year.

"The plant's toxicity, getting more harvest out of it, that'll all be worked out," says David Skole, professor of forestry at Michigan State University, as biofuels investment in (frost-free) Africa and Asia soars. Helping lead the charge: GM and the U.S. Department of Energy, which partnered this spring to test the plant in India.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing Actor Returns From Hollywood To Find More Jobs in Michigan

After spending some time in Hollywood as an aspiring actor, Lansing native Tim Holmes returned to the Capital region in 2003. Now, due to the state's film incentives, he's finding acting work here in Michigan.

According to excerpts from the article:

One day, Tim Holmes was trying out for one of the many movie roles that have reached Michigan lately. He had the tough-guy look, but there was also a complicated fight scene. Could he do his own stunts?

His response: "I said, 'Sir, I fell from burning buildings to save people's lives; I can do it for a movie.'"

The state's movie incentives have brought a lot of work for Michigan residents, Holmes said. They've also introduced Hollywood people to a world they'd never imagined.

So far, his roles have often been short, uncredited and quite combative. He said he gets beat up by Gerard Butler (in "Machine Gun Preacher") and his robot gets beat up by Hugh Jackman's ("Real Steel"). He does win sometimes: In the direct-to-video "Hostel 3," he beats up all the heroes; in the opening scene of "Street Kings: Motor City," he beats up and shoots Ray Liotta, then is promptly gunned down by others. For contrast, he's a cop with Patrick in "S.W.A.T.: Fire Fight."

Read the entire article here.

Ten Young Professionals Recognized as Tomorrow's Leaders To Watch

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Grand River Connection teamed up to host the fourth annual Ten Over the Next Ten awards, honoring young professionals who are bound to make a substantial impact in the future of the Capital region .

According to excerpts from the article:

Ten young professionals, ranging from CEOs to state and university officials, were recognized Tuesday for their talent and potential to have the biggest impact on the Lansing area in the next decade.

“It’s important to recognize young talent especially in a city like Lansing, being named one of the top 10 young professional cities to live in,” said Tom Ruis, president of the Grand River Connection young professional group.

Lansing was named one of “10 Great Cities for Young Adults” by financial news organization Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc. in July.

Read the entire article here.

Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital Secures $18 Million For Health Park

Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital in Charlotte has received $36.6 million in financing for the creation of a new health park.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Charlotte  hospital plans to move some of its acute care services, such as occupational therapy and women’s health services, to an $18 million facility called AL!VE HealthPark at a former Felpausch grocery store on Lawrence Avenue.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will insure the $36.6 million mortgage, which will save the hospital about $14 million in interest payments, according to a HUD release.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Researchers Receive $4.2 Million Grant for Climate Change Partnership

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded $4.2 million to researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan who are working together to improve the nation’s ability to adapt to climate variability and change.

According to excerpts from the article:

“There is a lot of climate research going on in the (Great Lakes) area that hasn’t been very well coordinated,” said David Bidwell, program manager for the Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) Center in Ann Arbor. “We are trying to make that research more efficient.”

Bidwell said the project has three main goals: connecting science and public policy, adopting climate change models on a more local scale and giving a portion of the $4.2 million to various research projects in the Great Lakes region.

Read the entire article here.

With 400 Employees, Lansing’s Emergent BioSolutions Is Growing Strong

Lansing-based Emergent BioSolutions is quietly fueling the New Economy by creating local jobs, being recognized on Forbes Best Small Companies list and providing the government with millions of dollars worth of its primary product.

According to excerpts from the article:

[M]any people don't realize what's happening at Emergent Biosolutions Inc.'s highly secured facilities on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in north Lansing.

"They're kind of a nugget that's tucked away, so the average person in Lansing doesn't even know they're here," said David Hollister, president and CEO of Prima Civitas Foundation, a Lansing-based nonprofit.

Emergent continues to grow in Lansing as its 400 employees work to ramp up production of the only federally approved anthrax vaccine and start developing the next-generation vaccine.

Read the entire article here.


Emergent Biosolutions Contract Could Be Worth $186 Million, 25 New Jobs Planned

Emergent Biosolutions has secured another federal contract, this one worth as much as $186 million. The company plans to add 25 new jobs at its Lansing facilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Emergent said Friday it signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worth $51 million during the first two years, with options for three more years.

The company has reported plans to manufacture the next-generation [anthrax] vaccine in Maryland, though Adam Havey, president of Emergent's Lansing operations, said the manufacturing site has not been determined.

Development of the vaccine will be carried out in Maryland and Lansing, he said.

The company employs more than 400 in Lansing, up from nearly 340 at the end of 2008.

Read the entire article here.

Plans for $275,000 Riverfront Sculpture Unveiled by Celebration Committee

A $275,000 stainless steel sculpture, donated to the city, will hopefully land on Lansing's riverfront by the middle of next year as part of the city's sesquicentennial celebration.

According to excerpts from the article:

Committee members are about 50 percent complete with raising funds to finance the sculpture, site preparation and engineering.

James Russell of Lomita, Calif., is the sculptor whose works already grace the landscapes of other cities across the nation.

"It's fascinating," Michael Harrison, president of the Lansing Sesquicentennial Foundation, said of the sculpture. "The committee was absolutely unanimous in its choice. It's just very uplifting. In fact, it's titled 'Inspiration.' "

Lansing celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2009, and organizers knew they wanted to bookend the yearlong set of activities with a gift to the city and its residents.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing's Golden Harvest Featured on ESPN's Taste of the Town

A long-time favorite among Lansing residents, Old Town's Golden Harvest was featured on ESPN's Taste of the Town.

View the clip right here!



$1.8 Million Symmetry Medical Investment To Bring 160 Jobs to Lansing

Symmetry Medical aims to invest $1.8 million into an expansion of its facilities on Lansing's Southside, bringing 160 jobs to the region over a span of five years. 

According to excerpts from the article:

The orthopedic implant manufacturer plans to invest $1.8 million in purchasing and expanding a building for its Lansing operations, said Andrea Ragan, a spokeswoman at the Lansing Economic Development Corp. City officials said the overall package will include $14.8 million in investment.

Read the entire article here.

Growing Leo's Family To Include New Spirits and Grub Restaurant in Okemos

There will be a new Leo's location in town! The owners of Leo's Lodge and Leo's Outpost in Lansing, are opening Leo's Spirits and Grub on Okemos Rd. and W. Grand River in Okemos.

According to excerpts from the article: 

Leo's is hiring 40 to 50 new employees for the restaurant, adding to 20 existing employees, she said. The menu will feature Sicilian deep-dish pizza, sandwiches, smelt and perch and the Houghton-Hancock burger.

Leo's Lodge opened in 1996 at 2525 E. Jolly Road in Lansing and the Outpost opened in 2002 at 600 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing.

The company received a permit to complete a $46,000 interior remodel of the Okemos restaurant, according to Meridian Township documents.

Read the entire article here.

USA Today Highlights MSU Study on Worker Productivity in Green Buildings

A group of researchers working with Michigan State University garnered national headlines for their study of people's productivity in a conventional office settings compared to being housed in a LEED-certified green office building.

According to excerpts from the article:

A group of researchers working with Michigan State University surveyed two groups of employees before and after moving from conventional office buildings to LEED-certified buildings in the same Michigan area. After moving to the new building, employees said they thought they called out sick less and were more productive.

The biggest boost comes in perceived productivity. The study's authors extrapolated that employees could each work about 39 more hours a year in the new building because of different working conditions such as better light, air quality and ventilation.

Read the entire article here.

Local Leader Opens New Micro Community Center Near Lansing's REO Town

Understanding the importance of community, Detroit native and MSU grad Marcus Brown opened the Village Summit, a micro community center to provide services for youth and unemployed adults in the area.

According to excerpts from the article:

Living on Barnes Avenue near Washington Avenue for close to 15 years, Brown and his wife, Chitra Pulliam, watched foreclosures and unemployment devastate the area. Pooling their savings for retirement, they decided to invest in the neighborhood.

In February 2009, they purchased an early 20th century home at 119 E. Barnes. The idea was to turn the house into a community center.

“If you see a problem, go for it.  If you give people the tools to make decisions, give people the opportunity to work, they will take ownership,” Brown, an august former Marine, said. “People here may not have the money to donate, but they have the time and willingness to help out. The neighborhood has been extremely supportive and has exceeded my dreams.”

Read the entire article here.

Why The Capital Region Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

According to Doug Stites, of Capital Area Michigan Works!, entrepreneurship is possible for nearly everyone, and the Capital region is emerging as a great place for people to start a new business, take risks and seek out their passion or innovative idea. 

According to excerpts from the article.

Entrepreneur Magazine named East Lansing one of the top 10 college towns to start a business, CNN Money named Greater Lansing one of the 50 most business-friendly cities.


And most recently, well-known financial news organization Kiplinger's named Lansing one of the top 10 cities in the country for young adults.

Incubator space such as the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, NEO Center and the Hatch is making it easier for individuals with great ideas and solid business plans to put it in action without needing much capital to start.

Read the entire article here.


Issue Media Group One Of Inc. Magazine's 5000 Fastest Growing Companies

Issue Media Group, the parent company of this magazine, has landed on Inc. magazine's 2010 rankings, placing 22 in media, and 1672 overall in the ranking of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

According to excerpts from the article:

"The leaders of the companies on this year's Inc. 5000 have figured out how to grow their businesses during the longest recession since the Great Depression," said Inc. president Bob LaPointe. "The 2010 Inc. 5000 showcases a particularly hardy group of entrepreneurs."

The 2010 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2006 to 2009. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by June 30, 2006. Additionally, they had to be based in the United States, privately held, for profit, and independent (not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies) as of December 31, 2009.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Ranked Among Top 100 Universities By U.S. News and World Report

Michigan State University, in 79th place, is still among the top 100 universities in the nation, according to the latest rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

According to excerpts from the article:

MSU was tied for 79th with American University, Baylor, Miami of Ohio, the State University of New York of Environmental Science and Forestry and the University of Alabama.

The 100 rankings — which were led not surprisingly by Harvard, Princeton and Yale — are considered a key factor in attracting both students and research dollars.

Read the entire article here.


Elderly Instruments in Old Town Nurtures Great Global Reputation

Elderly Instruments, based in Lansing's Old Town neighborhood, has supplied influential musicians like Lyle Lovett, John Mayer and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers with their dream instruments.

According to excerpts from the article: 

The locally owned instrument sales and repair shop, which celebrates its 39th anniversary this year, has grown into one of the world's biggest dealers of vintage instruments. Elderly has also become a meeting place for local musicians to jam out on instruments, meet like-minded music-lovers and find just about everything they need to gig out.

Step into the showroom on North Washington, and it's easy to see why Elderly is a favorite stop: Guitars of every make hang from the walls. That's not to mention mandolins, banjos, ukuleles and a collection of other music makers.

Read the entire article here.

You can also read Capital Gains' earlier story about Elderly's online retail success here.

$150,000 in Grants Help ITEC Learning Center Secure Home Base in Lansing

The Information Technology Empowerment Center (ITEC), focused on helping area children learn science, engineering, technology and math skills, will soon have a home base in a refurbished Lansing school.

According to excerpts from the article:

After earning more than $150,000 in grants during the past year, in addition to other grant matches and donations, the organization is creating a home base to supplement its traveling programs that have been used in eight locations to reach more than 700 students during the past two years, according to Kirk Riley, executive director for ITEC.

The money will fund the creation of ITEC Pathways, a learning center in the former Holmes Street School that will offer technology instruction for mostly middle school students through activities such as programming robots and video games.

Read the entire article here.

Neogen Lands On Fortune's Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies

Neogen Corp., the Lansing-based animal and food safety company, has been ranked on Fortune’s annual list of the 100 fastest-growing companies, making it one of the magazine's "annual collection of rising phenoms" that "reveals who — and what — is succeeding even in a stagnant economy."

According to excerpts from the article:

It was the only Lansing-area company on the list, and was one of five Michigan  companies that made the cut.

Neogen has plans to expand in Lansing. It has an agreement to purchase the city’s Oak Park Field Office at 717 E. Shiawassee St. for laboratories, high-tech manufacturing and warehousing. That would include bringing some British operations to Lansing – a move that could lead to new jobs.

Read the entire article here.

Land Bank Brings Creative Solutions to Ingham County's Development Challenges

From the sale of the former home of the School for the Blind superintendent to the owner of Rizzi Designs to the Deluxe Inn graffiti art project, the Ingham County Land Bank is shaking things up here in the Lansing region.

According to excerpts from the article:

On the day Rochelle Rizzi first saw the grand, brick house along Pine Street in Lansing, it was “complete construction zone.” The 6,000-square-foot Colonial Revival house was once the home of the superintendent of the School for the Blind but had been vacant more than a decade.

Rizzi was on a quest to find the perfect space for her marketing firm, Rizzi Designs, and when she stepped inside, she knew she had found the right place. “I knew which furniture was going to be in what room,” she remembers. “It just seemed like a great fit.”

Luckily, the Land Bank was much more sympathetic to her cause than, say, an out-of-state multi-national bank.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Art Festival Ranked Among Nation's 200 Best

Sunshine Artist Magazine recently ranked the 2009 East Lansing Art Festival among the nation's “200 Best.”

According to excerpts from the article:

The magazine ranks the top art fairs and festivals in the U.S. each year with its “200 Best” feature, based on responses about sales submitted by participating artists. The top-selling shows make the list.

“The ranking is evidence of not only our artist’s success at the festival , but the tremendous support of those patrons who purchase original fine art and craft at the festival, from the Greater Lansing region and beyond,” East Lansing Art Festival Coordinator Corinn VanWyck said.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing Native Returns To Paint Mural At R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

Even though Glenn Dorshimer now lives near Chapel Hill, N.C., the Lansing native returned to the area to paint murals of classic American cars on the exterior walls of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.

According to excerpts from the article:

"I want to change the perception of import buyers by painting these murals. I want to change the way people think about the United Auto Workers (union)," Dorshimer said. "People understand what (GM and the UAW) are about here, but in North Carolina, import buyers still think American cars are inferior," he said.

Dorshimer earned a degree in design, then returned to GM and designed car seats for five years. He left in 1992. Now 48, Dorshimer wished he'd followed his earlier inclination and gone to work at a factory.

"That's where I'd like to be," he said. "I'd like to do that or design cars."

Read the entire article here.


Michigan's 271 Farmers Markets Place It Number Four in the Nation

With 271 operational farmers markets, Michigan finds itself in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2010 National Farmers Market Directory, behind Illinois by a mere 15. It's a 13 percent increase between 2008 and 2009.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
As the state's second largest industry, Michigan's agri-food sector generates $71.3 billion annually, making it a building block for diversifying the state's economy. Production agriculture, food processing and related businesses employ more than one million people. 

Michigan produces more than 200 commodities, making it second only to California in terms of agricultural diversity.

Of Michigan's 271 farmers markets, 57 are authorized to accept Bridge Cards electronically this year. This number has grown from 29 in 2009 through the efforts of the Michigan Farmers Market Food Assistance Partnership, led by the Michigan Food Policy Council (MFPC) and the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA). The partnership's work and 2010 growth has been funded through a grant as part of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative. 

Read entire article here.

Lansing State Journal Highlights the Capital Region's Architectural Gems

From the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Okemos to the interior of the BWL building, the Capital region is sprinkled with architectural quality.

According to excerpts from the article:

When sculpture is something more than art, when it’s to be worked in and lived in and played in, we call it architecture. 

Functional sculpture — architecture of significance — is part of Greater Lansing’s landscape from the state Capitol and much written about Frank Lloyd Wright house in Okemos to the bits of gingerbread that dangle from the eaves of your own home.
We are surrounded by it. . . .

“The country is becoming really homogenous,” said Laura Rose Ashlee, communications director for the state Historic Preservation Office. “The older buildings are what sets communities apart.”

Read the entire article here.


Construction On Track For New Accident Fund Insurance Downtown Headquarters

Renovations and additions to the former Ottawa Power Station are on track for its new tenants, Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, to move in next spring.

According to excerpts from the article:

Construction of the roughly 334,000-square-foot office should be substantially finished by December, said Chad Teeples, senior project manager at Christman Co. The Lansing firm is managing the $182 million project.

Also on Thursday, crews were pouring concrete on the top floor of the six-story, 1,000-space parking ramp. It should be complete next spring.

Employees should start moving in around April 2011, said Steve Reynolds, vice president of strategic planning at Accident Fund, which is part of Detroit's Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Read the entire article here

MSU Prepares To Open New $90 Million Medical Facility In Grand Rapids

Michigan State University is gearing up to open a new $90 million medical facility in Grand Rapids.

The 180,000-square-foot Secchia Center will house classes for 100 first-year medical students beginning this fall.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Secchia Center will host classes for 100 first-year medical students in the fall and be a hub of activity for the local medical community grounded by the presence of Spectrum Health, Van Andel Institute, Saint Mary's Health Care and Grand Valley State University.

"It's just a joy to be here," raved John O'Donnell, director for pre-clinical curriculum at MSU's College of Human Medicine.

"It's so well-designed compared to our former quarters, so easy to interact with our fellow professionals. So much natural light comes through deep into the building. The light comes right through into the hallway."

Read the entire article here

New Meridian Township Community Garden Latest of 80 Area Projects

Community members in Meridian Township have adopted 5,000 square feet of open land for a community garden, a growing trend in the region.

According to excerpts from the article:

More than 5,000 square feet of land has been adopted by community members to form the Northwind Community Garden.

Garden members are growing flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables in individual plots and raised beds. In addition to the individual plots and beds, 200 square feet of land has been dedicated to creating a communal plot.

This past spring, there were four new gardens proposed in Meridian Township alone, and at least 80 gardens proposed or continuing for Ingham County.

The proceeds from this plot will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank, which is the parent organization for the Garden Project — a sponsor for the Northwind Community Garden.

Read the entire article here.

Kiplinger Names Lansing One of Nation's Top Ten Best Cities For Young Adults

Lansing is among the 10 best cities for young adults, according to a national financial news magazine. Kiplinger cited Lansing’s low rent and high-paying technology job opportunities in its list of cities, which also included Chicago, Austin and Portland, Ore.

According to excerpts from the article:

We began our search using the criteria we used to select our overall list of Best Cities for the Next Decade: healthy economies fueling new job growth.

We fine-tuned our search using other youth-friendly factors such as large percentages of people under 35, cost of living and rental costs, culture, nightlife, and the time you're likely to spend in traffic.

Home to five medical schools, two law schools and Michigan State University, Michigan’s capital is a little-known hotbed for young professionals. Granted, this Great Lakes community can’t quite compare to the larger cities on our list in terms of job prospects or things to do. But it has a relatively low cost of living. And its youthful population, downtown renewal projects, and emerging technology sector make Lansing a stand-out in mid-sized cities.

Read the entire article and view the slideshow here.


Graffiti Art Project At Deluxe Inn Brings Attention to REO Town Revitalization

With the help of local groups and officials, urban graffiti artists looking for a place to practice their craft turned their spray paint cans onto a Downtown Lansing eyesore that is scheduled to be torn down soon.

The Deluxe Inn on South Washington Avenue in REO Town is slated to be demolished by the end of August to make room for new development.

According to excerpts from the article:

With a can of light green spray paint in hand, Sam DeBourbon on Friday turned a defunct and once seedy motel into art.

The 23-year-old from south Lansing is a graffiti artist, and along with about 24 other artists he is expected this weekend to convert the boarded-up Deluxe Inn into a statement of urban artistry.

The Deluxe is slated for demolition by the end of August and the site prepped for sale to a developer. The riverfront lot rests at the north end of REO Town, and it's hoped that residential and retail construction on the site will help revitalize the area.

Trey Love, a representative from the REO Town Commercial Association, handed out fliers to draw attention to the project and to the area.

"I've seen so many cars driving by and people turning heads and looking," he said. "All the people who have been coming up are all different shapes, sizes and colors. It gives me a different take on how many people appreciate art around this area."

Read the entire article here


Neogen Corporation Looks to Expand, Redevelop Facility on Lansing's Eastside

A Lansing-based animal and food safety company is looking to expand. Neogen Corp. has an agreement with the city to buy the Oak Park Field Office at 717 E. Shiawassee Street for $200,000.

According to excerpts from the article:

If everything is approved, Neogen CEO Jim Herbert said he expects to take possession of the property by October or November.

"We've sort of specialized in taking older buildings and refurbishing them for newer technology uses," he said.

Those include the Oak Park School on Lesher Place and Allen Street School on East Kalamazoo Street.

"They've been great from an urban redevelopment standpoint," said Karl Dorshimer, vice president of the Lansing Economic Development Corp.

Read the entire article here.


GiftZip.com Makes Entrepreneur Magazine National Top 10 Startup List

An East Lansing web company has been honored a second time by Entrepreneur magazine.

GiftZip.com has been named one of “10 Hot Startups” by the national magazine.

According to an excerpt from the article:

They are the companies that capture the hearts and minds of their potential customers and, with them, that indispensable thing called market share. They're invariably run by men or women with an eye for sustainability—and expansion.

The list runs the gamut of sectors. Some have venture capital money behind them; most were bootstrapped. Some are service companies. A few are manufacturers. Others are retailers. And while we routinely receive news of hot startups, and it's usually impossible to compare apples to oranges—or in the case of this list, apps to beer—these 10 independents, with their fast-paced success and future potential, are the ones that made even our seasoned staff and contributors say, "Wow!"

Read the entire article and what they had to say about GiftZip.com here.

Michign Hot Dog Experiment Seeks Special Liquor License In East Lansing

The Michigan Hot Dog Experiment plans to open on M.A.C. Avenue and is seeking a special liquor license.

According to excerpts from the article:

The license the business wants is offered to establishments that open in areas of a city that are designated for redevelopment.

This is the first time the city has approved one of these licenses for its downtown. Mayor Vic Loomis said this was the perfect test case because the eatery is small, seating only about 50 people.

“It’s kind of a niche operation,” he said, adding that he’d like to see the license used in a similar manner in the future.

Read the article here.

East Lansing Woman Lands Dream Internship with NASCAR in California

A 21-year-old Lansing woman is enjoying the internship of her dreams this summer in the Los Angeles office of NASCAR.

Mariel Moorer is one of 23 young men and women selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based company's diversity internship program.

According to excerpts from the article:

This summer marks Moorer's second stint with the company — she spent the summer of 2008 working on research and marketing for NASCAR's entertainment group in Los Angeles.

Moorer went to East Lansing High School and graduated in May from the University of Michigan with a degree in communication studies.

In addition to her gigs at NASCAR, Moorer has interned for WKAR radio in East Lansing and worked in marketing for Michigan State University's athletic department.

Her previous internship involved helping coordinate celebrity appearances at NASCAR events. Now she tracks media coverage on the West Coast.

Read the entire article here.

BWL Announces Plans For $182 Million, 180 Job REO Town Project

The Lansing Board of Water and Light has announced it will build a $182 million natural gas power plant in REO Town.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing Board of Water & Light plans to build a $182 million natural gas-powered electric and steam generation plant in REO Town, moving 180 workers to the district south of Downtown Lansing.

The facility, to be built on South Washington Avenue, would replace the coal-fired Moores Park Steam Plant. It also would generate electric power as the BWL looks to phase out portions of the coal-burning Eckert Power Station nearby.

Residential and business rates would be boosted to help pay for the project.

The public utility will burn 139,000 fewer tons of coal per year once the Moores Park plant is closed.

"The coolest thing from my point of view is that company-wide, this plant will allow us to reduce our carbon for electric output by 20 percent," General Manager J. Peter Lark said. "Everything they're talking about in Washington calls for a 17 percent reduction in carbon by 2020.”

Read the full article here:


Emergent Biosolutions Lands $54.6 Million Contract, Adding 25 Jobs

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. is expected to add 25 jobs at its Lansing plant after landing a $107 million contract from the federal government to produce the anthrax vaccine.

According to excerpts from the article:

Emergent expects to add about 25 jobs related to the contract through early 2011 and continue hiring after that, said Adam Havey, president of Emergent's Lansing operations.

"This is a huge step forward for us in utilizing our assets here in Lansing," Havey said. "It's a great sign of growth and innovation - not just locally, but as our company grows globally it solidifies us as a manufacturing center of excellence."

Emergent said Wednesday it signed a contact with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worth $54.6 million during the first two years, with options for three more years.

The company said it expects to see up to $10 million in revenue and $5 million in earnings before taxes in the second half of this year because of the contract.

Read the full article here.


Lansing Deluxe Inn Will Become Public Art Destination Before Demolition

Grafitti artists from as far away as Chicago are expected to be in Lansing at the end of this month to paint the now-shuttered but once notorious Deluxe Inn before it is demolished.

According to excerpts from the article:

By the end of August, the defunct Deluxe Inn at the southern edge of Lansing's  downtown will be rubble.

A demolition contract is close to being signed, according to officials with the Ingham County Land Bank, which bought the property for $400,000 in September.

But before it goes, the dilapidated motel  — once a haven for prostitutes and drug addicts — will experience a brief rebirth as an urban art hot spot and then as a different kind of hot spot for fire department training.

About 30 graffiti artists from the area and as far away as Chicago  and New York have been invited to use a symbol of urban rot as a canvas to showcase urban rebirth.

The artists will be doing their thing at their own expense July 30-31 and on Aug. 1 at the former motel on South Washington Avenue.

"We want to show there is a need for public spaces for public artists," said Joe Manzella, who works for Lansing Economic Area Partnership Inc.

Read the full article here.


Lansing Competes For $190 Million GM Plant Upgrade

Lansing hopes to entice General Motors to invest $190 million in a Lansing plant to ramp up for production of a new vehicle.

According to excerpts from the article:

The city of Lansing could end up offering General Motors Co. $9.8 million in tax incentives if the automaker picks a Lansing plant for a new vehicle.

That is the amount of a personal property tax abatement Mayor Virg Bernero wants the Lansing City Council to approve to help persuade GM to invest $190 million to add an unnamed vehicle — and about 600 jobs — to its Lansing Grand River assembly line.

The abatement would be spread out over 25 years — or about $390,000 a year.

GM isn't saying what other sites it's considering for the work.

However, GM has said it plans to bring the work to an existing factory. In addition to Lansing Grand River, GM currently has assembly plants elsewhere in Michigan as well as in Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana.

Read the entire article here.

Local Clothing Label Finds Niche With New Store Space

A local clothing label has carved out a niche among other retailers in Meridian Mall. DEFYE clothing recently moved from a kiosk inside the mall to a 1,000-square-foot store.

According to excerpts from the article:

The company, founded by Okemos native Michael Doherty, sells screen-printed graphic T-shirts, sweatshirts, button-down shirts, hats, jeans and other clothing items for men and women. Doherty also makes some children’s apparel.

Doherty designs the artwork for the screen-printed items for DEFYE, named after the phrase "define your own existence."

"It's really exciting," he said of his company's growth. "A lot of it has to do with this connection with college students and a lot of people kind of going through this same struggle of finding their own way in life, and a lot of them can relate to the whole message behind the label."

Read the article here.

Capital Region Concerts Work to Build On Area's Quality of Life

As Lansing kicks off its Common Ground Music Festival, the region takes stock of the myriad benefits of its growing concert and festival lineup.

According to excerpts from the article:

From city-sponsored events to events sponsored by arts councils and businesses, organizers say the main goal is to increase the quality of life in the community.

Businesses near free-concert venues also find themselves often benefiting, creating a mix that seems to make free concerts pay off for everyone involved.

The East Lansing Summer Concert Series helps draw people to the downtown business area. But it's also a way for the city to express how much it values community events, arts and culture, and bringing the community together, said Ami Van Antwerp, East Lansing's communications coordinator.

"One of the things people really value about living here is all of the festivals and events you can attend," she said.

Read the article here.

Prima Civitas Foundation Prepares For New Leadership, Continued Growth

With a $2 million annual budget and an all-star lineup of leaders, including former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, the Prima Civitas Foundation is preparing for some key staff changes.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Prima Civitas Foundation is at somewhat of a critical juncture as three principal employees prepare to retire.

The Lansing-based nonprofit is in its fifth year as an economic development foundation serving mid-Michigan and other parts of the state.

David Hollister, 68, plans to retire as president and CEO in March 2011, while outgoing Executive Director Dennis Sykes, 64, retires in September and Irma Zuckerberg, 62, a project director, leaves after June 30.

The organization has been planning for the retirements, said Steven Bennett, acting executive director.

"It's going to be an opportunity for us to bring on new, fresh talent," Bennett said.

Read the rest of the article here.

Two MSU Students Win National Marketing Competition, $5,000 Award

Two political theory and constitutional democracy seniors at Michigan State University (MSU) stepped out of their comfort zones to try their hands at creating a marketing campaign in a nationwide competition. The result: a shared $5,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Laura Kovacek and Maria Bianchi’s presentation won them both $2,500 scholarships at the first Washington Media Scholars Case Competition, Kovacek said she was shocked. MSU’s James Madison College also was given $5,000 for scholarships.

At a network reception with 65 other teams of finalists and about 250 people in the profession, Bianchi and Kovacek were announced as the winners on June 10. The top six teams were invited to go to Washington, D.C. during Media Scholars Week, where they meet individuals who work for advertising and marketing with companies such as Facebook, Google and CNN.

The competition was hosted by the Washington Media Scholars Foundation, which was founded to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to meet executives in public affairs advertising, said Robin Roberts, president of the Washington Media Scholars Foundation.

Read the rest of the article here.


MSU Program Introduces Kids To Crime Scene Investigation Science

Local middle and high school students spent a week at Michigan State University (MSU) learning crime scene investigation techniques from police and FBI agents.

According to excerpts from the article:

The program—run by the Office of Gifted and Talented Education, part of MSU's Honors College—ended Friday.

To participate, students needed at least a 3.5 grade-point average, strong test scores and a teacher recommendation. The weeklong overnight camp cost $1,127. Scholarships were available.

During Friday's lesson, forensic artists from the FBI and Michigan State Police discussed how to interview witnesses to create composite sketches of suspects.

Other camp activities included identifying characteristics of skeletons, observing a pig autopsy, fingerprinting, matching tire and shoe impressions, and analyzing a mock crime scene using evidence such as blood spatters and bullets.

Read the rest of the article here.

With Attendance Up 20 Percent, More Upgrades Expected at Potter Park Zoo

In addition to upgrading the new bird facilities and displays, the zoo is growing in popularity and moving ahead on much-anticipated upgrades to the rhino exhibit.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Wings From Down Under exhibit has reopened for the summer at the Lansing zoo with more than 600 birds in a vast, interactive display. It's a 50 percent boost in the number of eastern rosellas, parakeets and cockatiels, the cost of which is covered under an existing contract.

The expanded Wings exhibit is part of ongoing efforts at Potter Park to attract more visitors. About 167,000 people visited the zoo in 2009, up about 20 percent from 2008.

Construction also has begun on the Eurasian Eagle Owl exhibit, a roughly 1,000-square-foot enclosure of steel and mesh that is more than triple the size of the current exhibit.

And ground is to be broken by fall on the park's long-awaited rhino site improvements.

Read the entire article here.

Council Considers $260,000 In Redevelopment Incentives On Two Sites

About $260,000 in tax incentives could be given to two local businesses to encourage expansion and redevelopment projects.

According to excerpts from the article:

Spartan Internet Consulting Corp. is seeking tax incentives for the $1.8 million redevelopment of the former Holmes Street School, 1030 S. Holmes St.

The council’s eventual vote on a brownfield plan could permit Spartan Internet to apply for $223,800 in state tax credits.

The council also heard about Foresight Group’s application for $38,630 in local property tax abatements over 12 years under the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act.

The company recently purchased Peckham Inc.’s former facility on North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and wants to renovate the facility for its proposed headquarters.

Read the entire article here.

New 42-Acre Francis Motz Park in Clinton County Excels in Accessibility

The first county park in Clinton County is 42 acres and took six years to complete. With lots of accessible amenities—including an on-site, off-road floating wheelchair—it's likely to be a big hit with people who have disabilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Francis Motz County Park, in Greenbush Township near St. Johns, opened Saturday. The 42-acre park, which is open seasonally, offers an array of accessibility features in an effort to include people with disabilities in all park activities, said Jerry Jaloszynski, county parks and green space coordinator.

The park's accessibility features include wide concrete sidewalks, picnic tables with side and end wheelchair entrances, wheelchair-accessible openings on a 60-foot fishing pier, barrier-free unisex toilet rooms and a special needs bathroom with a wall-mounted medical table.

"One of the really exceptional things about the park is that if you're coming in a wheelchair, you don't even have to wonder if there's going to be a bathroom stall open or if there's going to be a picnic table," he said. "You really have full access."

The park will loan out an all-terrain wheelchair that can travel over sand and float in the water.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Looks to Cultural Entrepreneurs to Support Local Arts

East Lansing city officials are looking for "cultural entrepreneurs" to help keep the arts alive on a tight budget.

According to excerpts from the article:

The arts and culture portion of the city's budget has dropped almost 50 percent, or $154,567, during the past five years, according to city documents. That is pushing officials to be creative when trying to attract musicians and artists downtown.

Instead of funding some music and art festivals with the city's money, officials want to bring in people who can organize them on their own. These "cultural entrepreneurs," as they've been dubbed, would rent space in a city-owned area, such as a park, to set up an event.

Roger Peters, a member of the East Lansing City Council and liaison to the Arts Commission, said individually sponsored events outside the city's budget keep the arts alive. The financial constraints have impacted almost every artistic endeavor the city puts on, he said.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing-Based Firm Traction Thrives on Hard Work, Relationships

Camron Gnass, owner of Lansing-based Traction, is a design workaholic who has led campaigns for Biggby Coffee and Lake Trust Credit Union. His hard work is paying off.

According to excerpts from the article:

The eight-employee staff at Traction, formerly known as Vision Creative, develops brand identities, logos, communication strategies, advertising campaigns, websites and provides other services.

Their work includes the Biggby Coffee website, NuUnion Credit Union (now Lake Trust Credit Union) ad campaigns, and logos for Enso, Troppo and several other local businesses. Several projects have won ADDY Awards through the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

Traction was recognized this year for its work on NuUnion's "Member Up!" campaign that involved placing hundreds of $5 bills stamped with advertisements throughout Michigan State University's campus.

Read the rest of the article here.

Lease Agreements Spark Interest In $116.4 Million City Center II Project

Lease commitments are generating interest among local developers for the proposed large-scale East Lansing redevelopment project known as City Center II.
 
According to excerpts from the article:

A lease, set to begin in 2013, was signed by the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau and two letters of intent have been signed by a national bank and a large Italian concept restaurant, said Scott Chappelle, president of Strathmore Development Co., the developer of the project.

City Center II is a $116.4 million mixed-use project slated to be developed on the corner of Abbot Road and Grand River and Evergreen avenues.

Although financial backing will remain the foremost question in the development’s progression, the signings are a good omen, East Lansing City Councilmember Roger Peters said.

Read the full article here.

$100,000 SmartZone Award To Honor Michigan's Most Innovative Entrepreneur

The Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest (GLEQ) will soon announce the winner of its SmartZone Award, a contest among Michigan entrepreneurs challenged to write the best business plan.

According to excerpts from the article:

This year’s business-plan writing contest features participants from all parts of the state, including six from the Upper Peninsula, nine from the upper Lower Peninsula, 41 from the west side of the state, 67 from mid-Michigan, and the balance from sections of Southeast Michigan.

The industries represented are across the board, with the highest concentrations in IT (including software, wireless applications, e-commerce, electronic medical records, video and new media), Life Sciences, Alternative Energy, Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, and Food and Agriculture.

GLEQ has risen to the challenge thanks to its statewide network of support. Through collaborative relationships with the SmartZones, universities, industry associations, entrepreneurial support organizations, and economic development agencies, GLEQ has a roster of 250 volunteers that support the competition as Ambassadors, Coaches and Judges.


Read the rest of the article here.

Public Input Scheduled for Two Proposed Development Projects in East Lansing

Two projects, both with plans to build upward along Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing, are slated for discussion on July 20.

According to excerpts from the article:

The first development is an eight-story building planned for the area near Grove and Ann streets. A rental home and one other building could be demolished to make way for the high-rise structure, which is planned to house restaurants on the first level and 42 apartments on the other floors. Construction could begin in May 2011 if Cron Management, the developer, can acquire the necessary funding. According to city documents, the structure is slated to be about 8,013 square feet.

The other downtown development could be completed in two phases. The area where The Post Bar is, 213 Ann St., could be expanded to three stories and used for restaurants or businesses. Kris Elliot, who also owns The Post, is spearheading the project.

This plan also eliminates the buildings at 215-217 Ann St. to allow for a separate, four-story structure. That building is planned to contain two floors of retail space and two floors of lofts. Construction could begin this summer. The project is 6,436 square feet, according to city documents.

Read the rest of the article here.


First TEDx Lansing Event Draws 500 Local Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Michigan State University (MSU) played host to the greater Capital region's most innovative thinkers and doers for the area's first TEDx event.

According to excerpts from the article:

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a national conference held each year to showcase the country's best and brightest innovators.

TEDx events are local, independently organized conferences under that umbrella.

The central message of all those innovative speeches? Despite the area's economic woes, mid-Michigan isn't dead yet. People here can still innovate or start up their own companies.

Greater Lansing, TEDx faithfuls will tell you, is buzzing once again.

Read the entire article here.

Grand Ledge Instructor Wins 2010 Michigan Teacher of the Year Award

Embracing new technologies and teaching styles is a hallmark of Matinga Ragatz's work. It's an approach that's earned her the highest state-wide honor for teachers.

According to excerpts from the article:

Although most teachers likely ask students to put away their iPods and cell phones during class, Grand Ledge High School teacher Matinga Ragatz encourages their use.

That unique teaching style is part of the reason state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan on Wednesday named her the 2010-11 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

It's the second time in as many years a mid-Michigan teacher has landed the state's top honor.

"This is the best job in the world. I'm so honored, and I'm so humbled," said Ragatz, 43, who teaches social studies and world languages. "I hope they picked me for my innovative thinking as a teacher."

Read the rest of the article here.

Volunteers Beautify the Capitol Grounds With More Than 19,000 Plants

An army of volunteers descended upon the Capitol building to beautify the grounds, planting 19,152 plants in a single day.

According to excerpts from the article:

Working quickly and efficiently, the crew - more than 70 strong and ranging from teens to seniors - plucked color-coded plastic straws from the dirt and replaced them with colorful flowers. The blooms ranged from deep-burgundy petunias to pink begonias and screaming yellow marigolds.

Their goal for the day: get 19,152 plants into the ground to beautify the Capitol for the summer.

In the long beds leading up to the Capitol steps, the colorful annuals form a scroll pattern, one of four or five that rotate from year to year, said Trena Trowhill, the Capitol events coordinator. That's not so obvious from ground level, but the pattern is easy to spot from the steps.

Read the entire article here.

Redevelopment Planned For 37,000 Sq Ft Marshall Street Armory In Lansing

The Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) signed a 15-year lease for the Marshall Street Armory, which as been vacant since 2006. The 37,000-square-foot building at Marshall and Jerome streets that will serve as offices for MNA and four other nonprofits.

According to excerpts from the article:

The 37,000-square-foot building is planned as a home to nonprofits that have a statewide reach as well as those that serve the local community, said Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. The facility near the intersection of Marshall and Jerome streets also may provide space for smaller nonprofits that need some help getting a start.

The project hinges on acquiring financing from the state and federal government for brownfield redevelopment and historic grants, said Pat Gillespie, president of Gillespie Group, which is planning the project. . . .

The building will be restored to fit with its 1924 architectural style. The bricks, limestone and windows will all be kept with that motif. The 24-feet high ceilings will allow for a lot of natural light in the building, Gillespie said.

"We want to reinvent the building and we want to bring it back to life," he said.

About 85 percent of the planning for the project is complete.

Gillespie said he's acquired about 50 percent of the financing for the project and he expects the rest to fall into place once the state and federal grants are secured.

Read the entire article here.

Group Set to Start Pioneering Urban Farm Project on Eastside Land Bank Parcels

The Urbandale Farm Project—Lansing's first urban farm—is set to kick off its inaugural season at the south end of Hayford Street.

According to excerpts from the article:

A half-acre of vacant land on Lansing's Eastside is about to become the Michigan capital's pioneering urban farm, with help from two Michigan State University faculty members.

The Urbandale Farm Project is the first effort of the Lansing Urban Farm Project, co-founded by Laura DeLind and Linda Anderson.

"Throughout spring and summer, the pair will join area residents, students and volunteers from the federal volunteer program AmeriCorps to maintain the farm," university spokeswoman Kristen Parker said in a story on the university's Web site.

The Lansing project is in the Urbandale area and can't be developed because it sits on the city's 100-year flood plain, DeLind said. The Ingham County Land Bank now owns the farm site.

Read the entire article here.

Ingham County Will Be Shining Star At Upcoming Land Bank Conference

Experts say the Ingham County Land Bank is one of the best in the state and will be a model for the other 29 Michigan land banks at a conference in June.

According the excerpts from the article:

A statewide conference of land banks, which reclaim and resell foreclosed properties to put them back on tax rolls, is being hosted in the capital city June 6-8.

The national Center for Community Progress chose Lansing for its fifth annual Michigan Land Bank Conference. The Ingham County Land Bank—which is one of 30 banks in the state—is a poster child of success, officials say; so when the conference opens, about 200 people from all over Michigan will be drawn downtown to the Lansing Center to listen to local experts and learn from them.

Currently the city and the Ingham land bank are working together to use $17.4 million in federal money to address 255 housing units and another 230 foreclosed properties.

Land banks are set up to be more entrepreneurial than cities, experts say. They buy, lease and market property to families, businesses and developers.

Read the entire article here.

Jackson National Life Insurance Reports $4.4 Billion in Sales and Deposits

Lansing's Jackson National Life Insurance Co. reports that its first quarter sales and deposits were up 62 percent.

According to excerpts from the article:

The insurer reported today it had sales and deposits of $4.4 billion for the quarter that ended in March. JNL attributed the gain mainly to a 108 per cent jump in variable annuity sales, to $3.1 billion.

JNL, headquartered at Interstate 96 and Okemos Road in Alaiedon Township, is owned by the United Kingdom's Prudential PLC. As with many European firms, Prudential reports earnings every six months, though JNL releases quarterly sales results.

Read the entire article here.


Entrepreneurs Are Returning to Michigan For Comfort and Economic Opportunity

Entrepreneurs are finding renewed opportunity in Michigan, and many are returning to find solace in their home state after living elsewhere. The state's low cost of living and entry costs for young start ups are among the advantages luring them back home.

According to excerpts from the article:

Successful careers outside Michigan proved to be not enough for East Lansing natives Joe and Rose Glendinning.

The siblings longed to return home and run their own business, looking to create a less-stressful, more relaxed lifestyle closer to family and friends.

Joe Glendinning, a high-paid attorney in Chicago, moved back in 2007 and opened a Biggby Coffee franchise in Bloomfield Hills the following year. After some cajoling, he convinced his little sister, a Boston banking executive, to join him in his entrepreneurial venture.

Today, the pair run two Biggby Coffee franchises; the second opened last month in Birmingham. While there is no data on the return of Michiganians, the Glendinnings are among the stories of natives who are coming back home and partially countering the population exodus from the state.

Gordon Krater, managing partner at Southfield-based financial services firm Plante & Moran, isn't surprised to hear that native Michiganians are slowly trickling back to the state to start a business.

The timing is perfect for entrepreneurs to open a business in Michigan because a large number of vacant commercial buildings are available, rents are low and there's a big pool of unemployed workers, he said. Another draw for people who have been living in other states and want to move back to Michigan: The housing supply is plentiful and reasonably priced, he said.

"It's a good time and place to start a business here," he said.

Read the entire article here.

Young Lansing Leaders Adopt Twitter Tools To Tackle Local Challenges

Young leaders in Lansing are on the cutting edge of Twitter innovation, applying the social media tool to a variety of local needs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Capital Area Michigan Works communications officer Kate Tykocki, 29, uses Twitter primarily to post Lansing job leads. It gives her a way to interact with local employers and job seekers in real time.

"It's been invigorating to connect with people and hear these stories and know we are making a difference," Tykocki said.

She said it took her a while to warm up to the idea of using Twitter.

"I was almost a little resistant to start," Tykocki said. "I didn't want to waste a bunch of time. I waited to jump on the bandwagon."

Brett Kopf, 23, didn't hesitate to dive in and start using Twitter—and now it's his job. The MSU graduate recently started Social Bonfire, a social media consulting company.

Read the entire article here.

$132 Million Redevelopment of Ottawa Power Station Nears Completion

It's been two and a half years, but the redevelopment of the Downtown Lansing landmark power station is taking shape.

According to excerpts from the article:

All nine floors of the 190,000-square-foot power plant are in place. Workers are routing computer cables, heating and cooling vents and assorted spaghetti into the floors. A glassy new 105,000-square-foot addition is almost finished and a parking deck to the north is going up fast.

Most work on the Lansing-based insurance giant’s new corporate campus is expected to end this Thanksgiving, followed by a month or two of inspections and last-minute fixes.

Accident Fund employees can start hauling in the computers, coffee urns and kid photos in early 2011. The parking deck is scheduled for June 2011 completion.

The project is on budget at $132 million, according to the Christman Co., the general contractor. The parking deck is expected to cost another $31 million.

The theme here is adaptive reuse, on the grandest scale ever seen in Lansing.

Read the entire article here.


$22.8 Million Knapp's Redevelopment Project Gets Boost With Council Vote

The redevelopment of the iconic Knapp's Building in Downtown Lansing took a major step forward on Monday night with City Council approval of some key financing tools.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Lansing City Council voted unanimously to apply for a $5.4 million loan through the federal Housing and Urban Development Department and a $2 million federal Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant to help fund the project.

The project, estimated to cost $22.8 million, also received preliminary approval for a state historic tax credit worth roughly $3.3 million, according to Brian Conway, Michigan's state historic preservation officer.

Developer Eyde Co. plans to turn the former J.W. Knapp's Department Store building at the corner of Washington Square and Washtenaw Street into a mixed-use building containing retailers, office space, a business incubator, high-end apartments and underground parking.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing Bike Co-Op Working to Connect Lansing and MSU Students

Tim Potter, who grew up in Okemos and went to MSU, has been helping to establish a new Lansing Bike Co-Op. The co-op recently held its Spring Launch Party at Basement 414 in Downtown Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Casey McKell, a Lansing resident, helped organize the co-op after a Power Shift Conference last fall, which brought together student activists from across the state. McKell said one of the sessions focused on the idea of bike co-ops and some Lansing community members decided to start one.

McKell said the Lansing Bike Co-op will work to advocate bike-friendly practices and construction in Lansing as well as work to raise awareness about biking events in the area.

“As a part of the U.S. Social Forum, people will be biking from all over the country to come to Detroit for a national summit,” she said. “At least 50 people and maybe more will be passing through Lansing. We’re hosting them in a tent city on the east side of Lansing and will have a knowledge share, a community service project and then bike from there to Detroit together.”

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Entrepreneur Juggles Global Translation Business, Coffee Franchises

Fathy Shetiah's Lansing-based company, Global Image Network, uses more than 400 freelance translators around the world to handle projects in 35 different languages. The venture is just one of Shetiah's many ongoing entrepreneurial projects, and it's growing quickly.

According to excerpts from the article:

Fathy Shetiah starts most days at about 6 a.m., checking to make sure everything is running smoothly at three or four of the 20 Biggby Coffee stores he co-owns with his

He then heads over to his office in Lansing, where he runs Global Image Network, a translation service company. Shetiah switches focus back and forth throughout the day, depending on which business demands more attention.

Shetiah, 35, has been performing this balancing act for about two years. But it seems to suit him.

"I'm a marketing guy," he said. "I can't sit still."

Shetiah moved from Egypt to the United States in 1989, when he was 14. He attended East Lansing High School and graduated from Michigan State University in 1999 with a degree in marketing.

Read the entire story here.

On Earth Magazine Touts Lansing's Entrepreneurial Culture, Sustainability

MSU student and periodic Capital Gains contributor, Kelly Steffen, writes in On Earth magazine about the four key things Lansing is doing to support more innovation, sustainability and young talent in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

Many people have this perception of Michigan and even more specifically of Lansing, that is clogged with a generic negativity. I will even admit that before I plugged myself into this whole vibrant and innovative scene, I thought only "losers" who couldn't find a job in Chicago or elsewhere, stayed here.

Now, I know I couldn't have been further from the truth. Both young and old students, professionals and entrepreneurs here in Lansing work endlessly to create green cities, collaborative co-working spaces and a vibrant nightlife.

So, before you even start with "there's no opportunities nor a fun nightlife in Lansing (or Michigan)," come hang out with me and my friends for a day, we'll change your mind.

My life is booming with innovative ideas, entrepreneurial resources, incredible mentors, impressive friends in Lansing; yours could be too.

Read the entire article here.

Young Local Leader Selected For Next American City Vanguard Class of 2010

Close on the heals of her "10 Over the Next 10" award from the Lansing Regional Chamber, one of Lansing's favorite boomerangs, Rory Neuner, has now been honored as member of the Next American City Vanguard Class for 2010. She'll join other urban leaders from around the country in developing an agenda to rebuild the country's cities.

According to excerpts from the article:

Next American City, a national quarterly magazine committed to improving cities, will host the Next American Vanguard conference on May 26-27. Participants will work on the "Next American Vanguard Manifesto"—15 goals geared toward making the more than 30 participants' cities better.

"I'm excited to take part in the event," Neuner said Monday. "They have a whole slate of speakers and topics that are relevant to Lansing."

Formerly with the Michigan Environmental Council, the 29-year-old Neuner, a 1998 Haslett High School graduate, now oversees 10 states in their efforts to get more children to walk and bike to school.

Neuner earned a political science degree from Yale University. She has a master's degree from the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy.

Read the entire article here.

Magna Powertrain Lansing Expanding, Adding More Than 30 Local Jobs

Magna Powertrain Lansing, a division of Manga International, is expanding and expected to create more than 30 jobs in Delhi Township.

According to excerpts from the article:

The expansion at Magna Powertrain Lansing LLC, a division of Ontario-based Magna International Inc., is part of Magna's statewide effort to invest $49.2 million into four facilities and create 508 jobs over the next five years.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, or MEGA, approved a $5.6 million tax credit for the automotive supplier over the next seven years. With it, Magna will expand inside the state rather than Ohio, Indiana or Canada.

Frank Ervin, manager of governmental affairs for Magna USA, said the local jobs will be created as the company consolidates other operations.

Read the entire article here.

City's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in Old Town Neighborhood

Danny Trevino opened Lansing’s first official medical marijuana dispensary in the city's Old Town neighborhood.

According to excerpts from the article:

In a storefront in Lansing's Old Town, Darryl Brija waits patiently in a chair while Rochelle Harris checks his driver's license and measures out a quarter-ounce of marijuana.

Brija, 52, of Potterville, hands over $90 in cash. Harris hands him the plastic bag of marijuana, which Brija slips into his jacket pocket.

The transaction is business as usual at Lansing's first official medical marijuana dispensary, which might test the limits of the state's medicinal marijuana law.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Farmland Efficiency Study Ranks Food Above Fuel Production

Using farmland to produce food is more energy efficient than using the crops to produce fuel, according to a recent Michigan State University (MSU) study.

According to excerpts from the article:

"It's 36 percent more efficient to grow grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya Gelfand, an MSU postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study. "The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half."

Other studies have looked at energy efficiencies for crops over shorter time periods, but this MSU study is the first to consider energy balances of an entire cropping system over many years. The results are published in the April 19 online issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

"It comes down to what's the most efficient use of the land," said Phil Robertson, University Distinguished Professor of crop and soil sciences and one of the paper's authors. "Given finite land resources, will it be more efficient to use productive farmland for food or fuel? One compromise would be to use productive farmland for both—to use the grain for food and the other parts of the plant for fuel where possible. Another would be to reserve productive farmland for food and to grow biofuel grasses—cellulosic biomass—on less productive land."

Read the entire article here.

Historic Williamston Building Renovation Will Host Michigan Brewing Company

Bobby Mason, owner of the Michigan Brewing Company (MBC), is working with LaFollette Custom Homes to turn the historic 109-115 E. Grand River building in Williamston into a brewpub.

According to excerpts from the article:

Inside a building with dust of years past, and sunlight peeking through windows all around, Steve Eyke is tapping notes, measurements and observations into a laptop computer.

The construction notes and design plans will, over the next several months, be morphed into decorative columns, beams, woodwork and other design elements to create a historically accurate re-creation of a signature Williamston building of the 1880s.

Foundation crews from Leik Foundation were on hand April 5 to begin the initial work of shoring up the foundation of the 109-115 E. Grand River building in the city's downtown.

The first floor will be transformed into an MBC brewpub, with the possibility of several uses on the second and third floors including offices, low-income rental property or lofts.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Named Best Nuclear Physics Graduate Program, Beating Out MIT

Not only did Michigan State University (MSU) beat out MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the competition for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), it also surpassed the esteemed university on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best physics graduate programs in the nation.

According to excerpts from the article:

In the past, when rankings have come up, MSU's Vice President for University Relations Terry Denbow will often say something about how the league MSU finds itself in is more important than a small rise or fall.

To credit his consistency, he said the same this year. And then he added that, where people once might have thought of MSU being in MIT's league, "maybe now MIT is in our league."

"I'll be honest with you," Denbow said. "I plan to use, 'We are No. 1 in graduate nuclear physics' a lot.' "

Read the entire article here.

Kuntzsch Business Services Growing Strong With State's Green Economy

Rachel Kuntzsch, owner of Kuntzsch Business Services in Grand Ledge, is working with area non-profits to advance sustainability efforts in the Capital region and across the state.

According to excerpts from the article:

If Michigan ends up leading the nation in developing alternative energy systems and the use of renewable resources, Rachel Kuntzsch expects play a role in making that happen.

"Right now, it's easy being green," she said. "There is a lot of emphasis on sustainability and sustainable solutions."

Kuntzsch, a 35-year old Grand Ledge resident, founded Kuntzsch Business Services in 2004, and operated it out of her basement for several years until it outgrew the capacity of a home office, and in 2008 moved to the refurbished building at 300 N. Bridge St.

Kuntzsch hired the company's first full-time employee in 2007, and has added four more in the past 18 months.

Read the entire article here.

LCC's Innovative Tuition-Guarantee Offer Gets Covered In Time Magazine

Time magazine recently published a piece about Lansing Community College’s (LCC) promise to give tuition money back to students who cannot find a job within a year of taking a six-week class in certain subjects.

According to excerpts from the article:

Money-back guarantees hardly seem to go with higher education. And offering them to prospective applicants during a recession sounds downright insane. But that's the sweetheart deal a community college in Michigan has started dangling to try to increase its enrollment. Beginning in May, people who take six-week courses in certain subjects will be guaranteed a job within a year—or they'll be refunded their tuition money.

It's a radical idea, particularly for a school located in Lansing, Mich., where unemployment sits at 11.7%. Lansing Community College, the third largest community college in the state, has 30,000 students a year, but is looking for more. The new money-back guarantee will apply to the four most in-demand technical jobs in the area: call-center specialists, pharmacy technicians, quality inspectors and computer machinists. The average pay for these jobs in 2008 ranged from $12.10 an hour (call-center specialists) to $15.72 (computer machinists).

The cost for one of these six-week training courses—which don't come with a degree but rather a certificate granting qualification in a specific area—averages around $2,400.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Resident Seeks to Build An Urban Farm At Beaumont Development

East Lansing resident Greg Van Drie wants to start a for-profit urban farm at the new Beaumont development, a large apartment and condo complex that’s not yet complete.

According to excerpts from the article:

East Lansing city officials would have to sign off on the deal since the land currently is not zoned for agricultural uses.

"I think it's an amazing idea," said Darcy Schmitt, the city's planning and zoning administrator. "They would actually provide vegetables and fruits for local restaurants and residents, and it's just a really neat opportunity."

The Beaumont project is only about a quarter finished, said developer Pat Gillespie of East Lansing-based Gillespie Group.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Technologies and Business-CONNECT Celebrate Downtown E.L. Openings

The area surrounding East Lansing’s Technology Incubation Center (TIC) is starting to fill up, and two new tenants have been added to the mix: MSU Technologies and MSU Business-CONNECT.

According to excerpts from the article:

Both MSU Technologies, which promotes the transfer of MSU’s best research ideas into the marketplace, and Business-CONNECT, a new MSU office that helps businesses connect with MSU and its research enterprise in more efficient and productive ways, demonstrate MSU’s commitment to the economic future of Michigan.

“MSU Technologies brings our inventions to the marketplace, so it is only fitting to operate MSU Technologies in the marketplace,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said when the move was announced in 2009. “This move will improve service to faculty and allow us to interact with companies and investors in a cutting-edge business environment.”

Simon joined other representatives from MSU and the city of East Lansing to formally open the offices.

Read the entire article here.

$13 Million Stadium District Development in Downtown is Nearing Full Capacity

Pat Gillespie’s Stadium District mixed use property in Downtown Lansing, first opened in 2008, is nearly full.

According to excerpts from the article:

One commercial spot and three condominiums remain open in the nearly $13 million building that opened in May 2008 at the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and South Cedar Street.

The structure is considered a key downtown development project.

A restaurant and bar operator from the Chicago area has a letter of intent to lease the last 4,125 square feet of the 36,000-square-foot commercial space, said developer Pat Gillespie of East Lansing-based Gillespie Group.

Read the entire article here.

Haslett Businessman Builds the Country's First Million Dollar Training Program

Not only did On Target Living owner Chris Johnson create the country’s first million dollar training program, he’s also created the premier training facility for trainers in the Midwest.

According to excerpts from the article:

It seems too good to be true that one of the most sought after experts on fitness and nutrition lives right here in the Lansing area—and there is a studio staffed with personal trainers right around the corner.

After Chris Johnson, owner of On Target Living in Haslett, received his undergraduate business degree from Western Michigan University in 1980, and after a multi-year, multi-job stint in the working world, he came to Michigan State University and earned his master’s in exercise physiology.

Then, in December of 1990, a month before the Michigan Athletic Club opened, Johnson was hired as its fitness director. He built the program from the ground up, and says that what he learned along the way eventually helped the MAC have the first million dollar training program in the country (circa 1996).

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Business Owner Offers Web Advice in Entrepreneur Magazine Column

Nicholas Chilenko, president of East Lansing-based Nicholas Creative, offers small businesses advice concerning web design in his column in Entrepreneur magazine.

According to excerpts from the column:

The Internet offers a wealth of new opportunity for small businesses, but web surfers are a sensitive bunch. One wrong move and your new customers could be forever lost in the ether. Keep them happy by following these website usability guidelines.

Get organized. Most Internet users appreciate a familiar website layout and can become confused when presented with nontraditional formats. Give them what they want. Visitors typically start scanning a web page at the top left corner and move diagonally down to the bottom right, so it makes sense to place your logo and navigation at the top of the page. The main content and teasers to deeper information should be in the center of the page.

Easier = better. Visitors should be able to find any content on your site within a few clicks. Arrange your navigation in descending order of popularity with concise and obvious labels. Be wary of fancy drop-down or pop-out menus, as they can be cumbersome and annoying to use (but effective if executed properly).

Read the entire article here.

GiftZip.com Hits Entrepreneur Magazine’s List of Blackboard to Boardroom

GiftZip.com Founder Sam Hogg is one of several entrepreneurs recognized in Entrepreneur magazine for using class time as a planning period for his business idea.

According to excerpts from the article:

With their increasing focus on entrepreneurship and programs for developing solid, marketable business plans, business schools are becoming the 21st century version of the legendary Hewlett-Packard garage. The cocoon of the business school gives students the chance to develop their ideas under the mentorship of some of the sharpest minds in the business world. In many cases, it also gives them a chance to fail without destroying their reputations or bank accounts.

The result? You're as likely today to find an entrepreneur who developed a business concept in the classroom as you are to find one who bootstrapped a startup in Silicon Valley. We spoke with entrepreneurs whose ideas successfully made the leap from academia about how an entrepreneurial education can be the first step in creating a dream business.

Read the entire article here.

21-Year-Old Entrepreneur Finds Opportunity At Tech Innovation Center

The creative culture in the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center (TIC), persistence and access to professional expertise is elevating the status of Nicholas Creative, the web development company started by Nicholas Chilenko, 21.

According to excerpts from the article:

At 16, Chilenko was driving a BMW 330—a vehicle he bought himself—and working part time as a creative director for an Internet agency in Novi.

He worked with clients that included AAA, Ford Motor Co. and Comerica Inc.'s Comerica Bank.

Chilenko left the agency after a year and launched Nicholas Creative just before he graduated from high school in 2006.

He continued running his business in the dorms at MSU before finding his new home at the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center.

"I'm happy to be a part of the new entrepreneurial class, especially in the Lansing area because so many people are so involved with it," he said.

Read the entire article here.

Companies Making Dollars and Sense of Lansing’s Old School Buildings

The national magazine Next American City has taken notice of Lansing’s recent success in turning vacant neighborhood school buildings into spaces for high tech, medical and creative industries. The buildings are being scooped up by companies desiring large, relatively cheap start up space.

According to excerpts from the article:

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and health care companies are scooping up abandoned school buildings ranging from 20,000 square feet to more than 50,000 square feet in size. After purchasing them for $100,000 to $400,000 or less than $20 a square foot, these firms are rehabbing them and turning them into economic generators.

“Over the last 20 years, we have taken five buildings that had really begun to be eyesores on the community and converted them into offices and manufacturing space,” says James Herbert, founder and CEO of the Neogen Corporation.

Neogen is a publicly traded company that develops food and animal safety products. Each year Neogen manufactures more than $50 million worth of product at its Lansing headquarters, which is divided into two campuses, both of which are situated in old school buildings.

The Lansing School District has sold more than 20 school buildings in the last four decades to a small group of tech companies, including Neogen.

Read the entire article here.

Miller-Apple Will Spend $1.45 Million to Redevelop Southside Lansing Site

Both the state and the City of Lansing approved nearly $900,000 in brownfield cleanup incentives to clean and rehabilitate the site of the former Governor’s Inn at 1000 Ramada Dr. on Lansing Southside. The site will host a new Sonic Drive-In restaurant and other new development.

According to excerpts from the article:

Flint-based franchisee Miller-Apple LP plans to build the 1,900-square-foot burger joint at the site of the Governor's Inn, 1000 Ramada Drive. The hotel has been vacant for several months.

Miller-Apple bought the property for $800,000 in January and plans to spend $1.45 million to build the Sonic Corp. hamburger drive-in restaurant and prepare the rest of the nearly 4.2 acre site for new development.

The Lansing City Council approved a $797,873 brownfield plan, as well as $100,000 from the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority's revolving loan fund.

Read the entire article here.

MSU President Says $40 Million Museum Could Create Regional Art Corridor

Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou Anna Simon says the $40 to $45 million art museum now under construction on the corner of Grand River and Farm Lane will not only connect East Lansing and Lansing, but also jump start a regional art corridor.

According to excerpts from the article:

Over the next two years, an empty space at MSU will transform into what project organizers say will be a world-class art museum. It will draw new visitors to the Mid-Michigan area. Museum Donor Eli Broad says, "Art tourists travel a long ways and spend lots of money so they're going to keep MSU and the area green!"

The three-level 46,000-square-foot facility is strategically placed at the corner of Grand River Avenue and the Farm Lane campus entrance. MSU President Lou Anna Simon says, "Part of the reason that we put the art museum where it is is to connect to East Lansing and have it be an engine for economic development and change on the other side of the avenue."

Simon hopes that the project will spur development on parts of Grand River with new businesses and art galleries. Simon says, "If you can imagine the other side of Grand River developing an arts culture ... galleries that compliment those that are already in East Lansing ... more galleries, more art oriented activities, coffee shops, things that essentially help the economy to be vibrant year-round, not simply dependent on students."

Read the entire article here.

Entrepreneur Magazine Highlights Success of Innovative Local Shrimp Farmer

The March issue of Entrepreneur magazine hails the familiar face of the Capital region’s Russ Allen, who operates an internationally known shrimp farm.

According to excerpts from the article:

There are many startup sectors contending for the recognition of being the industry that leads the financially beleaguered state of Michigan out of its post-auto industry struggle. Shrimp farming isn't one of them.

That hasn't stopped Russ Allen, who earned his sea legs in the 1970s in Ecuador, where he helped establish the region's shrimp farming business. In his first year there, Allen helped export 100,000 pounds of shrimp. A decade later, Ecuador was exporting 210 million pounds a year.

He headed to Belize in 1981 and pioneered the process there, launching what ultimately became Belize's biggest industry. Then, after 30 years abroad, he went home to Michigan in 1992. At the time, a legal structure for aquaculture didn't exist in the state. In 1996, with the help of then-Gov. John Engler, Allen helped pushed through Michigan's first aquaculture development act.

Read the entire article here.

Speilberg's Dreamworks Studios Considers Leslie Depot Diner For New Film

Award-winning director Steven Spielberg and a crew of actors may be headed to the Leslie Depot Diner to shoot a portion of “Real Steel.”

According to excerpts from the article:

Depot owner Pam Wheeler said that Dreamworks Studios contacted her about six months ago and informed her that the film crew was considering the historical restaurant for a filming location.

Then last week, Wheeler said nine people from Dreamworks came to the Depot to see it for themselves.

“They came inside and looked around and took pictures, they did the same outside too,” she said.

Read the entire article here.

Picture Brightens as Local Auto Suppliers Anticipate Second Quarter Boost

Now that General Motors is kicking up its production, local auto suppliers are preparing for a boost in business.

According to excerpts from the article:
 
Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc.'s national employment outlook survey shows Lansing-area employers have more optimistic hiring expectations for April, May and June from the first three months of the year.

Manpower reported 61 percent of more than 100 Lansing-area employers surveyed plan to keep their current staffing levels for the second quarter, while 22 percent expect to hire workers and 14 percent anticipate cuts.

That's better than the first quarter, when 70 percent of roughly 150 local employers surveyed said they planned to maintain their existing workforce, 21 percent expected to cut jobs and 6 percent planned to add workers.

Read the entire article here.

Proposed Bike Share Program Wins Big at Ignite, Eve of Ignition Contests

Theresa Gasinski’s plan to put bicycle banks around the region as part of a bike sharing program won her first place at Eve of Ignition and a spot at Ignite Lansing, reinforcing community interest in her idea.

According to excerpts from the articles:

The event's 15 presenters were chosen by popular vote in an online poll prior to the event. Topics ranged from how to become an amateur astronomer to how to write a novel.

The Lansing Principal Shopping District hosted the event along with area sponsors.

The presenters at Ignite gave the sort of keynote speech you might hear at a conference, but in a condensed form. The event's slogan is "enlighten us, but make it quick." Each presenter had five minutes to make their point. The presenters' slides forwarded automatically every 15 seconds.

Read the entire article here.

IBM Will Double Its East Lansing Workforce With 60 New Tech Hires

IBM is increasing its local hiring as it looks to hire 60 employees at its East Lansing location on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus.

According to excerpts from the article:

The openings are for computer application specialists. IBM is seeking candidates with one to seven years of experience in application testing, Web development and other skills, said John Hill, director of MSU's Alumni Career Services.

Hill said he could not provide information about salary for the positions, and he is not sure exactly when the jobs would begin.

MSU and IBM will hold recruiting events 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 8, at the MSU Varsity "S" Club Room, Career Services Center in Spartan Stadium. The event is open to non-alumni.

Read the entire article here.

64,000 Sq Ft Downtown East Lansing Project May Include Restaurant Incubator

A restaurant incubator is a likely candidate for a 64,000 square foot build out in downtown East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

Developers David Krause and Douglas Cron are planning a 64,000-square-foot building for the northeast corner of Grove and Albert streets.

They're seeking site plan approval from the East Lansing Planning Commission on March 10.
"I think there's a need for more residents downtown, and the more variety you can provide the stronger the downtown is," Krause said.

Read the entire article here.

Charrette Institute Co-Founder Brings Planning Ideas to 28 Regional Leaders

Charrette anyone? More than 20 urban planners and developers met with the co-founder of the National Charrette Institute to discuss how collaboration could help with Capital region building and zoning improvements.

According to excerpts from the article:

“Charrette” has become the term of art for gatherings of developers, officials, citizens, and anybody else in town with an interest in a proposed redevelopment project or zoning overhaul.

Bill Lennertz, co-founder in 2001 of the Portland, Ore.-based National Charrette Institute, came to Lansing last week to tutor 28 urban planners, developers and students from all over Michigan in the delicate art of running a charrette.

Municipalities sometimes run charrettes, but usually they are run by a team of professional designers and planners who are certified by a trainer like Lennertz.

Read the entire article here.

New MSU Social Media Project Could Create 24 New Tech Jobs on Campus

A new MSU partnership will examine the power of social networking tools and strategies for a variety of projects, from improving the way people collaborate and to helping the state create plans for sustainable economic development.

According to excerpts from the article:

On Monday, university officials announced a new research and development partnership with INgage Networks, a Naples, Fla. company that's in the business of enterprise social media, essentially building the online portals and networks that enable businesses, governments and nonprofit organizations to bring together large numbers of people and make constructive use of what those people know.

INgage is in the process of setting up a project office in MSU's Communication Arts and Sciences building. Initial plans call for the creation of 24 new high-tech jobs.

Read the entire article here.

Developers Discussing Eight Story Mixed Use Project in East Lansing

Two developers are working out the details of a proposed eight story mixed use building on the corner of Grove Street and Albert Avenue in East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

David Krause, the developer of the proposed building that would be adjacent to the Grove Street Parking Garage, said the bottom floor of the building would be zoned for commercial use and could house the city’s proposed restaurant incubator. The upper seven floors would be primarily two-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot apartments with one and a half bathrooms and will be available on a rental basis.

“We’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time now,” said Krause, who—along with partner Douglas Cron—developed Albert Place Condominiums and Stonehouse Village in downtown East Lansing. “(East Lansing city officials) asked us to redevelop the corner, and we thought, ‘Well, we’ll get a plan going.’”

A submitted site plan will go before the East Lansing Planning Commission at its March 10 meeting.

Read the entire article here.

MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine Opens New Campus in Macomb County

Michigan State University’s (MSU) College of Osteopathic Medicine recently opened a new campus in Macomb County's Clinton Township.

According to excerpts from the article:

The new facility opened to about 50 students at the start of the spring semester, said Kari Hortos, associate dean at the site. Students were accepted into the school in June and attended classes at a temporary facility during the fall semester, she said.

The Macomb campus is part of expansion efforts by the MSU college. A new campus site at the Detroit Medical Center in downtown Detroit opened in June, Hortos said.

Hortos said about 50 students attend the Detroit school. About 200 students attend the College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing, she said.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Incubators Capitalizing on MSU Students' Entrepreneurial Talents

The many incubators popping up in East Lansing and Lansing are giving enterprising Michigan State University (MSU) students the support they need to launch their ideas.

According to excerpts from the article:

Eric Jorgenson has notebooks with several million dollars scribbled on the pages. The business and economics junior carries pen and pad wherever he goes, and whenever he thinks of the next best business venture he pulls out the notebook.

Jorgenson, who will co-direct The Hatch, an entrepreneurial incubator for students to be located at 325 E. Grand River Ave., is just one of many minds East Lansing and MSU are attempting to tap into as the city pushes entrepreneurship.

Read the entire article here.

Science Program Funds High School Students To Intern As MSU Researchers

This summer six-to-eight science minded high school juniors will receive $2,000 stipends to spend the summer working as Michigan State University (MSU) researchers.

According to excerpts from the article:

Sexton High School junior Jade Frazier said she has wanted to get into the medical field since she was about 5, when she had trouble breathing and was rushed to the hospital for asthma treatment.

The 16-year-old could come one step closer to reaching her goal of becoming a radiologist if she is selected to participate in the Future Scientist Program, a paid summer internship announced Thursday.

Six to eight Lansing high school juniors will be chosen for the pilot program, giving them the opportunity to work with Michigan State University researchers in campus laboratories.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing EDC Expands Loan Program to Include More High Tech Companies

The Lansing Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is broadening the geographic coverage of its business loan program services to include more high tech companies.

According to excerpts from the article:

Historically, the Business Finance Assistance Program targeted specific areas such as Old Town, Michigan Avenue and downtown. It provided loans to several bars and restaurants.

"We've got to think about how we're going to help small businesses—in particular, how to diversify them," said Bob Trezise, the LEDC's president and CEO.

"The downtown has taken off. Maybe the loan and other efforts did their jobs."

Read the entire article here.

Sales Jump 303% for GiftZip.com

Though overwhelming, the holiday season went well for GiftZip.com, an East Lansing-based gift card aggregation site that saw its sales increase 303 percent from November to December 2009.

According to excerpts from the article:

GiftZip.com, the East Lansing-based online eGift card kiosk developer, said Wednesday that its holiday season was marked by growing site traffic and sales. ??Overall, site traffic increased 25percent in December from the previous month and has increased sevenfold since June of 2009. The higher amounts of traffic resulted in unparalleled sales for business, as sales jumped 303 percent over the previous month.

In addition to a prosperous December, GiftZip.com rung in the New Year with continued recognition and support from the Michigan business community. GiftZip.com was awarded The Best First Year Business Website in Lansing in the 2009 Lansing Web Awards.

In an effort to support the Michigan economy and foster relationships with local businesses, GiftZip.com continues to use contractors from Michigan. GiftZip.com switched its site hosting to Lansing-based LiquidWeb and also enlisted the services of Nicholas Creative, a fellow East Lansing Technology Innovation Center business, to design GiftZip.com 3.0. The new site,which hopes to be launched within the next few months, will update the look and feel and offer enhanced search features to increase ease of use for consumers.

Read the entire article here.


Auto Suppliers Prepare for GM Employee Boost of Up to 1,000 Workers

Local auto suppliers are preparing for GM’s plan to hire up to 1,000 workers in April by strengthening their own workforces.

According to excerpts from the article:

The additional workers - 450 to 525 combined at Ryder Logistics, JCIM and Android Industries - are needed as GM prepares to add a third shift of 900 to 1,000 workers in April.

The shift is needed because production of the Chevrolet Traverse crossover - made in Spring Hill, Tenn., until November 2009 - is being brought to the Delta plant. Two sister crossovers - the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia - are already made there.

GM is filling spots at the assembly plant with transferred workers from Spring Hill and laid-off workers from the Lansing Grand River assembly plant and elsewhere. But suppliers are hiring new workers.They typically are paid from $12 an hour to $15 an hour, said Doug Stites, CEO of local work force development agency Capital Area Michigan Works.

Read the entire article here.


Vietnamese Refugee Serves Up Some of Asia’s Finest

Vietnamese refugee Mary Ann Le serves a trifecta of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine at her restaurant, Asia’s Finest.

According to excerpts from the article:

She opened it after moving to the United States in 1989after a brief stay in the Philippines as a Vietnamese refugee. She took classes at Lansing Community College to learn English, worked in a few local restaurants, then opened shop on the south side. She cooks, cleans and manages— the typical busy life of an independent restaurateur. After seven years in business, it’s safe to say her food has given her some success.

“We’re very famous for our Vietnamese and Thai food,” Le says. “Thai food, spicy food, is very popular in Michigan. Hot flavors in cold weather.”

The Chinese menu is popular and filled with the usual culinary suspects: lo mein, fried rice, General Tso’s chicken, etc. The Thai menu features spicier fare, and the pad thai — sautéed meat with stir-fried noodles,bean sprouts and green onions — is oft requested. But for a taste of authenticity, go for a Vietnamese soup.

Read the entire article here.


Potential For More Passenger Rail Service Sparks Development Dreams

The prospect of bringing more passenger rail service to the Capital region has residents and city officials discussing its implications in terms of public transit and economic revitalization.

According to excerpts from the article:

Every morning around 8:30, an Amtrak train on the Blue Water Line rolls into the East Lansing station on its way from Port Huron to Chicago. As the train continues west from the station, which is located near the intersection of Harrison and Trowbridge roads, it passes by a relic of passenger train travel, the Grand Trunk Western Rail Station in Lansing’s REO Town.

The architecturally and historically significant Grand Trunk depot is abandoned and deteriorating, its windows busted out, its parking lot empty and its roof crumbling. It was, most recently, a restaurant, but has been empty since the 1990s.

But, the case for train travel might also be economic stimulus. Proponents of rail travel — either high speed rail between states, or light rail trains in cities, or commuter rail lines connecting close cities — say that trains improve people’s quality of life; trains are good for the environment because they take cars off the road; and, building rail infrastructure can create new jobs.

And, locally, some would like to see the old Grand Trunk rail station in REO Town revived and made into a hub for travelers to and from Lansing — the station is centrally located and along existing bus lines (the East Lansing station is, too).

Read the entire article here.


Eaton County Looks To Add Film Locations to Attract More Productions

Eaton County is expanding its filming locations to continue attracting Hollywood studios and state-issued film tax incentives.

According to excerpts from the article:

When producers for the MGM film "Red Dawn" were looking for a location with cliffs and rock outcroppings, the Michigan Film office suggested they travel to the Upper Peninsula

Fortunately for Eaton County, someone on the production staff had a 1950's topographical map of Michigan and came to Grand Ledge's Fitzgerald Park before making the trip to youper land, since it resulted in some of the $50-million budget for the production being spent at Eaton County lumberyards, hotels and food vendors.

"It just fell into our lap," said Eaton County Parks Director Dan Patton.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Continues Work with Cellulosic Biofuels in Fight Against Greenhouse Gases

Michigan State University (MSU) researchers are attempting to improve cellulosic biofuel processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to excerpts from the article:

Cellulosic biofuels would be an alternative to biofuel made from the simple sugars and starches found in corn and other grains.

"Unlike simple sugars or even starches in the grains of plants, such as corn kernels, cellulose doesn't dissolve in water,"said Val Osowski of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

"This is good for keeping plants healthy, but it's a problem for making biofuels," Osowski wrote on the school's Web site. "Before the complex sugars in cellulose and hemicellulose (from woody plants) can be converted into ethanol or other biofuels, they have to be broken down into simple sugars.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Grad's Enliven Software Company Expanding Into International Markets

East Lansing-based Enliven Software recently moved into a larger space within the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center (TIC) and is now expanding into west African and Australian markets.

According to excerpts from the article:

A map would tell people Nigeria and East Lansing are worlds away. Bunmi Akinyemiju would tell people they share a border.

The international expansion wouldn’t be possible without MSU’s commitment to global initiatives and reputation as a worldly university, he said.

“MSU is one of the top global universities in the country,” said the MSU alumnus, who was born in Michigan when his parents came to MSU from Nigeria to earn their master’s and doctoral degrees. “I think that (MSU has) invested in really making sure the education that students get here is global.”

Read the entire article here.


Time for Chickens: New County Ordinance Opens Door to Poultry in the City

The City of Lansing is examining how a new Ingham County ordinance that allows for chicken raising in non-agricultural urban areas should be handled within city limits.

According to excerpts from the article:

Lansing resident Dale Huber had not announced his three new chicks to his neighbors yet when one did the job for him.

“When they are smaller, they’re not as smart as they are when they’re older. One of them actually got out and there was a knock at the door and here’s the neighbor holding a chicken and he goes, ‘I think this is yours, we see them in the backyard every once and a while,’” Huber said.

Huber, who grew up on a farm, purchased his three hens last March and began raising them in his backyard.

The Ingham County ordinance allows nonagricultural properties in urban areas to keep up to five hens, which cannot be slaughtered an the property.

Read the entire article here.


Former GM Employee Open Quinney’s Southern Soul Food on Lansing's South Side

After 24 years with General Motors, Vickie Quinney and her husband Mack have opened a southern style restaurant on Cedar Street.

According to excerpts from the articles:

Quinney’s Southern Soul Food found a home in an old strip mall on Cedar Street. just north of Holmes Road.

After 24 years of laboring at the now-shuttered Fisher Body plant, Vickie says long days with her husband (the pair have no other employees) are a breeze.

Vickie’s parents are natives of Alabama, products of the Deep South who migrated north yet kept their cooking heritage intact. The family spent time cooking together, and Vickie decided to continue the legacy through her new restaurant.

Read the entire article here.


City of Lansing Receives $17.4 Million to Help Improve Target Neighborhoods

The City of Lansing has received $17.4 million to improve area neighborhoods overburdened with foreclosures as part of $223 million in federal funds awarded to Michigan cities.

According to excerpts from the article:

"It's a great opportunity for Lansing and will be a great benefit to our neighborhoods in fighting the negative impacts of foreclosure," said Randy Hannan, Mayor Virg Bernero's deputy chief of staff.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the money as part of $2 billion in Recovery Act funding to states, local governments and nonprofit housing developers. The money is distributed through HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

In Lansing, city officials and the Ingham County Land Bank Fast Track Authority plan to demolish 258 housing units, rehabilitate 98 and construct four new ones, said Bob Johnson, Lansing's director of planning and development.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Federal Credit Union Headquarters Receives LEED Gold Certification

The new East Lansing-based MSU Federal Credit Union headquarters has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

According to excerpts from the article:

LEED recognizes construction that embodies sustainable environmental design. Evaluation includes site development, water conservation, efficiency in heating and cooling, low VOC material selection, recycled and recyclable materials, healthy lifestyle and indoor air quality.
MSU Federal Credit Union is celebrating its achievement with a “So Green We’re Gold” campaign. Members can earn higher dividends with Gold certificates and benefit with a lower loan rate given to members selecting fuel-efficient vehicles.

According to MSU FCU President/CEO Pat McPharlin, the designation is an important milestone as it further reinforces the credit union’s eco-friendly policies and commitment to the communities it serves.

Read the entire article here.

State Housing Agency Rolling Out New "Pure Michigan Living" Campaign

Issue Media Group, the parent company of Capital Gains Media, is working with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to launch the “Pure Michigan Living” campaign, a site designed to draw positive attention to the state.

According to excerpts from the article:

“’Pure Michigan Living’ is dedicated to sharing the quality of life stories in Michigan communities, stories about individuals moving their families and businesses to Michigan,” said Joe Borgstrom, a Division Director with MSHDA. “It seeks to raise the visibility of new economy opportunities in Michigan, to highlight the people who are choosing Michigan as a place to live, shaping what is next for our state.”

To help draw attention to the site www.puremichiganliving.com, which is inspired by Travel Michigan’s national award-winning Pure Michigan campaign, MSHDA and MEDC officials are hosting a weeklong online rally that invites state residents to tell their “Why I Choose Michigan” stories. Entries will become eligible for three randomly selected weekend getaway packages at Michigan resorts and hotels. The packages are being donated by the resorts and hotels. The goal is to collect at least 1,000 entries during Jan. 26-Feb 1. Winners will be randomly selected and will be announced the first week in February.

Two randomly selected entrants will win either a “Two Night Mountain Getaway Package” donated by Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa of Thompsonville or a “Downtown Detroit Getaway” donated by the Westin Book Cadillac.

For more information, click here.


Lansing Receives Chunk of $223 Million Federal Neighborhood Housing Grant

Lansing is one of a dozen cities that will benefit from a $223 million federal grant designed to demolish blighted buildings and revitalize neighborhoods.

According to excerpts from the article:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday announced the money as part of $2 billion in Recovery Act funding to states, local governments and nonprofit housing developers under its Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority last year applied for $290 million in federal money under the program and proposed launching what's called the "New Michigan Urban Neighborhood" plan with the funds.

Read the entire article here.


Jackson National Growing, Currently Looking For 40 New Hires

Lansing-based Jackson National Life Insurance Company is looking to hire 40 employees. In 2009, the company hired more than 400 employees.

According to excerpts from the article:

Holly Ledesma was laid off in July 2009 after working for the same insurance company for 7 years. Ledesma says, "I was worried and I really wanted to look for something that would be a good fit and I was a little bit concerned. After you've been employed for about 7-8 years for one employer, you don't really anticipate being laid off. So, this was a little bit scary."

However, she found a new job in October 2009 at Jackson National Life Insurance Company in Lansing. Currently, they are looking for up to 40 people to hire. Ledesma says, "In Michigan's economy, this is a great opportunity for people to apply."

Annie Topie, Manager of Community Relations says, "Jackson is a successful, growing company and...there are consistent openings within the Lansing area."

The company is doing so well, they hired just shy of 400 people in one office building alone in 2009. Vice President of Corporate Communications Tim Padot says, "When we moved into this building, we had a little more than 900 employees and today we're approaching 1,700."

Read the entire article here.


Lansing Making Strides To Become a More Walkable and Attractive City

Lansing isn’t the most walkable community in the Capital region, at least not yet. Several organizations both private and public, are working to make the Capital Region much more pedestrian friendly.

According to excerpts from the article:

Only about one in every 40 residents walks to work, according to U.S. Census data. Compare that to about one in five in East Lansing.

But in the past several months, a movement to take the city in the opposite direction has gained traction.

Last year, the Lansing City Council passed what's called a complete streets ordinance, essentially pledging the city will make its transportation network more accommodating to pedestrians and bicyclists.

But what makes a city walkable is about more than sidewalks and trails. It's about the way a city is built, the look and feel of the streets, about what there is to walk to.

That means the Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force—a coalition of public officials, nonprofits and city residents that hopes to double the number of walking trips in the city in five years—has its work cut out.

Read the entire article here.


Dowding Machining Affiliate Scores $7 Million Incentive for Green Technology

Astraeus Wind Energy Inc., an affiliate of Eaton Rapids-based Dowding Machining, received $7 million in federal stimulus funding to build machines for wind turbine production.

According to excerpts from the article:

Astraeus Wind Energy Inc. won the largest grant among five Michigan companies that received a total of $15.5 million Wednesday.

The grants are expected to allow the five companies to retain or create 713 jobs over the next two years, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Companies with 500 or fewer full-time employees were eligible to apply for the grants to get into the business of manufacturing renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Nearly 80 companies requested almost $198 million.

Read the entire article here.


Innovations and New Developments Mark Bright East Lansing Economy in 2009

2009 was a good year for the Capital region, which welcomed several important economic investments including the $550 million FRIB facility, the Technology Information Center (TIC) and IBM’s move to East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

While Michigan felt the pain of the highest unemployment in the nation, the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler, a tanking housing market and a sharp slowdown in commercial sales, East Lansing could point to the following developments:

1.) FRIB, okay, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The $550 million Department of Energy-funded nuclear physics research facility will be a science facility dedicated answering complex questions about the structure of matter, about the stars, about basic elements on our plan, event how the planet came into existence.

Its practical benefits, as well: $1 billion economic impact over the first decade, 180 new jobs for scientists, 5,800 one-year construction jobs, 220 spin-off jobs.

Read the entire article here.


Vaccine Developed at MSU Lands on Discover Magazine's Best Stories List

Discover magazine placed Michigan State University (MSU) researcher A. Mahdi Saeed’s vaccine development for a strain of E. coli on its list of top stories in 2009.

According to excerpts from the article:

Saeed, professor of epidemiology and infectious disease in MSU's colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Human Medicine, has studied enterotoxigenic E. Coli — which is responsible for 60 percent to 70 percent of all E. coli diarrheal disease — for 25 years. The disease also causes health problems for U.S. troops serving overseas and is responsible for what is commonly called traveler's diarrhea.

"A working vaccine has the potential to save millions of lives," said Saeed, who hopes human clinical trials will begin in early 2010. "This strain of E. coli has a huge impact on humanity."

As part of its year-end issue on newsstands now, Discover magazine counted down 100 of the year's top stories; Saeed's work on the vaccine came in at No. 36. Other featured stories include one on tropical heat speeding up evolution and another on the Hubble Space Telescope's new abilities.

Read the entire article here.


Entrepreneur Uses E.L. Technology Center to Launch Social Media Business

Julielyn Gibbons, president of i3 Strategies, used the East Lansing Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) to launch a social media business that’s becoming a household name in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

In 2009, she decided to start her own business, because she realized that very few people could do what she could; and because instead of getting pigeonholed into being a politico, she wanted to make the biggest impact possible working with the biggest number of people possible.

Therefore, even though the economy seemed to be screaming “NO,” after she met “a great group of people in the area, that emboldened [her] to become entrepreneurial,”as well as Jeff Smith, who runs the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) in East Lansing.

Total capital required? “Less than $1,000,” she answers with a smile.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky because since I’ve started, all of my business has been word of mouth,” she says. Her most notable recent work has been for Capital Area Michigan Works! for whom she coordinates and presents monthly workshops for job seekers on how to use social media to find a new job. She said the work “hits home on a multitude of levels,” because at one time or another in the past two years, both of her parents and siblings have lost their jobs.

A good portion of her work is done in the form of workshops and presentations on social media. “I’ve gone all over the country: Boston, Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Detroit. It’s really something. ”

Read the entire article here.


Couple Buys Old Diner and Opens New Boondox Restaurant in Wacousta

Mary and Roger Hansen recently renovated an old diner in Wacousta, northwest of Lansing, transforming into an upscale restaurant.

According to excerpts from the article:

Owners Mary and Roger Hansen, who spent three months turning a pink-and-white diner into a sleek space with lots of warm oak paneling and homey touches, are hoping for a liquor license soon for serving drinks with meals. They say, though, that their place will stay family-friendly and never turn into a bar.

Boondox opened Dec. 11 and Roger says the staff served almost 100 dinners in four hours.

"All we heard was how they'd be back," he said.

Boondox is a true home-grown place whose owners hail from Pewamo-Westphalia (Mary) and St. Johns (Roger). At Wacousta and Herbison Roads, it's "right in the middle of everything," as Mary puts it.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Researchers Uncover Important Link to Causes of Diabetes Complications

Michigan State University (MSU) professors have discovered a link between diabetes and bone marrow nerve damage that may help treat one of the disease's most common and potentially blindness-causing complications.

According to excerpts from the article:

The key to better treating retinopathy — damage to blood vessels in the retina that affects up to 80 percent of diabetic patients — lies not in the retina but in damage to the nerves found in bone marrow that leads to the abnormal release of stem cells, said Julia Busik, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Physiology.

"With retinopathy, blood vessels grow abnormally in the retina, distort vision and eventually can cause blindness," said Busik, whose research appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. "There has been a lot of progress in treating the complication, but most treatments use a laser that is painful to the patient and destroys parts of the retina."

"This opens up new avenues to better treatments outside of the retina that focus on stem cells and the causes of the nerve damage in bone marrow," said Busik, whose collaborators included other researchers from MSU and the University of Florida. "We know what happens in the retina and have treatments that are very invasive; we now can look at a host of other options."

Read the entire article here.


Holt Goes Green in 2009, Marks Business Milestones

Holt ended 2009 as a greener, more economically viable Capital region community by focusing on sustainable practices and facilitating economic growth.

According to excerpts from the article.

When there were opportunities to make the area "greener," they were taken, including the opening of the new Sam Corey Senior Center.

It is the first building of its kind in the state to be certified as "environmentally friendly."

The building's geothermal heating and cooling system as well as its organic roof are just a part of its Green accents.

The rocks used to create its fireplace where brought in from another part of the state.

Read the entire article here.


CATA Using $1.7 Million to Assess Michigan/Grand Avenue Transit Options

The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is using $1.7 million in federal funds to determine how to improve public transportation through the region’s main business corridor.

According to excerpts from the article:

The money was made available to CATA in February, and the Michigan/Grand River Transportation Study Group was formed four months later. It's goal is to figure out what the business corridor could become.

"What we're looking for here: Is there a better way to handle transportation in the corridor, making it more attractive?" said Jon Coleman, executive director of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

About 1.5 million people use CATA public buses in the Michigan/Grand River corridor each year. That represents more than 13 percent of CATA's ridership in the area.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Scientists Using $1.7 Million Grant to Study Impacts of Cellulosic Biofuel

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) received a $1.7 million grant from the federal government to work with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center to study the environmental benefits and consequences of cellulosic biofuel crops.

According to excerpts from the article:

The Department of Energy awarded a total of $8.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to the center, which includes partners University of Wisconsin-Madison and MSU. About half of that money will be used to enhance and accelerate sustainability research, and the other half will research plant cell wall imaging technology.

The money allocated to biofuel sustainability research will be used to study carbon cycling, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuel cropping systems, as well as develop more complex modeling technology, said Phil Robertson, MSU professor of crop and soil sciences who leads GLBRC sustainability research.

“Quantitative models, together with the underlying field research, will allow us to design biofuel cropping systems that are both profitable and environmentally sustainable," he said. "We need to ensure the crops we’ll be using for cellulosic energy do in fact contribute to climate stabilization and cleaner air and water, as well as provide biodiversity benefits such as habitat for birds and beneficial insects.

Read the entire article here.


Discovery Channel Touts MSU Green Roofs and Greenhouse Gas Study

The Discovery Channel has taken note of a recent Michigan State University (MSU) study that shows green roofs will help absorb greenhouse gasses.

According to excerpts from the article:

While green roofs certainly won't solve the global warming problem, their ability to sop up greenhouse gases — even just a little bit — bolsters the case for planting them on city buildings, despite extra costs on the front end, said lead researcher Kristin Getter, of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

"The key to fighting global warming is capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in new reservoirs that weren't storing carbon before," Getter said. "In the whole scheme of things, green roofs are not the one answer to sequestering carbon, but they will certainly help."

Green roofs offer a long list of known benefits. They lower air-conditioning costs in the summer by absorbing and reflecting heat. They lower heating costs in the winter by adding extra insulation.

Read the entire article here.


MSU and Northern Technologies Get NSF Funding to Develop Bio-Based Packaging

Northern Technologies International Group is working with Michigan State University (MSU) to expand solutions for bioplastics packaging and technology.

According to excerpts from the article:

Northern Technologies International Corporation (Nasdaq:NTIC) announced that it has been awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) awards — one in June 2009 as a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $150,000 on Advanced PLA Materials for biobased and biodegradable products. The second last week as a Phase I SmallBusiness Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for an additional $150,000 on "Biobased coatings for corrosion protection."

These NSF grants will help NTIC develop biobased technologies for new innovative applications in the Zerust(R) and Natur-Tec(R) business areas. The research and technology development will be conducted in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), Lansing, MI. NTIC plans to use modified polylactic acid (PLA) chemistries and soybean oil based coatings formulations developed at MSU to expand its product portfolio with enhanced solutions for bioplastics packaging and corrosion management respectively. Phase II grants for further development and commercialization of these technologies would potentially bring in $1,000,000 in additional funding to NTIC.

Prof. Ramani Narayan, University Distinguished Professor at MSU and developer of PLA technology for Cargill Inc., will be collaborating with NTIC in this work. Prof. Narayan stated, "MSU and NTIC have worked together in the past to successfully commercialize biodegradable and biobased products. The NSF projects will reinforce stronger ties among the two organizations and serve as a classic example of university-industry symbiosis." NTIC, in particular, will benefit from the specific expertise that Prof. Narayan brings to the table in the area of bioplastics.

Read the entire article here.


New MSU Study Says Green Roofs Could Help Fight Global Warming

A Michigan State University (MSU) study conducted by horticulturist Kristin Getter and Professor Brad Rowe finds that green roofs could help fight global warming.

According to excerpts from the article:

Kristin Getter and Professor Brad Rowe found replacing traditional roofing materials with green plants in an urban area with a population of about 1 million, would be equivalent to eliminating a year's worth of carbon dioxide emitted by 10,000 mid-sized sport utility vehicles and trucks.

The researchers said their study is the first of its kind to examine the ability of green roofs to sequester carbon, which may impact climate change.

Getter and colleagues say scientists have known green roofs also absorb carbon dioxide, a major green house gas that contributes to global warming, but nobody had measured the impact until now.

Read the entire article here.


Grand Ledge Man a Finalist for $100,000 National Alternative Energy Prize

Grand Ledge resident Alan Fox is one of five finalists for the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, a competition designed to foster citizen-driven alternative energy options.

According to excerpts from the article:

More than 150 proposals were submitted for the contest, which seeks new ideas to develop alternative energy, improve energy efficiency or combat climate change.

Fox will present his concept — using pressurized hydraulic fluid to improve wind turbine power output — to judges in Houston on Monday. He won $25,000 as a finalist and will compete for the $100,000 first-place prize. The first runner-up receives $50,000 and the second runner-up wins $25,000.

Fox, 51, owns a custom glass company that specializes in glass etching for commercial and residential use.

"A couple years ago I was thinking about the problems with wind energy, the cost of the turbines and the fact that the energy is created inconsistently," he said.

Read the entire article here.


Ingham Township Family Use Straw to Protect Against Michigan Winters

Ingham Township resident Coni Barlow and her family have stuffed their walls with straw bales, an environmentally sensitive way to insulate their home during the harsh winters.

According to excerpts from the article:

"We think we're going to be paying a lot less for heat than other people," Don Barlow said. "But everyone laughs when they hear about it and mentions the Three Little Pigs."

But it's going to take a lot more than a huff and a puff to blow down this 2,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

The use of straw in construction dates back centuries, and the use of straw bales as a modular construction material has a hundred-year history. But because the method is relatively uncommon in Michigan, there are many misconceptions, Barlow said.

Read the entire article here.


Entrepreneur Magazine Sings Praises of Innovative East Lansing/MSU Partnerships

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the many innovative partnerships between local businesses, the City of East Lansing and Michigan State University are jumpstarting business and creating a bright spot in a tough economic climate.

According to excerpts from the article:

In economically hard-hit Michigan, there’s at least one thing going right: Michigan State University is pulling no punches in an effort to create and incubate new local business ventures.

The MSU Product Center for Agricultural and Natural Resources is commercializing new food manufacturers. The Lansing Area Economic Partnership is working with MSU-bred startups to find resources to keep them in the community. The Prima Civitas Foundation, partly funded by MSU, is working to bring biotech and alternative energy projects to central Michigan. MSU Technologies is a tech transfer office on steroids and — along with MSU Business Connect, which links businesses with local resources— is the anchor tenant in East Lansing’s new Technology Innovation Center.

“The synergy between these initiatives is helping to improve the culture of innovation in the community,” says Tim Dempsey, director of planning and community development for East Lansing.

This is a community doing everything possible to jumpstart a new entrepreneurial vision for itself, and the university is its key power source.

Read the entire article here.


$6 Million Cooley Expansion Adds 25,400 Linear Feet of Library Stack Space

Thomas M. Cooley Law School is adding 25,400 linear feet of stack space to its existing library.

According to excerpts from the article

By early next year, it will be an annex to Thomas M. Cooley Law School's library. The two-story structure — once part of Knapp's department store — is in the midst of a $6 million renovation, which will add an all-night study lounge, additional classrooms and 25,400 linear feet of stack space.

The renovated facility, called the Center for Research and Study, will open in piecemeal fashion, a first-floor study area and student lounge first, space for books as it's needed, further study spaces and classrooms on the second floor sometime in the next year or two.

When it's complete, Cooley will have nearly 139,000 square feet of library space in Lansing.

Read the entire article here.


East Lansing Amtrak Station Possibly Part of $3.6 Million High Speed Rail Upgrade

The East Lansing Amtrak station could benefit from a $3.6 million improvement slated for the Battle Creek Amtrak station as part of a proposed high-speed rail connecting Detroit to Chicago.

According to excerpts from the article:

An environmental assessment released earlier this month of a proposed high-speed rail connecting Detroit and Chicago details major renovations planned for the Battle Creek station, which links East Lansing to the rail.

East Lansing’s Amtrack station would connect to the high-speed rail at the Battle Creek station, said Lori Mullins, East Lansing’s community and economic development administrator.

The assessment includes information about $3,620,552 that would be used for interior and exterior renovations for the Battle Creek station, which has not had major renovations for about 20 years. Renovations would create a more modern and user-friendly facility.

Read the entire article here


IBM Celebrates As New Delivery Center in East Lansing Opens Doors

IBM recently celebrated the grand opening of its delivery center in East Lansing on Michigan State University’s (MSU) campus.

According to excerpts from the article:

The center, originally announced in January 2009, is the first of its kind in the United States for IBM. The opening ceremony included both Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and MSU President Lou Anna Simon, as well as representatives and customers from IBM and university students, faculty, and staff.

The intent of the center, which is a place of business for the vendor, is to develop best practices in providing application development and support services to modernize older and less efficient IT systems for state and local government agencies and universities, as well as customers in telecommunications, healthcare, and other industries. In addition, the center houses an IBM legal center of competence, which analyzes customer contracts in support of complex service engagements.

MSU and IBM will collaborate across several of academic programs, including business, engineering, natural science, and social science. Also, students will be candidates for employment by programs in the center.

Read the entire article here.


Lansing/East Lansing Area Rated Among Top Five Most Affordable Family Places

MSN has rated the Lansing/East Lansing area number two on its Top Five list of the most affordable places in the country to live for median income families.

According to excerpts from the article:

Lansing, located on the banks of the Grand River, is the state capital. A two-hour drive from Detroit, it is next to East Lansing, home of Michigan State University's 5,200-acre campus. Like much of the Midwest, prices in the Lansing area never skyrocketed during the housing boom and remain affordable for most people with a median income.

Homes affordable to median-income families: 96.2%

Affordable homes Q2 2004: 90.6%

Median home price: $88,000

Median family income: $67,000

Unemployment rate: 12.7%

Read the entire article here.


Downtown Lansing MBC Location Draws Clientele with 17 Draft Beers

The Webberville-based Michigan Brewing Company (MBC) opened a new location in Downtown Lansing, drawing beer lovers from around the area.

According to excerpts from the article:

“The concept was to create a place that was going to be a fun place to gather and talk,”said service manager Melinda Carpenter. “Good food, great beer and smooth music playing in the background. No televisions, no smoking; there is definitely no place else like this.”

Well, not outside the family, at least. The pub’s mothership is the original Michigan Brewing Co., headquartered in Webberville. That 76,000-square-foot location serves many functions: brewery, distillery, winery (Michigan Brewing also has its own signature gin, vodka and wine), and home to “Things Beer,” a novelty store, selling T-shirts, beer steins and home brewing supplies.

Owner Bobby Mason had been eying a new Lansing location on Washington Square near Kalamazoo Street since February 2008, but the sluggish economy and recent snafus with liquor license transfers kept the project from hopping along.

The new establishment, simply called MBC, is a bit more focused on the pub side of the business, and with that focus comes a spotlight on food and service. Carpenter formerly managed a fine dining seafood restaurant in Grand Rapids, and she said she’s happy to now call Lansing home. Kitchen manager Stephen Joseph honed his culinary skills at the Lansing area Scalawags restaurants, where he got to know his way around seafood.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Student Businessman Featured on Touring Entrepreneurialism Panel

Michigan State University (MSU) student Brett Kopf gave a glimpse of what it’s like to start two companies while in college during a panel discussion hosted by the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.

According to excerpts from the article:

The event, part of a nationwide tour by an online group, featured a business idea workshop, speeches from young entrepreneurs and a chance to network.

Michigan State University senior Brett Kopf was among the panelists. The 22-year-old is starting two companies while he works on his degree in food industry management.

One company offers social media strategies. The other will provide text message and e-mail alerts to remind students when class assignments are due.

"There's no better time than now," he said of starting his own company. "When the whole world is retrenching and stepping back in their little hole, there needs to be people to step up and take the reins."

Read the entire article here.


$3.5 Million Project Replaces Vacant Gas Stations with Walgreens and Pet Store

Developers are replacing abandoned gas stations on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road with a new Walgreens and pet store.

According to excerpts from the article:

"Reinvestment in that particular corner is a very positive thing for the commercial corridor," said Jerry Richards, Meridian Township manager. "With vacant property, that's not the best of appearances and has a negative impact I think for the other businesses in the area."

The pet store will span 10,000 square feet where the former Sunoco gas station stood at the northwest corner of the intersection. The new building will be connected to the strip mall along Okemos Road that includes Breadsmith, International Tours and Fitness Together.

The project will cost $3.5 million, and the store is expected to open by late winter or early spring, said Gabriel Schuchman, real estate agent at Southfield-based LaKritz-Weber & Co.

Read the entire article here.


Capital Area IT Council Will Use $200,000 Grant to Support LINUX Training

Capital Area Michigan Works! is retraining workers in information technology fields with a $200,000 grant issued by Michigan State University (MSU).

According to excerpts from the article:

There has been a recent surge in demand for candidates with LINUX skills, according to Chris Knapp, executive director of the Capital Area IT Council, a private-sector led group of IT businesses in greater Lansing.

Capital Area Michigan Works will use the $200,000 in funds to immediately enroll candidates into fast-track training in LINUX fundamentals. LINUX skills are critical to landing certain entry-level positions in IT.

“Companies such as Liquid Web, ACD.net and Great Lakes Comnet need candidates with demonstrated skills and aptitude for LINUX,” Knapp said. “Even some of the data centers at the region’s major insurance companies seek the skills.”

Read the entire article here.


New Urgent Care Facility Opens to Serve Lansing's Southside Neighborhoods

An urgent care facility for the uninsured and under-insured recently opened on Lansing’s Southside at 2025 W. Holmes Rd.

According to excerpts from the article:

Dr. Eleanore Kue hopes to treat 10,000 patients annually at His Healing Hands Health Center and eventually expand into other offices on the opposite side of the building.

"This is a very underserved community," Kue said on Monday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The 2025 W. Holmes Road walk-in facility will treat patients in three exam rooms from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Four days of operation will happen in early January, Kue said.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Researchers Will Process Data From New CERN Particle Accelerator

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) will soon start processing data from the powerful particle accelerator that came back online in Switzerland last week.

According to excerpts from the article:

MSU researchers will have a front-row seat as particles of cosmic makeup smash together in . . . the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva, Switzerland.

More than a year after a malfunction between two gigantic magnets crippled the LHC, located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, the accelerator roared back to life a week ago.

MSU’s main role at CERN concerns ATLAS, a 7,700-ton detector, which will collect a large amount of data to be sorted through and transmitted to various universities and institutions across the globe.

MSU physics professor Bernard Pope said although it will be about a year before the LHC produces noteworthy results, the current, small steps are setting the collider up for new discoveries.

Read the entire article here.


Grand Ledge's Popular Fitzgerald Park Gets a Role in Red Dawn Remake

Hollywood producers are using Grand Ledge’s Fitzgerald Park to film the remake of the 1980s cult film classic Red Dawn.

According to excerpts from the article:

"It's beautiful," says Tripp Vinson, a producer on the remake of the 1980's classic Red Dawn. "It's really worked out for us."

Vinson says Grand Ledge beat out a handful of other cities in the U.S. and Canada for the movie shoot — and for the benefits that come along with the 200-person-plus crew.

"They're staying at local hotels, they're eating at local restaurants and bars," Vinson says.

Read the entire article here.


City of Lansing Invests In New Cell Phone-Based Text Alert System

The City of Lansing is investing in a program that will allow Lansing residents to receive tornado warnings and other alerts on their cell phones.

According to excerpts from the article:

The city is launching a community information text-messaging service designed to deliver timely information about emergencies and other events.

With the launch, Lansing will join a growing list of public entities utilizing services that allow residents to receive emergency information via text messages, e-mails and online, said Trent Atkins, Lansing's emergency management chief.

The text-messaging service, projected to go live Dec. 14, will be provided free to the city through Nixle LLC, a privately funded startup that offers secure texting services to public entities and other organizations nationwide. Individuals who sign up for the alerts will receive texts as part of their individual text-messaging plan.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Graduates Are Among Preferred Talent Pool in Growing Tech Industries

Despite the state and national economic climate, Michigan State University (MSU) graduates are among the preferred talent pool for new and growing Michigan tech industries.

According to excerpts from the article: 

“The recent graduate is the more malleable one that can adjust themselves to whatever the opportunity is,” said Kelley Bishop, executive director of MSU Career Services & Placement.

Bishop said industries such as information technology and green careers are growing in Michigan.

“There are companies that are on the up in this state,” Bishop said. “In fact, we have a number of them that are right here in the Greater Lansing area. There are signs of growth in certain areas. It tends to be in places students have never looked before.”

To locate growing industries, students need to be entrepreneurial and willing to help small companies grow, Bishop said.

Bernie Porn, president of Lansing-based political research firm EPIC-MRA polling, said these new companies will be key in Michigan’s economic growth. Michigan has relied too heavily on one industry for too long, he said.

Read the entire article here.


Restaurant Brings New Orleans Flavor to Lansing's Southside Neighborhood

After spending a significant amount of time in the south, Wally Elchaer moved to Lansing and opened the Orleans Fresh Fish and Bar-B-Que restaurant on the Southside.

According to excerpts from the article:

Elchaer credits his success in Lansing and previous restaurant ventures to homemade food. “Nothing comes out of cans ready to be served,” he said. “Everything is homemade — everything. It’s my recipe."

Elchaer said he makes all of the bread, pizza crust, fish and chicken breading, desserts, slaws, sauces — everything — in his prep kitchen.

The menu covers a lot of culinary bases: chicken, fish and seafood, pizza, grinders, barbeque, salads, sandwiches, calzones and pasta. In previous stops around the country, Elchaer has owned individual restaurants that focused on one or two of the foods he offers at Orleans.

Starting in Nashville, Tenn., then spreading to a few other cities in the South, Elchaer created a chain of pizza shops that now boasts more than 10 locations. He also has owned a couple of Subway franchises, a barbeque restaurant named the Pig Pit and a seafood market that, like Orleans, offers to fry what you buy.

Read the entire article here.


Central Solutions Increases Technology Solutions for New Mason Developments

Growing tech company Central Solutions is setting up servers, personal computer and security systems in the new Mason city hall/police station.

According to excerpts from the article:

Brian Tort, president of Central Solutions, said the company started as a consultant to plan for the future of technology in general for Mason. And there's little doubt that information technology is growing.

"My whole philosophy is we want to be the general contractor for IT," Tort said.

City Administrator Marty Colburn acknowledged that Central is "very involved" with the new city hall/police station. It's necessary, he said, that "as technology continues to be developed that we develop along with it."

Read the entire article here.


MSU Adds Film Studies Major to Prep Students for Growing Film Industry

In an effort to prepare students for careers in the growing Michigan-based film industry, Michigan State University (MSU) is offering a film studies major through the College of Arts and Letters.

According to excerpts from the article:

Programs that offer film students a blend of theory and production technique, such as Michigan State University’s new film studies major, could help budding filmmakers take advantage of Michigan’s burgeoning film industry, says Emmy Award-winning documentarian Ken Burns.

This fall, MSU’s College of Arts and Letters introduced the major — available through the Department of English — in addition to a film studies minor that replaces the former film studies specialization. Currently, 43 students are enrolled in the film studies program.

Burns’ latest film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” debuted in September on Public Broadcasting Service. He will kick off the college’s Signature Lecture Series on Dec. 2 with a public lecture at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. While on campus, Burns will meet with students at the MSU Union to discuss documentary filmmaking.

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