Development News

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$12 million advanced tech education center opens in Warren

Wayne State University has built the Advanced Technology Training Center across from Macomb County Community College's Warren campus on 12 Mile Road.

The $12-million center, which replaces a former Farmer Jack grocery store, opens Oct. 2 at 14601 E. 12 Mile Rd. and is designed to be a pipeline connecting students and potential employees with Macomb County employers in fast-growing industries such as manufacturing, transportation and defense.

The location across from MCC, which has recently added a pedestrian walkway to connect the campuses, makes it easy for students at both schools to transfer or move between campuses as they work toward degrees.

The new 40,000-square-foot training center has classroom and teaching space for 900 students.

Source: Carol Baldwin, spokesperson, Wayne State University
Writer: Kim North Shine

Met 13 - Royal Oak apartments rehabbed into "upscale urban flats"

A 1950's-era apartment building near Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has been rehabbed into what the developer describes as "upscale urban flats."

Metropolitan 13, or Met13, is located at 4000 W. 13 Mile Road. The 40-unit project offers completely renovated two-bedroom units and services and amenities meant for urban professionals who don't spend much time at home but want a living space that feels fashionable and comfortable and is close to the places they work and play.

Met13 offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor living room and round-the-clock services. For developer Jeffrey Kaftan, president of Kaftan Communities, the renovation represents a lifestyle- and design-focused way to see the leasing market.

"We really see the Metropolitan brand as a confluence of design and living," he says. "You can find a number of examples in the marketplace where design has been brought to products like cars and watches, but there are not many examples of that in rental housing. We’re trying to bring that to the forefront in the urban flat rental market in the metro Detroit area. Young professionals are asking for a living environment that gives them the opportunity to express their individual sense of style and the Metropolitan brand’s urban flats do that beautifully."

Kaftan is nephew to Sheldon Kaftan, who in 1960 moved into an apartment at what is now Met13. Kaftan Communities invests in and rehabs residential and commercial properties throughout metro Detroit.

Source: Sue Voyles, Logos Communication
Writer: Kim North Shine

Novi hotel caters to daytime guests with Workspace on Demand

The Baronette Renaissance Hotel in Novi has turned part of its lobby, a conference room and another common area in the hotel into free and rentable workspaces.

Marriott, owner of the hotel, has partnered with LiquidSpace, an organizer and booker of workspaces in all sorts of places in several cities. Together the hotel chain and LiquidSpace launched Workplace on Demand after some minor renovations. LiquidSpace guarantees the space, and Baronette provides and services it.

"We have great spaces in our hotel that are sometimes not being used during the day. These include both our public spaces as well as meeting rooms. It’s a great opportunity for us to welcome in people who may not be staying at our hotel to see how great the experience is," says Sora Chan, director of sales for the Baronette Renaissance.

The 155-room Baronette Renaissance property, at Twelve Oaks Mall, is one of a handful of metro Detroit hotels offering the service, which is commonplace in some cities. In the six months since Workspace on Demand began, bookings have stacked up, says Chan.
"Our public space has been regularly booked on a weekly basis and it has been very popular with our guests," she says.
"This is very common in bigger cities like in NY and LA. We see a lot of sales people and consultants who are in need of a place to 'touch down' in between client meetings. Often they find coffee shops to be too crowded and unreliable, so they like the assurance of knowing they have a reserved space."

At the Baronette, the "Corner Seating" workspace is a comfy corner couch, chairs and a table for free. The "Library" is also in the hotel lobby and is free. It offers intimate seating for eight. The "Maple Boardroom" is a private meeting space for eight and is wired for presentations at a cost of $400 a day, $300 for a half-day.

All spaces include WiFi, internet service, printing, scanning and copying, TVs, coffee and tea service.

Source: Dave Jones, account executive, Shazaaam Public Relations and Sora Chan, director of sales, Baronette Renaissance Hotel
Writer: Kim North Shine

Scott Shuptrine Interiors adds Grosse Pointe store

Grosse Pointe's most noticeably empty storefront, the former Borders bookstore in the Village shopping district, is coming back as a Scott Shuptrine Interiors and St. John Health System medical center.

The St. John Medical Center Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Campus opened this week, and Royal Oak-based Scott Shuptrine will open in March inside the nearly 20,000-square-foot property, 7,600 of it for Shuptrine's store and design center. 

Grosse Pointe is the birthplace of Scott Shuptrine, and the new Grosse Pointe store will emphasize community education in art and design. It will be the company's only freestanding location. Other Scott Shuptrines are adjacent to Art Van Furniture stores. Scott Shuptrine is in the midst of an expansion that will add a Novi store, which will pilot a design lab, and the first out-of-state location with a 10,000-square-foot store in Downers Grove, IL.

St. John Health System spearheaded the $5-million renovation of the building at 17141 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe, and it found the major retail tenant to occupy the front side of the building along Kercheval. That portion of the building goes to Scott Shuptrine. The back portion, with an alley entrance and new parking lot, is for St. John's.

Until this week, St. John had not released information on the retailer that would occupy the property, which city officials required be mixed use rather than completely medical.

Both tenants of the building have deep Grosse Pointe connections. Wilson, the medical center's namesake, was a longtime Grosse Pointer and former owner of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise. He died in March, and the foundation named after him donated $1 million to St. John to build a medical center that combines doctors' offices and other medical services in one spot in the center of the community.

Besides opening its first store in Grosse Pointe, Scott Shuptrine, which was acquired by Art Van Furniture in 1987, is owned by Art Van Elslander. He raised his family locally and built one of the largest homes in the Pointes.

The rebirth of the former Borders is the largest piece in an overall revitalization of the Village, a three-block-long area where at least seven new businesses have opened in the last year and at least three more are soon to open.

Source: St. John Health System & Scott Shuptrine Interiors
Writer: Kim North Shine

West Elm opens first Michigan store in downtown Birmingham

Michigan's first West Elm home and furniture store will open in downtown Birmingham Oct. 2.

The 15,000-square-foot store at 215 W. Maple will sell Michigan-made products in support of the Brooklyn, New York-based retailer's LOCAL initiative to support entrepreneurs working in or near the cities where West Elm has stores.

Among the 10 entrepreneurs whose goods will be sold are Marcy Davy's handmade prints from Ypsilanti, soaps and balms from Ferndale-based Babylon Soap Company and Cellar Door Soap from Plymouth, Warpaint Studio's prints and posters, also from Ypsilanti, Detroit-based Jody Lynn Burton's whimsical doodle art, and more.

The renovated store is designed to reflect the environment, culture and heritage of Oakland County, Detroit, and Michigan. A mosaic made of industrial molds in different shapes and colors and previously used in metal fabrications hangs on a feature wall that is an homage to Michigan's manufacturing heritage.

The store will have a design center, where home stylists guide customers through room designs at no charge. The opening builds on a series of national retailers to open locations in Birmingham in the last two years.

Source: Sophie Zunz, partner at The Moxie Agency, and spokesperson, West Elm
Writer: Kim North Shine

New $3 million Chaldean community center set for Sterling Heights

Ground will be broken this week on a $3 million Chaldean community center in Sterling Heights.

The 11,500-square-foot project of the Chaldean Community Foundation will replace a 2,400-square-foot building nearby and offer social services to Chaldean refugees, most of them relocating from Iraq. The new building will be located at 15 Mile and Ryan roads.

The goal, says Martin Manna, foundation president, is to provide "a vital, expanded resource for the community, primarily Chaldean refugees seeking sanctuary from persecution and new lives in Michigan."

Since 2011, the foundation has served more than 14,000 refugees annually from its existing 2,400 square-foot Sterling Heights location and the need for CCF’s services is growing as an estimate of 300 Chaldeans arrive in the region each month.

“With the ongoing tragic genocide and unrest in Iraq, we are continuing to see an ever-increasing influx of individuals seeking to regain their lives,” says Manna. “We continue to welcome them with open arms; providing the resources to help them acculturate, gain independence and succeed.”

The center is expected to open mid to late 2015.

Source: Martin Manna, Chaldean Community Foundation
Writer: Kim North Shine

High fashion Birmingham boutique opens second studio in Grosse Pointe

A former stockbroker who swapped a career in finance for one in fashion is expanding from one store and studio in Birmingham to a second in Grosse Pointe.

Bonnie Foley will bring her Christane Larue boutique with designer clothing, including resort wear, casual day wear and formal evening wear, to a spot being renovated at 17114  Kercheval Avenue. The store is scheduled to open in October.

It will be the latest business arrival for The Village in Grosse Pointe, where the main street, Kercheval Avenue, was spotted with several vacant storefronts until of late, when a series of restaurants, a dance studio, a hair salon, a fabric store and other businesses moved in.

The Birmingham studio is located at 2243 Cole St. It opened in 2008.

Source: Christiane Larue
Writer: Kim North Shine

Hampton Inn hotel & retail planned for Michigan Ave in Dearborn

A vacant fitness center on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn will be demolished and replaced by a hotel and retail spaces.

The project of Hallmark Ventures LLC will include a 5-story, 96-room Hampton Inn and four retail spaces totaling 1,500 square feet at 22324 Michigan Avenue.

The state has approved a $1 million, performance-based grant for the project, and the city of Dearborn's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is capturing $943,700 in local and school taxes for demolition and asbestos abatement.

The development will create 52 full-time jobs and cost about $8.6 million to complete, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Source: Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Writer: Kim North Shine

Up North-based custom bed designers expand to downtown Rochester

A mattress designer who makes beds in any size, shape or form by hand, from scratch has opened a store in downtown Rochester.

Beds by Design, which started in Harbor Springs, Mich. in 2005, has built a mattress manufacturing business on a customer base that wants mattresses made exactly as they ask, whether it's for comfort or for special spaces, say tight cottages, RVs, yachts, you name it.

Downstate interest in the Up North-based Beds by Design prompted owner Rory Karpathian to open a Rochester showroom last month at 111 W. Third St.

Karpathian, a former high-ranking mattress company executive who tired of industry changes focused on making more money by manufacturing shorter-lived products, says mainstream manufacturers can't come close to the careful, detailed and time-consuming process he and his employees use to make mattresses.

"I make hand-crafted, natural, heirloom quality mattresses. My mattresses are made to last a lifetime and are the finest you will find in North America," he says.

Source: Rory Karpathian, owner, Beds by Design
Writer: Kim North Shine

Walsh College breaks ground on expansion of Troy campus

Walsh College's Troy campus is getting a $15 million addition and renovations that will support a more contemporary learning and teaching environment.

The groundbreaking last week at 3838 Livernois Rd. marked the start of construction of a two-story, 27,000-square-foot renovation and addition to the original campus building built in the 1970s. Another 27,000 square feet of interior space will be renovated during the 18-month-long project.

When complete, the campus will offer distinct pavilions for a business-communication focused student success center, a student lounge and a one-stop student services center.

Technological upgrades are part of the renovations, and will fold into programs that focus on the development of business communication skills that are critical to leadership roles in business, says Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO of Walsh College.

The project is the fifth improvement to the 4,000-student campus since 2007, including the Blackstone Launchpad for Entrepreneurs in 2010, a Barnes & Noble bookstore in 2012, and a Finance Lab in 2013.

Source: Erica Hobbs, Airfoil Group
Writer: Kim North Shine

Twisted Tavern puts twist in Ferndale's nightclub/restaurant scene

After a successful run as a go-to fun spot, Boogie Fever in Ferndale has been reinvented into a nightclub and restaurant that leaves behind a casual, disco feel and takes on a chic, upscale attitude.

Twist Night Club opened several weeks ago in the back of the space on Woodward Avenue, and earlier this month the food side of the business, the Twisted Tavern, opened in the front part of the building at 22901 Woodward.

The dance club is open on weekends. The tavern is open every night for dinner, and the menu created by executive chef Kyle Hanley means to compete with top restaurants by being more than bar- or late-night food.

Small plates such as cheddar cheese, red onion and pickled cabbage flatbread pizza, a salad of candy-striped beets, bibb lettuce, hazelnuts, chevre cheese and lemon vinaigrette, or Spanish chorizo with sherry cream, shiitake crisps, sliders, polenta fries and more are available. Finishes include a twisted ice cream sandwich made with maple ice cream, bacon and bourbon cookies, or a cinnamon snicker doodle sundae.

Source: The Twisted Tavern
Writer: Kim North Shine

Rock N Ride opens Grosse Pointe's first indoor cycling studio

Workout options in Grosse Pointe have grown with the opening of the first indoor cycling studio.

Rock N Ride opened Aug. 25 at 15230 Charlevoix in Grosse Pointe Park after renovations that included the addition of a mural of a downtown skyline under the stars. The studio gives off a rock-out vibe with pumping music, flashing lights and low lighting while more than a dozen stationary cyclists pedal their way to high heart rates.

Rock N Ride joins several new yoga and barre businesses opening across the five Grosse Pointes.

It is located in a part of the Park bordering Detroit and is home to some of the city's oldest bars. The area, like other parts of Grosse Pointe Park, is seeing new entrepreneurs move in next to the steady businesses in the three-block commercial stretch of Charlevoix. The Jungle Juice Bar opened less than a year ago and is attracting health-conscious customers heading to or from workouts.

Source: Rock n Ride
Writer: Kim North Shine

Secreto Cigar Vault opens in downtown Ferndale

Cigar bars may be on a the cusp of a resurgence as another metro Detroit establishment catering to cigar lovers opens for business.

Secreto Cigar Vault opened at 315 W. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale earlier this week.

Besides an extensive selection of cigars and humidors to store them, Secreto will host live entertainment and special events. Tapas will be served and foods, drinks and special menus that complement cigars are planned.

Craft cocktails, a modern lounge atmosphere and an outdoor seating area are part of the renovated space that has become Secreto.

Secreto is one of several cigar bars to open in metro Detroit in recent months, a return from their 1990-2000s heyday. In February, Socialight owned a bistro and cigar lounge in West Bloomfield, and Stray Cat Lounge opened almost a year ago in Clinton Township.

Source: Ferndale Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Pure Barre brings newer style workout to Grosse Pointe Farms

Two lifelong athletes turned barre workout worshippers are business partners behind Pure Barre Grosse Pointe, a barre studio that opened in Grosse Pointe Farms in late August.

Co-owners Renae Lange and Lia Amine renovated a 2,200-square-foot storefront at 75 Kercheval Avenue in The Hill business district into a studio space with room for 22 students. Lange and about seven other instructors teach 5-6 classes each day.

Lange, a high school basketball and softball player, discovered a passion for barre while looking for a workout that felt competitive once her sports days had ended.

"With barre it's like you're competing with yourself to get stronger," she says. "With the music it's fun. It's interesting."

Co-owner Amine grew up playing soccer and found barre after a knee injury. She's a grad student working on a doctoral degree in physical therapy at New York University.

When she returns to teach and help run the studio she will also be able to offer clients advice on ways to strengthen weak or troublesome parts of the body.

The two met while Lange managed Pure Barre in Ann Arbor. Amine taught there while attending the University of Michigan, where she obtained a degree in movement science.

"She is excited to share the amazing Pure Barre technique with the Detroit area," Lange says in her online bio.

Lange has seen both sides of the business: as a franchise owner, and the corporate side after starting Pure Barre Midland in 2009 and then moving to Denver to work as master teacher trainer and director of training at Pure Barre's home office. Lange also managed Pure Barre in Okemos.

Barre is a workout that uses a mix of body positions and movements to strengthen and stretch the body. Many of the movements involve a barre like those in ballet studios.

"It's going very well," Lange says. "The community has responded to it very well. We're having a lot of fun."

Source: Renae Lange, co-owner, Pure Barre Grosse Pointe
Writer: Kim North Shine

DFCU Financial breaks ground on Plymouth branch

DFCU Financial, Michigan's largest credit union, is opening a new branch in Plymouth.

Ground was broken in late August on a 4,583-square-foot facility that will open in the first quarter of 2015 at Ann Arbor Road and Main Street.

The branch will be the 25th for the credit union that formed in 1950, started by seven Ford Motor Co. engineering employees. President and CEO Mark Shobe says the Plymouth location will serve more than 4,000 families.

The branch, which will sit on about one acre of land, will have two drive-through teller lanes, a drive up ATM and full services inside.

DFCU currently has branches in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Source: Peggy Richard, spokesperson, DFCU Financial
Writer: Kim North Shine
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