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Oakland County-based aircraft provider celebrates groundbreaking for new headquarters

After taking to the skies for the past 35 years, fractional aircraft provider Corporate Eagle is celebrating a major development on the ground. The company ceremonially broke ground on its new headquarters, having been selected by Oakland County International Airport to lease 5.7 acres of land for the development.

Corporate Eagle was selected following an in-depth RFP process by the Waterford-based airport. The new headquarters will be located at the corner of M59 Highland Road and Patterson Parkway.

Its 5.7 acres will include:

  • 56,000 sq. ft. of hangar space
  • More than 9,000 sq. ft. of business and member VIP facilities
  • More than 8,000 sq. ft. of support facilities
  • 40,000 gallons of jet fuel storage
  • 85,000 sq. ft. of high-load capacity concrete tarmac


Corporate Eagle, a provider of fractional and managed business aviation programs, has 70 full-time employees and a fleet of 14 aircraft. The company was founded in 1982.

According to Corporate Eagle President and CEO Rick Nini, the company has been enjoying a years-long period of extended growth. The new headquarters will accommodate even more anticipated growth.

"We are thrilled to be well on our way with the construction of the new Corporate Eagle headquarters facility," Nini said in a release. "The number one goal of this new headquarters was to enhance the experience for our members significantly, and I assure you, we have accomplished this goal.

"Also, we have added room for larger and more aircraft and greatly improved the site and floor plans for a more convenient and safer flow of our company operations."

The company is currently located in a 58,000 sq. ft. facility less than a quarter mile from its new headquarters.

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


After decades of attempts, bicycle and pedestrian trailway opens in Troy

He laughs when he says it, but Kurt Bovensiep can only laugh because it’s true. The city of Troy has been working on developing a bicycle and pedestrian trail system since 1974.

One obstacle after another, from property owner disputes to the Great Recession of 2008, has stymied efforts to develop a trail over the years. But in 2018, the city of Troy can finally say it has the beginnings of its own trails network.

While the grand opening celebration for Troy Trails & Pathways isn’t until Wednesday, Aug. 1, the trail itself is indeed already open. Enthusiasm for the trail was so high, says Bovensiep, that bikers and walkers were on the heels of construction workers as each section of asphalt was poured.

Today, riders can take the 1.3-mile asphalt trail from the Troy Town Center, through P. Terry & Barbara Knight Park, past Wattles Road (where a pedestrian safety island has been installed), and finish at Troy Historic Village. The trail largely takes users off city streets and sidewalks and into the woods.

"People are saying, I can’t believe I’m in the middle of suburban Troy yet feel like I’m in such a natural area," Bovensiep says.

This is just the beginning for Troy Trails & Pathways. While no specific plans have been announced, Bovensiep hopes to connect the trail to a larger network of trails, making it a viable alternative transportation route. The goal is to connect to the Clinton River Trail, either through Auburn Hills or Rochester Hills, which itself is planned to connect to the statewide Iron Belle Trail system.

The Troy city council has appropriated $750,000 for the trail for each of the next three years.

A grand opening celebration is planned for Troy Trails & Pathways for Wednesday, Aug. 1, with updates available online.

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


Green Lantern Pizza to expand with new locations in Rochester Hills and Berkley

First opened in Madison Heights in 1955, the award-winning Green Lantern Pizzeria & Lounge has steadily built its reputation as one of the best pizza joints in the region. And while it still calls Madison Heights home, the restaurant has since opened four additional locations throughout Oakland and Macomb counties.

Get ready for two more.

Green Lantern is prepping a new carry out- and delivery-only location to open in Rochester Hills. The new store will be located at the intersection of Walton and Livernois.

John Spreitzer, a descendant of the original owners of what has always been a family business, says that the Rochester Hills location is about two to three weeks away from opening. A fire suppression system and "city stuff" is all that remains on the to-do list.

In the community of Berkley, a full-service Green Lantern restaurant and bar is planned to take over the now-shuttered Sila Italian Dining & Pizza restaurant on Twelve Mile Road. Expect an early 2019 opening, Spreitzer says.

"Berkley feels like a perfect fit for our style. It has an older feel; it feels similar to Madison Heights," he says. "With replacing Sila, we have big shoes to fill in the community.

"We’ve been watching that building for fifteen years and we jumped at the opening."

Fans of Sila can take comfort in the fact that Spreitzer is considering the possibility of adding some of that restaurant’s more popular and signature dishes to the Green Lantern Berkley location.

Spreitzer says that the company will probably stop adding new locations once the Berkley restaurant is opened--at least for a while. But that doesn’t mean that Green Lantern is done growing. He says that the family could soon begin franchising the brand.

"We’re a pretty small company. It’s just my brother and I running things. But in the past twenty years it’s been snowballing into a faster process of growth," Spreitzer says. "We just keep learning things as we go along. It’s been pretty organic."

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


Boutique for pets and the people that love them celebrates ribbon-cutting in downtown Milford

Downtown Milford is going to the dogs. But it’s a good thing. Especially for Bub’s & Betty’s, the new pet boutique that celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 19, with the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Bub’s & Betty’s is currently open for business, operating under a soft open since April 26, 2018.

Bub’s & Betty’s sells clothing for people and their pets. Co-owner Caitlin Erickson started her line of pet-themed clothing in January 2017. What began as a passion project soon turned into an online-only shop. Business was so brisk, she says, that the storefront was the next logical step.

Becoming an entrepreneur has always been a goal for Erickson. "I spent my 20s figuring out what I wanted to do. And now it feels like I’m living my dream," Erickson says. "I live in downtown Milford. I get to walk to work. I’m familiar with the community.

"Milford is a dog town."

Erickson’s signature line of pet-themed clothing includes t-shirts with sayings like "My dog is my BFF" and "I’d love to but my dog said no." Dog Mom and Dog Dad baseball caps are some of her biggest sellers, she says.

Erickson started Bub’s & Betty’s as a creative outlet following the death of her grandmother, Betty. Bub is the name of her dog, who, she admits, she treats as if he were her own child. She co-owns the business with family members Michele Erickson, Devin Erickson, and Cristen Wisniewski.

In addition to the pet-themed clothing, Bub’s & Betty’s carries pillows, totes, and coffee mugs, and pet items like leashes, collars, and healthy, all-natural treats for dogs and cats. Many of the items are made in Michigan.

"Everything is just colorful, unique, and tailored to people that love to show love for their pets," she says.

Bub’s & Betty’s is located at 411 N. Main St. in downtown Milford.

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


Many changes coming to the Southfield campus of Lawrence Tech

As reported last week, Lawrence Technological University is planning to open a 6,300 sq. ft. space for its business and manufacturing accelerator the LTU Collaboratory. The new space is scheduled for a spring 2019 opening.

That development, however, is just one of many upgrades planned for the private university’s Southfield campus.

According to LTU University Architect Joe Veryser, the university "always tries to minimize impact and inconvenience to our students--thus, we try to do all our major renovation work between mid-May and mid-August."

There are several changes currently underway or scheduled for Lawrence Tech:

  • LTU’s fourth residence hall will open this August, introducing housing for 300 more students on the Southfield campus
  • The South Residence Hall is currently undergoing a $2 million renovation
  • The Real Food on Campus cafeteria is expanding to accommodate the influx of on-campus residents, with renovations overtaking the LTU bookstore
  • The bookstore moves to the second floor of the Buell Management Building, pushing LTU’s Marketing and Public Affairs and University Advancement offices to 21311 Civic Center Dr. across campus. That building will be renamed the University Services Building, also adding LTU’s IT department to its list of tenants
  • Current tenants of the soon-to-be-renamed University Services Building include the offices of Marketing and Public Affairs and Advancement, Campus Facilities, Human Resources, and eLearning Services
  • New medical laboratories are being added to the Science Building, which are scheduled to be completed by summer 2019
College sports fans will be especially interested to learn that the inaugural season of Lawrence Tech’s football season kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 1, at LTU’s athletic field. The stadium has received a $1 million expansion to add seating and lighting for fans of the first-ever Lawrence Tech Blue Devils football team.

Click here to learn more about the LTU Collaboratory expansion.

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

Hummus-based shakes among unique offerings from fast-casual Mediterranean coming to Auburn Hills

A New York City-based chain of healthy Mediterranean fast casual restaurants is set to make its Michigan debut in Auburn Hills this fall. Michigan entrepreneur Chirag Modi is bringing The Hummus & Pita Co. to the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets food court. It has an expected opening date of October 2018.

It’s the first Midwest location for the expanding franchise. With three locations in New York City, the company is also planning locations in Danbury, CT; Denver, CO; Bell Works, NJ; and Los Angeles, CA.

The brand launched in 2011 and touts its fresh and healthy Mediterranean cuisine as an alternative to other fast-casual Mediterranean concepts. The menu items are made from scratch and on site, its pita and laffa breads are freshly-baked, and its meats are cooked in a traditional taboon oven. The Hummus & Pita Co. also carries a wide range of vegetarian dishes.

Perhaps what sets the company apart most from other Mediterranean restaurants will be its dessert hummus dishes and hummus shakes.

Chirag Modi is the operator bringing The Hummus & Pita Co. to Metro Detroit. Modi counts 17 years of pharmacy ownership among his business qualifications. He looks to carry that success over and into the restaurant industry.

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


Spotify opened regional office in downtown Birmingham

Excerpt: 

Spotify, the digital music streaming service with locations worldwide, has opened a regional sales office in downtown Birmingham. 

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Downtown South Lyon is going retro as it gets a new look

Excerpt: 

A touch of old-school architecture is going a long way toward bringing an appealing new look to downtown South Lyon.

Fueled by the investment and imagination of property owner Ron Borgman, plus the creative strategy of Downtown Development Authority director Bob Donahue, a pair of adjacent businesses on North Lafayette are undergoing eye-catching facade makeovers that will pull the exteriors back to their original forms.

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New housing permits in May keep 2018 on-track to second-best year since 2006

Excerpt

May helped push the year-to-date total of new housing permits to 2,028, maintaining the second-best start to a year since 2006, according to residential permit data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan.

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Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak opens new Pediatric Emergency Center

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak’s new Pediatric Emergency Center features child-friendly private rooms in a patient and family-centered environment designed to enhance the Level II pediatric trauma center. It opens July 16.

The 9,500-square-foot Pediatric Emergency Center features 16 private rooms which are twice the size of rooms in the former area. The larger rooms will be more comfortable and efficient for families. Three rooms also include special features designed for the safety of behavioral health patients.

“We know children can get stressed or scared when they come to the hospital. That’s why we worked with our patients and their families to design a comfortable, calming and inviting new Pediatric Emergency Center,” Kelly Levasseur, D.O., Beaumont Children’s pediatric emergency director, said.

Child Life specialists will use play therapy and other techniques to ease anxiety. Comforting artwork featuring animals from the Detroit Zoo and paintings from a local artist help to create a healing environment. A self-serve pantry with complimentary snacks and drinks will also be available.

A rooftop medical helipad offers direct, easy access to the center. Board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialists lead a team of experienced staff members who are on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If children need to be admitted, the inpatient pediatric unit at Beaumont Children’s is just an elevator ride away.

“The new center provides a quieter patient and family-centered environment with amenities that support the high-quality emergency care parents and families expect for children,” said Rosanna Morris, president, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

Multiphase Renovation

The new Pediatric Emergency Center is part of a 125,000-square-foot, $120.8 million expansion and renovation project, expected to be complete in 2019. At that time, the Emergency Center will have 73 private adult rooms, 20 semi-private, 10 private behavioral health rooms and 16 private pediatric rooms.

During the renovation process, portions of the former center will remain in use, but 53 new private adult beds will be available for patients. The renovation also includes four expansive trauma care bays and an area offering quicker care for patients with minor injuries and illnesses.

Private rooms with glass doors and walls provide quiet accommodations. A “Beau to Go” café serves hot food and refreshments. Cellphone charging stations are available, too.

“We are expanding and renovating in phases so we don’t disrupt care for our community. The new center brings diagnostic testing closer to or at the bedside to enhance patient comfort and convenience, as well as safety and efficiency of care,” said Terry Kowalenko, M.D., chair, Emergency Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and professor and chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

MRI and CT imaging are located inside the center and point-of-care testing is available at the bedside, including portable X-rays, echocardiograms and Doppler ultrasounds to test for blood clots.

Southeast Michigan’s most preferred emergency center

As Southeast Michigan’s most preferred Emergency Center, Beaumont, Royal Oak’s Emergency Center is among the highest volume centers in the country with 130,733 visits in 2017.

Beaumont Health also offers emergency services at seven other hospitals in Southeast Michigan and at a freestanding emergency center in Canton. Beaumont consists of eight hospitals with 3,429 beds, 187 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians, 38,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers.

Construction and design partners for the project include: architect and engineer Harley Ellis Deveraux of Southfield; construction manager Barton Malow of Southfield; and design architect FreemanWhite of North Carolina.

Oak Park in the news: City attracts new R&D HQ, named 'Redevelopment Ready' by Michigan

The city of Oak Park has been making its way through the offices of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently, with not one but two big announcements to come out of the state’s business development and marketing arm.

First, it was recently announced that electric vehicle manufacturer Bordrin Motor Corporation will be opening a new research and development center in the city. The Chinese company has four locations worldwide.

The Oak Park location will serve as Bordrin’s new North American headquarters. The development is expected to create 62 jobs and generate a total capital investment of $3.4 million. As a result, the MEDC has approved a $496,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the company.

"I’m excited Bordrin Automotive is expanding its high-tech presence in Oak Park," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement. "Much of the innovation and development of the electric vehicle happens in Oakland County and Bordrin is a key player in that global market.

"They are an important part of our international business community and join other Chinese companies who have chosen to make their North American homes in Oakland County."

That’s not all. It was also recently announced that the city of Oak Park has been certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community. According to the MEDC website, becoming a Redevelopment Ready Community formally recognizes that a city has both a vision for its future and a plan for how to get there. It demonstrates to the outside world that the community is worthy of private investment.

"Like a handful of other inner-ring suburbs, Oak Park is experiencing a revitalization, in part, because of our commitment to planning, pro-active zoning and community engagement," says Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan.

"The best practices provided through the Redevelopment Ready Communities program have promoted economic development and renewed interest in our community as a great place for investment, and an exciting place for families to grow."

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


Auction house celebrates grand opening in Ferndale, looks to make events out of collecting

A Birmingham-based estate sales company has expanded its business with the establishment of a new auction house affiliate complemented by a physical presence in Ferndale.

Aaron’s Estate Sales celebrated its new affiliate Block Auction House with a soft-opening event Sunday, June 3, at its new Ferndale location. A month’s worth of renovations will result in a warehouse sale at the end of the month, followed by an auction specializing in mid-century design items.

Block Auction House is a result of the success of Aaron’s Estate Sales, says owner Aaron Siepierski. But estate sales, he says, have limited markets, namely the people that attend. Auctions, on the other hand, draw on a much wider customer base, allowing Siepierski to list more valuable items at both the auction house and online.

"I always like to say that venue determines value," he says.

Establishing a physical presence allows Siepierski to make events out of the auctions. He plans on offering live entertainment and food trucks at the auctions, a move he believes will attract more young people to the events.

Additional programming will include educational seminars on antique collecting, as well as pop-up flea markets.

The Ferndale location is important, too. The city already has an established reputation for antique and vintage stores, and Siepierski hopes to draw on that customer base. Ferndale’s central location within the metro Detroit region is also viewed as an advantage.

"I named it Block because we’re getting items from the community, and selling them to the community," Siepierski says. "We’re servicing clients from our own neighborhoods."

Block is headquartered in an 8,000 sq. ft. building that includes a 4,500 sq. ft. warehouse showroom and 1,500 sq. ft. in office space.

Block Auction House is located at 2345 Hilton Rd. in Ferndale’s Iron Ridge district.

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


SEMCOG announces $14 million in funding for walking and biking projects and planning assistance

Excerpt:

SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, has awarded nearly $13 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding and over $900,000 in Planning Assistance Program funding to local communities for a total of 50 projects.

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McLaren Automotive to add region's first retailer in Troy's Suburban Collection

Excerpt:

McLaren Automotive, a British luxury sports cars and supercars company, has announced a new retailer in Troy. McLaren Troy is the first and only retailer in the region to provide McLaren sales and service operations and the latest addition to The Suburban Collection of dealerships at the Troy Motor Mall.

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Garage roof garden is what's growin' on in Pontiac

Ame Houston’s story of growth in Pontiac is quite literal. As co-founder and co-chair of Serendipity Seeds, a sprouting nonprofit dedicated to bringing green spaces to the urban center of downtown Pontiac, Houston is driven by dreams of creative reuse of the top story of the parking garage adjacent to Pontiac’s historic Riker Building, a 10-story 1928 office tower that has recently undergone internal redevelopment.

Tip top of the six-story parking garage is the new home of RootTop Pontiac, a collaborative effort of Houston and her partners Tad Reiner, Houston Robertson, and Stephanie Love, a group of volunteers, and some undisclosed investors in Pontiac and Oakland County.

The project is scheduled to roll out in six phases between this summer and next summer. Meanwhile, plants are sprouting in Houston’s home in Pontiac.

“It’s like a tiny farm in my house right now. There’s a lot of lettuce growing in my extra bedroom,” Houston says.

Plants were specially chosen to thrive in containers and planter troughs in a rooftop setting and grow vegetables or encourage pollination. A future plan is to grow hops on trellis walls, then see the hops used by local brewhouse Fillmore 13.

The weight of the containers, fully loaded with root systems and wet soil, were specially calculated to be appropriate for the space.

“Tad [Reiner] is a mechanical designer for a sustainable engineering company, and a student at Oakland University, so it helps to have his skills on our team,” says Houston. Currently studying greenhouse gardening, with the goal of becoming a master gardener, Houston brings her own green thumb to the project, and, as an embroiderer at Pontiac’s Earth 2 Earth, an artistic flair, as well.

In its roots, the effort is collaborative, pulling in the skills of many volunteers. "Jonathan Sterns is a young architect who has donated much of his time and expertise to the project," says Reiner. "He provided renders and code knowledge while asking for absolutely zero in return. We're super grateful to him."

Eventually, the RootTop space will be available to rent for events, or for educational purposes.

“We are happy to be able to reimagine this underutilized parking space,” says Houston. “We have a lot of passion in urban agriculture. We see green spaces popping up in Detroit, and want to bring this to Pontiac.”
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