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Flagstar plans $10 million economic development program for Pontiac

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Flagstar Bancorp Inc. announced a five-year $10 million economic development program for the city of Pontiac.
The program includes customized home loans for Pontiac residents and veterans; $2.5 million for small businesses, startups and business attraction; $1.5 million for the previously announced naming rights for the Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts; and $1 million for financial literacy.

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Kingsley Inn owners plan new brand, look, restaurant

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The owners of a local landmark hotel, the Kingsley Inn in Bloomfield Hills, have a new flag, look and restaurant in the works for the site long known as a meetup spot in the tony suburbs.

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New Highland Feed store to offer new products, services

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Construction of the new Highland Feed & Supply is underway and the store promises to be bigger and better than ever.

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Community Choice Credit Union announces new Royal Oak location

Passersby will notice a transformation on the corner of 12 Mile and Crooks in Royal Oak, as Community Choice Credit Union breaks ground on a new member center. When completed, Community Choice will move to this new location from the current one across the street.
 
The parcel of land was formerly a gas station and has been vacant since January 2016. Community Choice has actively worked together with city officials and community leaders to rezone the property and prepare the site for the new build.
 
“The city is excited to see a new, beautiful building going up to add some much needed curb appeal to this busy corner,” said Mayor of Royal Oak Jim Ellison. “With two other gas stations at this intersection, transforming this corner into a member center is an upgraded benefit for the entire community.”
 
The member center will have a unique architecture based on the shape of the parcel. The building will be triangular in shape, with sides that will face both Crooks and 12 Mile Roads.  It will add pedestrian-friendly sidewalks with a garden terrace and bench seats at the intersection.
 
On the inside, visitors will be welcomed into a café-like atmosphere without traditional teller lines. This new member center design focuses on relationship building between the credit union and members, and enhances the financial services experience. In 2015, Community Choice renovated member centers in Northville, Livonia and Milford, all featuring the new design.
 
“This fall, we’re not only breaking ground on a new member center, but also a new era in serving our Royal Oak members,” said Rob Bava, president and CEO of Community Choice Credit Union. “Community Choice Credit Union has been a part of the Royal Oak community since 1972 and we’re looking forward to adding beauty to this corner and creating a place where the entire community can get together to create healthy financial futures.”
 
The new Royal Oak Member Center is slated to open in spring of 2017. For more information on Community Choice Credit Union visitCommunityChoiceCU.com.
 
About Community Choice Credit Union: Established in 1935, Community Choice Credit Union offers a wide variety of financial products and services for both consumers and businesses. Any individual who lives, works, studies or worships in the following counties is eligible to become a member of Community Choice Credit Union: Allegan, Genesee, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Ottawa, St. Clair, Washtenaw or Wayne County, Michigan. Since 2008, Community Choice has invested more than $992,623 and 17,294 volunteer hours into its charitable Give Big efforts throughout Michigan. If you’re looking for an experience that’s different from your current banking relationship, let’s get together. For more information, visit CommunityChoiceCU.com.

Nexteer Automotive opens new world headquarters, celebrates global growth and innovation

Nexteer Automotive, a global leader in intuitive motion control, today opened its new World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The strategically located headquarters provides a strong platform for increased industry presence and expanded reach for skilled talent.

To commemorate the event, Nexteer held a grand opening ceremony attended by domestic and foreign government dignitaries, customers, suppliers and industry partners. The event highlighted the company's global growth and its dedication to innovation not only in its steering and driveline systems, but also in how employees work on a daily basis. It also previewed the headquarters' application of numerous collaborative technologies to increase operational efficiency and create a seamless global workflow. "Since the acquisition five years ago, we have established Nexteer as neither a Chinese company, nor an American company.  We see ourselves as a model global company with deep roots in the global automotive industry," said Guibin Zhao, chairman, executive board director and chief executive officer, Nexteer Automotive, during the event.  "Because we are a global company, we have made a deliberate choice to setup our new smart home among our customers, peers and thought-leaders in the heart of the global automotive industry right here in the State of Michigan in Oakland County and in the City of Auburn Hills."

The facility houses all corporate functions that are global and strategic in nature. The headquarters' team broadens its industry involvement through its proximity to customers, suppliers and industry partners. In addition to its geographic location, the new facility features collaborative tools to enable real-time collaboration among team members located around the world. 

"In Auburn Hills, we are afforded an enhanced strategic opportunity with our customers and partners. We've engrained ourselves in industry discussions and look forward to taking on an even greater role in shaping the future of mobility," said Mike Richardson, senior vice president, executive board director and chief strategy officer, Nexteer Automotive.

Part of Nexteer's active role in embracing future mobility technology is rooted in its commitment to Michigan. In addition to its Auburn Hills World Headquarters, Nexteer operates a Global Technology Center in Saginaw, Michigan. This engineering center is focused on the company's core technology advancement and global support of its regional product teams. Saginaw is also home to Nexteer's North America Division administration and U.S. manufacturing. Since 2010, Nexteer has invested nearly $500 million in its Michigan production facilities and currently employs a Michigan workforce of over 5,000.

The 52,000-square-foot headquarters houses 150 Nexteer employees and features a full-service cafe, ergonomic workspaces, recycled and renewable building materials, high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems. In addition to advanced collaboration tools, the facility showcases digital signage with interactive company information and current news, weather and traffic reports.

Ferndale doggie day care business caters to small dogs

Liz Blondy has seen it firsthand, that look of anxiety creeping over a dog owner's face as they go to board their three-pound Yorkie and a 120-pound shepherd walks through the door. Often it's the owners of small dogs, and not the small dogs themselves, that are afraid of the bigger breeds of dogs. It's why Blondy created Tiny Town, a day care and boarding facility specifically designed for small dogs.

Blondy is the owner of Canine to Five, the dog day care and boarding businesses located in Detroit and Ferndale. She opened Tiny Town this past June. It's a facility reserved for dogs 20 pounds and under. While it's located in the same building as the Ferndale Canine to Five, Blondy characterizes Tiny Town as a completely separate business.

The play area is designed for small dogs. The kennels are designed for small dogs. The small dogs receive more hands-on attention from a staff that is specific to Tiny Town. Blondy even has an HVAC system set so the small dogs can't sense the large dogs. And a separate entrance limits those anxiety-inducing encounters between small dog owners and the big dogs themselves.

"I'd say Tiny Town is about 50 percent for the dogs, 50 percent for the owners," says Blondy.

While space is currently unavailable for a Tiny Town at the Detroit location, Blondy says that she's working with a bank and architect to build an addition to that building.

Tiny Town will be hosting a free play date on Sep. 11 that will be open to the public. This Friday, Aug. 26, Canine to Five will help celebrate National Dog Day at the Shinola shop in Midtown, where they'll be providing complimentary nail clippings for friendly dogs—emphasis on the friendly, says Blondy.

Tiny Town is located at 1221 E. Nine Mile Rd. in Ferndale.

Troy's Delphi Automotive partners with Mobileye to develop automated driving system for 2019

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Delphi Automotive, an automotive technology supplier with its North American headquarters in Troy, has partnered with Mobileye, a supplier of vision-based sensing systems with U.S. offices in Jericho, N.Y., to develop an autonomous driving system that is expected to be production ready by 2019.

“This partnership will allow us to give our customers an increased level of automated capabilities faster and more cost effectively,” says Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Delphi. “The collective expertise of our two organizations will accelerate the creation of new approaches and capabilities that would likely not have been possible working alone.”

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Shinola opening first outlet store in Michigan at Great Lakes Crossing

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Shinola is opening its first outlet store in Michigan right here in Oakland County.

Great Lakes Crossing will say hello in November to the 1,900-square-foot outlet store, which will be Shinola’s second ever outlet and offer a wide-variety of watches, leather goods and journals.

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M1 Concourse officially opens the largest automotive enthusiast destination in North America

M1 Concourse celebrated its official grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by large crowds of customers, Detroit area automotive enthusiasts and local officials on Sunday, August 14, 2016. The 87-acre former General Motors property on the northwest corner of historic Woodward Avenue and South Boulevard in Pontiac, Michigan was targeted at the massive audience in Metro Detroit that is passionate about cars and motorsports.

At completion, the development will be the largest mixed-use automotive enthusiast destination in the world containing a 1.5-mile performance track, 250+ Private Garages, restaurants, and an auto-focused shopping village.

The first 130 Private Garages, representing Phase 1 and 2, were pre-sold over the past 18 months.  Our eighty Phase 1 “Founding Owners” began moving into their units in early August. The fifty Phase 2 units will be delivered by early 2017.  Phase 3 (43 units) will officially go on sale in September and is already 50% reserved.

“This was a challenging project to get out of the ground due to the site conditions, lack of traditional funding sources and overall skepticism about the scale of the project,” said Brad Oleshansky, the Founder and CEO of M1 Concourse. “My heartfelt thanks to the many people who believed in this project and provided the necessary support and encouragement.” 

M1 Concourse has received significant interest from companies seeking to reach the audiences who will enjoy M1 Concourse, including the private garage owners, corporations that will rent the track and other facilities for testing, training and marketing events, and the general public. Previously announced partnerships include an alliance with Champion (owned by Federal Mogul) to name the 1.5 performance track the “Champion Motor Speedway,” and Hagerty being named the “Official Insurance Partner” of M1 Concourse.   Additionally, FCA announced that the Dodge Viper ACR would be the “Official Pace Car” of M1 Concourse and its Dodge brand would be a fleet vehicle partner with the provision of Vipers and Hellcats for use in a variety of driving activities on the property.

M1 Concourse received cooperation and support of the City of Pontiac and Oakland County. “The City of Pontiac is proud of Brad Oleshansky and his team’s hard work and dedication to develop this site,” said Deirdre Waterman, Mayor of Pontiac. “The news and accomplishments of M1 Concourse continue to generate positive momentum in Pontiac’s redevelopment.”

The grand opening ceremony, attended by over 5,000 people, included presentations from United States Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson, Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman, State of Michigan Representative Tim Greimel and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner.  The collective theme of the presentations was one of transformation and the catalytic nature of the M1 Concourse development.  Surrounding properties have experience significant increase in value over the past 2 years as a result of the M1 Concourse development and the project is spurring other nearby investment.

Complete details on the project, including the private garage community, facility rental options and public events can be found at www.m1concourse.com, which was completely revamped to include a full event calendar, garage owner portal, the public “M1 Pit Crew” club and M1 branded merchandise store. 

About M1 Concourse
M1 Concourse will be both a private club and public destination designed to leverage the passion of the largest concentration of car enthusiasts in the world. The community of Private Garages will accommodate more than 1,000 classic cars set along a 1.5-mile performance track. A large portion of the project is open to the public, where people can enjoy restaurants, a walkable village of auto-focused businesses and year-round programming, including car shows, concerts, product demonstrations and more. The idea for M1 Concourse grew directly and organically from the needs of the local auto enthusiast community. Complete details can be found at www.m1concourse.com.

Auto supplier BLM Group USA to expand, relocate headquarters in Wixom

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BLM Group USA, a global manufacturer and supplier of tube and sheet metal processing equipment, will move to a new 75,000-square-foot headquarters in Wixom next spring.

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Business Aviation Expo soars higher

Corporate executives can learn how to make their businesses soar at the Business Aviation Expo on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Oakland County International Airport’s (OCIA) modern LEED Gold-certified airport terminal. At least 20 business aircraft will be on display and available for tours along with 19 aviation vendors to demonstrate the vast benefits of business aviation. OCIA, the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA), and media partner Crain’s Detroit Business are hosting the event.

“The expo is an opportunity for c-suite executives to learn about how business aviation can boost their bottom lines,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Private air transportation enables both businesses and individuals to reach 5,000 U.S. airports, 10 times as many as commercial airlines.”

Corporate Eagle, Pentastar Aviation, and Royal Air Charter will be among the OCIA businesses on hand next to original equipment manufacturers Dassault Falcon Jet, Bombardier, Embraer Executive Jets, Gulfstream, and Textron.

There will be four break-out sessions designed to educate both veterans of and those who are new to business aviation. These sessions are “Getting Started in Business Aviation” by Brad Bruce, vice president of sales for Pentastar Aviation and Roger Salo, chair of the MBAA; “The Ins and Outs of Fractional Ownership” with Rick Nini, president and CEO of Corporate Eagle; the “Aircraft Transactions and other Hot Topics” with Clifford Maine, chairman of the aviation law group at the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg; and “When Cash is King, Leasing may be the Answer” by Greg Babcock, vice president - central USA sales region for Global Jet Capital.

OCIA hosted Michigan’s first business aviation expo last year. Participants wanted to see the event grow, so OCIA and its sponsors are making the event bigger and better this year. For more information or to register, go to www.OakGov.com/Aviation and click on the expo link. To join the conversation, use #MichAirExpo.

The Business Aviation Expo is made possible by its sponsors. At the Gold Level are Corporate Eagle, Pentastar Aviation, and Royal Air Charter. At the Silver Level are Dassault Falcon Jet, Satcom Direct, and Sidock Group, Inc.

Rose Cancer Center construction on schedule for winter completion

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Beaumont Health officials said construction is on track to transform the hospital’s Rose Cancer Center.

“The new cancer treatment center canopy and vestibule exterior work is scheduled to complete in mid-October,” Beaumont Construction Project Executive Art Eckert said in an email.

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Michigan's first Best Western Premier Hotel coming to Southfield, new Epicurean Group restaurant

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New Zealand-based Kiwi Hospitality Detroit, which acquired the former Holiday Inn of Southfield last year, will convert the 16-story circular tower along Telegraph Road into the 202-room Best Western Premier Southfield Detroit hotel along with an Epicurean Group restaurant called the Nomad Grill. A top brand in Europe, it will be the first Best Western Premier hotel in Michigan.

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Paradise Park adds banquet facility in Novi

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Paradise Park in Novi continues to expand its offerings to the public.

Its newly-constructed banquet facility offers an additional 5,000 square feet of luxurious event space, with a patio, two fireplaces and a full-service bar, offering the perfect setting for events and socialization. Menu options range from gourmet to casual, with or without private bar service.

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Oxford brewery on track to open this fall

Everything is falling into place for HomeGrown Brewing Company, a brewery we first wrote about in Oct. 2015. The downtown Oxford brewery has announced that it is on its way to a fall opening. Construction is currently underway on the building, the former Veterans Memorial Civic Center on Washington Street.

The brewery has also released its inaugural beer menu including a Cream Ale, Belgian Wheat, Australian-hopped IPA, Brown Ale, and a Stout.
 
The sixth and final beer style on the permanent beer menu is a combination between an Amber- and a Wheat-style beer. John Powers, head brewer and owner of HomeGrown, calls the hybrid beer a Whamber Ale. Its inclusion on the menu is a result of an online poll the company had, asking their fans and Facebook followers which beer should make the permanent menu. The Whamber Ale won.

Powers says the poll was designed to make the craft beer world less exclusive.

"We will absolutely be offering creative experimental seasonal brews, like a chocolate coffee porter in winter and a spiced pumpkin ale in the fall, but our flagship beers will really concentrate on the fundamentals of brewing a solid pint," John says in a statement.

As for the building itself, renovation work on the old Veterans Memorial Civic Center has revealed some historic details hidden away years ago. Original brickwork, wood flooring, and an arched window were all revealed during demolition. Powers says the brewery is working to feature the historic details into their design.

A food menu is also planned, complementing a large dining area, sitting room, and beer garden. An event hall will be upstairs.

HomeGrown Brewing Company is located at 28 N. Washington St. in Oxford.

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