Business & Development

Published January 31, 2017

ROYAL OAK — City officials voted last week in favor of moving forward with design plans for a $100 million Royal Oak city center development that will include a stand-alone City Hall.

The unanimous decision to move forward with design plans no longer showing City Hall as a condominium occupying two floors within a mixed-use office building was reached during the commission’s Jan. 23 meeting.

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Published January 31, 2017

ROYAL OAK — City commissioners unanimously extended an exclusivity agreement Jan. 23 to develop city-owned property on South Main Street.

The commission voted to grant a third extension to Burton-Katzman LLC for an additional 120 days, and listened to changes from an original concept for the city-owned properties located at 600 and 700 S. Main St.

“Due to increased interest from office tenants and a hotel tenant, they have decided to change the footprint of the project,” said Todd Fenton, Royal Oak economic development manager.

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Published January 31, 2017

BERKLEY — For the first time since 2007, Berkley has hired someone to head up its Downtown Development Authority.

The hiring of Vivian Carmody, a Detroit resident who works as a brand strategist at Carmody Consulting, was approved by the City Council at its Jan. 23 meeting. Her first day of work as DDA director is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 6.

The DDA has not been able to hire a new head for the past 10 years, as the bulk of its resources were tied to funding bond payments for a project, according to City Manager Matthew Baumgarten.

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Published January 31, 2017

FERNDALE — After much time planning and reaching out to the community, Ferndale’s City Council adopted the city’s new master plan at its Jan 23 meeting.

The five-year plan, described as Ferndale’s most comprehensive master plan yet, outlines the city’s goals and how it plans to accomplish them.

Before its adoption, City Planner Justin Lyons gave a short presentation on the plan, summarizing some of the details in its 100-plus pages.

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Published January 31, 2017

BERKLEY — The long conversation about Berkley’s amendment to its 2015 master plan is reaching a conclusion with a public hearing and possible adoption set for the end of February.

The Planning Commission set a public hearing date for the master plan amendment on Tuesday, Feb. 28, after a discussion on the topic during its Jan. 24 meeting.

During the meeting, residents asked the commission to add a section voicing their concerns about rezoning.

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Published January 31, 2017

With nominations now coming in, local businesses will be on the edge of their seats this May when the 2017 Sterling Edge Awards are announced.

Melanie Davis, president and CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the point of the awards ceremony is to recognize Sterling Heights-area companies that have demonstrated best business practices.

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Published January 25, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A parcel that’s been vacant for more than a decade will remain so after City Council declined to rezone the property to make way for a discount store on Nine Mile Road.

Todd Hamula, of the Zaremba Group, was before City Council Jan. 16 after unsuccessfully trying to convince the St. Clair Shores Planning Commission to recommend the rezoning of a parcel he is interested in purchasing at 22980 E. Nine Mile Road, sandwiched between the newer Kroger gas station and an office building west of Jefferson.

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Published January 25, 2017

DETROIT — Amid a heavy focus on U.S. manufacturing and jobs in recent political debate, some Japanese automakers emphasized their American investments and labor force during speeches at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota was no exception. During Toyota’s Jan. 9 presentation at the auto show, Toyota President Akio Toyoda introduced the new 2018 Toyota Camry’s XLE and XSE variants to the media. In doing so, he also promoted his company’s hiring of U.S. workers and investments in manufacturing.

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Published January 25, 2017

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — It’s a new year and a new administration. 

But will either of those have much of an impact on southeast Michigan’s economy in 2017? Experts say it’s too early to tell — but they’ve got some predictions.

During an annual economic forecast hosted by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, investment strategist Daniel Haines, of Greenleaf Trust in Birmingham, discussed a mixed bag of outcomes that could be tied to the policies proposed by President-elect Donald Trump. 

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Published January 25, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — Plenty of locals will be happy to fill travelers in on the Townsend Hotel, known for its ornate décor, award-winning restaurant, charming tea service and — from time to time — a bit of celebrity spotting.

But now the designation as Michigan’s top hotel is official, as named by Travel + Leisure magazine. The publication’s readers voted the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham the top spot to stay in the state as part of the World’s Best Awards program.

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Published January 25, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Planning and Zoning Department is looking to find creative solutions to develop existing space in the township, while developers are lobbying to build many new homes in the northeast portion of the township.

Planner Glenn Wynn said most of the vacant land in the township is to the north, which is a partial factor in why developers are seeking a contentious sanitary sewer district. However, he said his department’s focus is on redevelopment.

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Published January 24, 2017

ROYAL OAK — A group of residents are hoping that their appeal to the City Commission will scale back a proposed apartment building in their neighborhood.

Earlier this month, the Harrison II received the green light from the city’s Planning Commission and is expected to go before the City Commission in February.

The group remains hopeful that the City Commission will deny or change the density of the project, despite a similar appeal failing to generate enough Planning Commission votes during its Jan. 10 meeting.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROYAL OAK — The City Commission is seeking input on design aspects of a $100 million Royal Oak city center development by the end of the month so that planning can continue on the proposed project.

Input is needed before the commission’s next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 inside Royal Oak City Hall, 211 S. Williams St.

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Published January 18, 2017

FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council unanimously passed a revised special land use permit at its Jan. 9 meeting that will allow a former school to become a senior living facility.

The site currently houses the former St. James School, 22111 Woodward Ave., and nearby St. James Catholic Church. With the permit, the school will be converted into a facility for seniors, called St. James Living, with 103 units on the premises; the convent part of the school will be demolished for rooms as well. The church will stand as is on the site.

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Published January 17, 2017

TROY — The first $1 million segment of the Troy trail system moved forward when the Troy City Council approved easements with Zion Church, Walsh College and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office. 

The council approved the easements 5-0 at a Jan. 9 meeting. Mayor Dane Slater and Councilman Paul McCown were absent. 

As part of the deals, the city will pay Zion and the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office $1 each and Walsh College $11,000. 

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Published January 17, 2017

FARMINGTON — Whether you call it blight or something else, the rundown former Farmington Hershey’s Ice Cream shop is getting somewhat spruced up after closing around 2013 and becoming a downtown eyesore.  

The building, located at 23629 Farmington Road, is owned by Dave Mihajlovski, who also owns the neighboring establishment, Rumi Mediterranean-Persian Restaurant; tenant Nasser Taghavi rents both spaces.

The dilapidated Hershey’s shop was brought up at a Dec. 19 City Council meeting after Mayor Bill Galvin expressed his concern.

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Published January 17, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Construction likely will soon be starting at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

But this project doesn’t involve the historic mansion, garage, cottage or playhouse. Instead, it’s about the buildings that support its functions as a museum and community resource.

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Published January 13, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — On Jan. 11, Macomb Community College President James Jacobs delivered his 34th and final county economic forecast. He plans to retire in June.

Hosted by the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce, more than 300 business members and community leaders gathered to hear Jacobs’ projections for the future over lunch at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.

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Published January 11, 2017

FARMINGTON — There are many conversations to be had with these two.

From their experiences in Asia to practically rubbing shoulders with Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, the conversation flows as smoothly as the specialty coffee that Jim and Christine Bezy serve at their café.

The Southfield couple’s personalities match the inviting atmosphere of their Chapters Café at the Farmington Community Library 12 Mile Branch.

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Published January 11, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A new addition to the city is being provided by one of its new businesses in the south end.

As part of its new development at Harper and Little Mack, Taco Bell offered to purchase an $18,336 clock to be installed on city property in that location, which is a tree-filled bed maintained by the St. Clair Shores Beautification Commission.

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