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Development News

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Fresh fruits and vegetables store opens in Pontiac

It's only been a few weeks since Sprout Fresh Food Store opened in Pontiac--Jan. 26, to be exact--and co-owners Bethany Blackburn and Coleman Yoakum are quickly learning about their neighbors and customers.

They're starting to learn about people's families, about their lives. They're learning about people's buying habits, too; Sprout can't keep enough grapes and bananas in stock, they're flying off the shelves so quickly. But that's part of Sprout's mission, says Blackburn. Not only did they want to provide fresh vegetables and fruit to a neighborhood slim on such options, but they wanted to become a part of that neighborhood, too.

"Everything's been really well received," says Blackburn. "It's not that we didn't think we wouldn't be, but people are visibly excited when they come in."

The nearest grocery store is two miles away, which is a problem for neighbors with limited transportation options, she says. And the nearby party stores and gas stations don't exactly carry a wide range of fresh produce, either.

Sprout makes an effort to keep prices low and affordable for its neighbors. The co-owners volunteer at community gardens and farms in places like White Lake, Oakland Township, and Romulus in exchange for free and low-cost produce. They also have their own two-acre garden in the neighborhood.

Blackburn says they just found out they've been approved to accept Bridge Cards and SNAP benefits.

Yoakum first moved to Pontiac for an internship, eventually deciding to stay and start Micah 6, a community development non-profit. He reconnected with his old friend Blackburn, who moved to the neighborhood from Arkansas to help run the produce shop. Sprout, she says, is just one avenue of community outreach that Micah 6 has planned.

"This next year is all about building relationships with our neighbors and opening our arms to the rest of Pontiac," says Blackburn.

Sprout is hoping to throw a grand opening party in the next several weeks, and more information on that can be found on their Facebook page as plans develop.

Sprout Fresh Food Store is located at 580 W. Huron St. in Pontiac. They are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Troy company aids development of UK energy storage plants

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Troy-based chemical company LG Chem Power Inc. first began manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in 1998, and is one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers with a significant market share in consumer, automotive, and stationary applications. As energy companies around the world work towards increased energy savings, environmental responsibility, and sustainability, LG Chem Power has created a robust mass production system for their battery technology and now supplies cells to major international companies, becoming one of the world’s principal battery manufacturers across several industries.

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Duluth Trading Company opening first store in Oakland County, second in Michigan

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Duluth Trading Company is opening its second Michigan store right here in Oakland County.

The Wixom Planning Commission approved the Minnesota-based company’s site plans. The goal is to open the store later this year.

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Royal Oak approves redevelopment plan for closed Northwood Shopping Center

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Beaumont Health has received final approval from the Royal Oak City Commission on a zoning change that clears the way for redevelopment of the former Northwood Shopping Center at the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road.

Groundbreaking for a new 183,000-square-foot commercial retail development on the 15-acre property is expected to take place this summer. Demolition, abatement, and soil remediation of the former shopping center buildings and townhouses on the property is currently underway. The plan is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

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Valeo to grow in Auburn Hills, Troy, add 290 jobs

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Valeo North America Inc. plans to create 290 jobs as it builds a low-speed test track and new building in Auburn Hills, and also improve its Troy headquarters, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said.

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Birmingham's Soaring Pine Capital acquires aerospace and DoD provider ETI Tech Inc.

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Birmingham-based Soaring Pine Capital, a Simon Group Holdings company, announced it has acquired ETI Tech Inc. in Dayton, Ohio.

Founded in 1996, ETI is a leading provider of more than 200 flight hardware parts for military aircraft and ground support equipment for the aerospace defense industry, including fixed and rotary wing aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles such as the F-35, C-130, F-16, and C-5B.

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New Fillmore 13 Brewery coming to downtown Pontiac

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Fillmore 13 Brewery LLC is set to open in downtown Pontiac in the next two weeks with about 20 beers on tap in the location which was previously the Oakland Arts Center at 7 North Saginaw St.

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Mission Point Nursing & Physical Rehabilitation Center opens in Holly

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Mission Point Management Services, LLC, a full-service healthcare and property management company, has invested nearly $12 million into its newest facility, Mission Point Nursing & Physical Rehabilitation Center of Holly, a short-term transitional rehabilitation center, located in the village of Holly.

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Lawrence Tech to build fourth residence hall

The Lawrence Technological University Board of Trustees approved construction of a new, 95,000-square-foot residence hall on its Southfield campus, to open in the fall of 2018.
 
The new residence hall will be four stories tall and include space for 300 students, along with 22 resident assistants and housing administration staff, according to Michael Guthrie, a partner at inForm Studio, the Northville architecture firm that is designing it.
 
All four principals at inForm are Lawrence Tech architecture alumni – Guthrie (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1995), Corey Lavigne (Bachelor of Architecture, 1996), Ken Van Tine (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1985, Bachelor of Architecture, 1986), and Gina Van Tine (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1989, Bachelor of Architecture, 1994).
 
“This project will continue the transformation of Lawrence Tech from a commuter-only school to a residential campus, and will offer our on-campus students the latest in amenities designed to enhance their total educational experience,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said.
 
The new residence hall will be built between two existing residence halls – the Edward Donley Residence Hall, which opened in 2002 and houses 210 students, and the Lloyd E. Reuss Residence Hall, which opened in 2015 and houses 150 students. (Lawrence Tech’s first residence hall, University Housing South, is a nine-story high-rise on 10 Mile Road that houses 390 students. It opened in 1977.)
 
Guthrie said the project is designed to connect the two major areas of Lawrence Tech’s campus – the main academic Quadrangle to the south, where Donley Hall is located, and North Campus, home to LTU’s Ridler Field House, Reuss Hall, the Art and Design Center, the Applied Research Center, and several office buildings.
 
“We have two guiding principles for this project,” Guthrie said. “One is the unification of the entire campus to create a very walkable environment, and the other is to create a housing district within the campus.”
 
Added Joseph Veryser, LTU university architect: “It has been the university's objective to aggregate or cluster undergrad housing in the heart of the campus to better enable entering freshmen to become part of a community and a part of campus life. The principle is one of closeness to one another and closeness to campus activity and core support areas such as food service, bookstore and library. The placement of the building is in line with LTU’s Campus Master Plan that is structured around that philosophy.” 
 
Guthrie said the building would be designed with two four-story towers linked by a bridge on the second, third and fourth floors. The first floor of the west tower will feature “a lot of communal space,” including a fitness center, coffee shop, and a commons area. Common spaces will also be scattered throughout the building, he said, including study areas, lounges, and music practice rooms.
 
More about inForm and its work at www.in-formstudio.com.
 
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Lear Corp. reports record sales for 2016, earnings jump 17% to $1.5B

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Southfield-based Lear Corp., a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, released its financial results for last year, and reported record sales.

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Kyyba Inc. expands with purchase of ASG Renaissance staffing contract

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Farmington Hills-based staffing augmentation, application software, and projects solutions services firm Kyyba Inc. has purchased the staffing contracts of ASG Renaissance, a professional services firm based in Dearborn. 

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Java Master brings in-store roasters to retail industry

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Wixom-based coffee technology company Java Roaster has announced a new line of in-store roasters for coffee retailers and others looking to deliver a fresher brew. With 65 percent of coffee sold in the United States sitting in transit or on the shelf for at least 30 days before it reaches customers, Java Roasters new on-site roasting devices will allow retailers to provide a fresher product by roasting fresh coffee beans in their stores as needed.

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Paint Creek Trail bridge set to be renovated

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A Paint Creek Trail bridge will be renovated thanks to funding acquired through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Bridge 33.7, which is located on the Paint Creek Trail between Dutton Road and Silverbell Road in Oakland Township, will be replaced by a precast concrete bridge that is 14 feet wide and 60 feet long.

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Clayton & McKervey reveals new Mandarin website

Clayton & McKervey, an international accounting and business advisory firm servicing growth-driven middle-market companies, introduced a new Mandarin web site on January 13, 2017. Created by Ann Arbor-based Perich Advertising + Design, the site is designed for Chinese companies considering expansion to the United States.  

“We know that Chinese companies looking to invest in the United States will research professional service advisors. Our new web site, presented in Mandarin, makes the search process easier,” said Tim Hilligoss, Shareholder and China Practice Leader. “This new communication tool helps convey Clayton & McKervey’s commitment to the Chinese market; our years of hands-on experience, supportive international culture, and team of Mandarin-speaking accountants,” he said.

Clayton & McKervey’s Mandarin site (cn.claytonmckervey.com) is an extension of the firm’s English site introduced in May 2016. The firm also launched a German site in November 2016. These responsive sites were designed to connect with businesses seeking CPA firms with Clayton & McKervey’s depth of expertise with international markets and closely-held businesses.  

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a metro Detroit-based accounting and business advisory firm helping internationally-minded, growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com

Baker College's Auburn Hills campus welcomes Coffee Beanery

Baker College’s Auburn Hills campus has announced the grand opening of a Coffee Beanery store in the Student Center, 1500 University Drive. It will serve students on both sides of the counter.

“The addition of a Coffee Beanery opens new opportunities for Baker College students in academic programs who will benefit from the experience in the day-to-day running of a small business,” said Peter W. Karsten, Ph.D., CPA, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. “We welcome this great Michigan-based company to the Auburn Hills campus.”

The store is open to the public as well as Baker College students 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Mondays-Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Fridays, when classes are in session. It offers specialty coffees and teas, and panini selections similar to offerings at its other nearly 100 locations throughout the U.S. and international locations in China, Qatar, Kuwait and Cyprus.

Karsten said that students can apply what they learn in class to real-work situations at the store. Projects will include classroom subjects such as human resources, marketing, accounting, and website design and maintenance.

Laurie Shaw, Coffee Beanery chief operating officer, said, “It is exciting to be opening our second Baker College campus store. Coffee and hard-working students go hand in hand, so our arrival on campus is a natural fit. We look forward to providing delicious drinks and food to Baker College students in such a vibrant and inspiring environment.”

Baker College’s Flint campus welcomed a Coffee Beanery in 2016.

The college has long been known for helping businesses succeed while helping students learn. When Coffee Beanery was exploring entering another international market, it had turned to students in an international business course for a marketing strategy.

For more information about the Coffee Beanery at the Auburn Hills campus, visit the business’ Facebook page,www.facebook.com/BakerCollegeAuburnHills, or contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at nicole.chirco@baker.edu or 248.340.0600.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1911, Baker College grants doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificates in diverse academic fields including business, health science, engineering, information technology, education and human service. Baker College has on-ground campuses throughout Michigan and offers online programs that can be completed 100 percent online without ever visiting a campus. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium recognized Baker College Online with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, the highest ranking for online higher education programs. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.

About Coffee Beanery
Coffee Beanery opened its first stores in the United States in 1976, before the American public knew the term “specialty coffee.” In the 40 years that have followed, Coffee Beanery continues to build its brand and franchise organization on the principles of time-tested and honored traditions and values. Exceptional coffee, a warm relaxing environment and a corporate culture that embraces its franchisees with every opportunity to succeed exemplify these values. Today, Coffee Beanery has nearly 100 locations throughout the world with international locations in China, Qatar, Kuwait and Cyprus. It is recognized as an industry leader for its unique family business approach, corporate culture and commitment to quality. Visit www.coffeebeanery.com for more information.
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