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West Bloomfield's Cauley Ferrari to expand and remodel dealership


West Bloomfield Township-based Cauley Ferrari, the only authorized Ferrari dealership in Michigan, will expand and remodel its store along Orchard Lake Road.

Originally 14,000 square feet, the new facility will cover 51,000 square feet and feature a two-story showroom and expansion of its indoor vehicle storage capacity. Other improvements include a new service write-up aisle, a collision repair center, a detailing center, and an extra indoor vehicle storage area.

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German-based auto supplier invests $15M in engineering complex in Rochester Hills


Jenoptik, a German-based global automobile manufacturer of metrology and laser machines, has broken ground on a $15 million technology campus in Rochester Hills to better support its engineering, production, sales, and services in North America. The company plans to open the new facility next spring.

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Oakland County gets $600,000 EPA grant to assess and clean up contaminated brownfields sites

Oakland County has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will help local communities assess and clean up brownfields sites for future economic development.

The Assessment, Revolving Loan and Cleanup grants are awarded to communities deemed underserved and economically disadvantaged, including neighborhoods where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed. The grant is among more than $55 million awarded to 131 communities across the United States.

“This certainly is a big step for Oakland County,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Unfortunately there are a number of brownfields sites that should have been cleaned up a long time ago. This continues the momentum we’ve begun in developing these sites.”

The county partnered with Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Pontiac and Southfield as well as PM Environmental in seeking the grant. It is the fifth time the county was awarded an assessment grant, which totals $2.85 million, said Bradley Hansen, a business development representative who administers the county brownfields program.

Local developments that have benefited from previous brownfields grants include the Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts in Pontiac ($24 million investment); Emagine Royal Oak Theatre ($14 million investment); and Motor City Harley-Davidson in Farmington Hills ($6 million investment). The funds are expected to last for about three years.

Residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between five and 15 percent and overall property values increase within a one-mile radius, the federal government said. There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in the United States.?

Stacking up


Joe H. Schodowski, president and CEO of Shelving Inc. in Auburn Hills, sums up the company’s offerings succinctly: “We rack your world,” he says. 

The company — founded by Schodowski’s father, Jack, in 1960 — designs and installs steel shelving for consumers and businesses including Dow, Boeing, Delta Airlines, the Big Three automakers, and DTE Energy, among others. 

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Google to open self-driving development center in Novi


Google’s Self-Driving Car Project said it will open a 53,000-square-foot development center in Novi, providing even more evidence of the sprint by Silicon Valley and the auto industry toward autonomous vehicles.

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Rochester company deconstructs, not demolishes, old homes

As is often the case for successful entrepreneurs, one business begets another. That's certainly true for Robert Bloomingdale, whose recently established Rochester Salvage & Supply most likely wouldn't have happened had it not been for his other booming business, Bloomingdale Construction.

Rochester Salvage & Supply specializes in reclaiming, repurposing, and reusing materials from deconstructed older houses. Bloomingdale Construction builds a lot of its houses in downtown Rochester, a town with plenty of old houses and virtually no empty lots, says Bloomingdale. That's where he got the idea for Rochester Salvage & Supply.

"We demolish a lot of older homes in the process of building new ones," says Bloomingdale. "I always felt bad about sending old, vintage materials to landfills. Now, we save what we can."

Rather than demolish the old houses, Rochester Salvage & Supply now methodically deconstructs them. Materials like shingles and siding are sent to be recycleda cost the company pays out of its pocket. Others, like salvaged lumber, are repurposed into furniture, and other items that can either be sold individually or built into the new homes constructed by Bloomingdale.

Bloomingdale contends that deconstructing a house costs more than twice as much as demolishing one. And paying for materials to be recycled isn't making him any money. But the reclaimed materials trend is a hot one right nowsomething Bloomingdale credits to HGTV shows and other media as having fosteredand he has been astonished by the feedback and interest he has received since announcing the formation of Rochester Salvage & Supply this past April.

For now, Bloomingdale says his goal is "to not lose money." It's a month into the new business and he's learning as he goesafter all, his business has been building homes, not deconstructing them. But he already has plans to expand Rochester Salvage & Supply from its base in Rochester to begin deconstructing homes in Pontiac. The business has had prior involvement in that community, donating materials to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore there and working with the Power Company Kids Club.

Rochester Salvage and Supply operates out of a warehouse on South Street in Rochester, though Bloomingdale prefers customers interested in reclaimed materials make inquiries via email. Reach him at robert@bloomingdaleconstruction.com.

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

Walsh College celebrates $15 million expansion

Walsh College is celebrating the grand opening of a $15 million, 55,000 sq. ft. addition to its main campus in Troy this Friday, May 20. 
A two-story Success Center is the academic focus of the investment made by the business college. Renovations to existing facilities are also among the improvements. They include more classroom spaces and improved electrical access for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

The addition is designed to enhance students' business communication skills, including written communication, public speaking, and executive presence. On the second floor, a modern open office-style area with collaborative spaces and meeting rooms will be available.

The new features are many. There is a Mother's Room for nursing students and staff, a Veteran's Room for active duty and veteran students, and ten new student study rooms. There's a new space for Student Services, an Alumni Room, and a Student Organizations Room. A 40-seat auditorium, Cyber Lab, and Testing Center have also been added. The new Fireside Student Lounge and a cafe offer students places to unwind.

"Students and employers expect high quality from our programs. These outstanding facilities reflect that quality," Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO Walsh College, says in a statement. "We look forward to building our legacy for excellence well into our second century."

The improvements occurred on Walsh College's main campus in Troy, in which it occupies 30 acres at the intersection of Livernois and E. Wattles roads. The business college was founded by accountant Mervyn Walsh in Detroit in 1922, where it operated out of the Capitol Theatre Building—which is now the home of the Detroit Opera House. Walsh College left Detroit for Troy in 1970, where it has been located ever since. The school now has additional locations in Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron.

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

Local brick-and-mortar Italian restaurant chain establishes itself in the food truck game

A well-established metro Detroit restaurant chain is flipping the script on the traditional food truck narrative. For quite a few years now, the food truck has been celebrated as a cheaper way for young restauranteurs to establish a customer base, to bring their food to the public. Food trucks have also been painted as a nuisance to the traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants that spend the time and money necessary to establish roots in a neighborhood.

The Andiamo Restaurant Group is proving that maybe you can have your cannoli and eat it, too. Last year, the popular chain of Italian restaurants debuted the Andiamo Food Truck, adding the mobile kitchen to its nine restaurants and a pastry shop found around southeastern Michigan. The food truck will return to its stops around metro Detroit again this year.

Fans of Andiamo will be able to order many of their same favorites. Items like the calamari, deep fried cheese ravioli, and steak sandwiches range anywhere from $5 to $11 and are prepared fresh in the truck. Dominic Vicari, Andiamo Director of Operations, says the truck is fully equipped with kitchen equipment that includes pasta cookers, fryers, and a panini press.

"People are very surprised that the food we produce on the Andiamo Food Truck tastes just as it does when they order it in our restaurants," says Vicari. "They are able to order some of their favorite dishes."

In addition to parking the food truck in public places, the restaurant chain is also making it available for hire at private events. A customizable menu is offered for such occasions.

The Andiamo Food Truck can be found at major events and festivals throughout metro Detroit this summer. Email foodtruck@andiamoitalia.com for more booking information.

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

Purchase of Girl Scouts property expands White Lake Oaks County Park

Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission has purchased 40.2-acres adjacent to White Lake Oaks County Park from the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, increasing the park to 236 acres.
The property in White Lake Township was purchased for $1. The Girl Scouts organization will retain a 7.3-acre lot on Highland Road where the Girl Scouts service center is located.
“The Girl Scouts property is a terrific addition to the Oakland County Parks system because of its high natural resource and watershed value,” OCPRC Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. He noted a stretch of the Huron River flows through the area and could potentially be incorporated into the regional network of blue water trails.
“The purchase is a perfect fit for White Lake Oaks,” Mike Donnellon, Chief of Park Facilities Maintenance and Development said. “We were interested in the property for the preservation of wetlands on the property, access to the river and new potential trails.”
Currently, the primary use of White Lake Oaks is a golf course and conference center. The addition of the new land fits in with Oakland County Parks’ goal of diversifying recreational opportunities at its five golf courses.
White Lake Oaks is certified by the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program. MTESP certification requires the park to exceed requirements of environmental laws, protect water resources and enhance the maintenance of turfgrass and natural open spaces.
Oakland County Parks and Recreation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. For information on upcoming events, visit DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter@DestinationOak.

Genisys Credit Union's 80th anniversary

This year marks 80 years of financial success for Genisys Credit Union.
Providing its members with the financial products and services they need since 1936, Genisys is a non-profit, member-owned and focused financial institution. 
“We are proud that after eighty years, Genisys is stronger than ever.  We strive to accomplish the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ every day, in everything we do.  Our core values of being trustworthy, member focused, and providing quality service drive us and are reflected in everything we do,” said Jackie Buchanan, President/CEO.  “We focus on providing members with value and convenience, from the latest in financial technology to making sure we know our members well and provide the best solutions for their unique needs.”
Genisys has frequently been voted Best of the Best credit union, mortgage lender, and financial advisor by several local publication reader polls and WDIV-TV viewers. They have been recognized as a Top 50 Best Credit Union by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Top 100 Safest Credit Unions by bankrate.com; Top 200 Healthiest Credit Union by depositaccounts.com and Best of Bauer financial institution, a designation that fewer than 5% of all U.S. financial institutions receive.
Throughout its history, Genisys has been committed to giving back to the community. The credit union sponsored over 500 events in 2015, with staff and family members volunteering over 3,700 hours of service to the community. Genisys contributed over $32,000 to OLHSA’s Walk for Warmth, over $9,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and nearly $3,000 to the Children Miracle Network.
Genisys’ history began in 1936, when T&C Federal Credit Union was formed to serve the employees of the General Motors Truck and Coach plant.  In 2002, T&C Federal expanded their service to all residents and businesses in Oakland County. 
In 2008, T&C Federal combined with USA Credit Union to complete one of the largest mergers in credit union history at the time. USA was founded in 1954 as Burroughs Detroit Employees Credit Union. Through a series of combinations with other Burroughs affiliated credit unions, the credit union grew to serve a national membership.  When Burroughs Corporation merged with Sperry Corporation to form Unisys, the credit union changed its name to Unisys Federal Credit Union, and subsequently became USA Credit Union. 
The “Genisys” name combines the roots of each credit union: “Gen-” from General Motors and “-isys” from Unisys.
In 2015, Genisys completed a merger with Tri-Pointe Community Credit Union, adding 25,000 new members and four new locations in Genesee and Tuscola Counties. The merger made Genisys Credit Union even stronger and the financial institution finished 2015 with total assets of approximately $2 billion and nearly 180,000 members. 
In recent years, Genisys Credit Union has further enhanced its wealth building services, including Genisys Investment Services, and mobile and online banking services. “We work hard to bring convenience to our members,” said Buchanan. “We strive to be a technology leader in the financial industry, offering safe and secure services through our mobile applications, online banking, and web site.”
Genisys also continues to expand and enhance their ability to service members in person. The newest addition to Genisys Credit Union’s branches is located in Royal Oak. Genisys plans to continue expanding their branches as well as their mobile and online convenience.
About Genisys Credit Union:
Genisys Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution that has been committed to helping its members financially since 1936. Based out of Auburn Hills, MI, Genisys is one of the largest credit unions in Michigan, with approximately 180,000 members and 28 branch locations. They also provide business loans and a range of services for small to mid-sized businesses. Genisys Credit Union has consistently received a 5-star Bauer Financial Rating for safety and soundness and is proud to be making a difference in their communities. Connect with Genisys on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by following @genisyscu. For convenient access to your account, download the Genisys iPhone App in the iTunes Store and Android App in the Google Play Store. For more information or a calendar of events, visit Genisys online at www.genisyscu.org.

Innovative green tech energy company from Greece opens first US location in Oakland County

Greek Energy Monitoring Company, Meazon, opens first US office in the Oakland University Incubator: OU INC in Rochester Hills Michigan. Meazon, having made the final call on a current Department of Energy (DOE) energy sub meters technology competition and recently been top 5 shortlisted at the Shell Great Lakes Innovation Competition, Founders Stelios Koutroubinas and John Gionas knew it was time for a US location.
Koutroubinas mentions, “We knew there was a need for our products and services when we visited Michigan and met with potential customers and kept receiving the same feedback- that our products are of the highest quality they have seen and with an excellent Total Cost of Ownership.” Koutroubinas continues, “We are excited to be in the Oakland University Incubator, where the talent from their engineering program is impressive. We also are very happy to be in Michigan. We’ve been working with Oakland County’s Economic Development & Community Affairs department to help make important connections into the Midwest’s energy market.
“We are thrilled to have Meazon in Oakland County,” commented Irene Spanos, Director of Economic Development, “It’s our second Greek-owned firm in Oakland County.” Spanos continues, “Meazon fits into Mr. L. Brooks Patterson’s Emerging Sector initiative, aimed at diversifying the make-up of Oakland County with emerging technology companies.” In 2012, Spanos spoke to dozens of high-tech companies, in a partnership with US Embassy in Athens, on how to “How to Grow Your Business in the USA”.  It was a panel discussion with Amy Butler (Oakland University), Clara Mager (Butzel Long) on everything you need to know about expanding in the United States.
“As a result we continue to work with several Greek tech companies on their first US location in Michigan. We have a great business case in Oakland County, Michigan. We have a globally educated workforce, great business environment and we are already home to over 1,000 foreign-owned firms from 39 different countries,” promoted Spanos.
Meazon is involved in several new pilot projects throughout Michigan. The demand for their “smart” products continues to increase dramatically.
About Meazon
In Meazon we design and deliver energy related Internet of Things products, combining hardware, firmware and software in a unique manner at a fraction of the price of what is available today. We have built a comprehensive portfolio of energy management solutions, with world-class team of 30 software, firmware and hardware engineers. Headquartered in Greece (Athens and Patras) and now in Michigan (Oakland County), partnering with a wide range of domestic and international ESCOs, systems integrators, energy utilities, service providers, buildings and industrial companies.

Lathrup Village Farmers Market began its sixth season on May 18

The Lathrup Village Farmers Market began its sixth year of operation on Wednesday, May 18 and will continue every Wednesday through December 14 from 2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Located at 27400 Southfield Road, it will be held outdoors in the south parking lot of City Hall until October 19, when the Market will continue indoors until December 14. Parking is available at City Hall, next door at Annie Lathrup School, and at the commercial building immediately South of City Hall, located at 27300 Southfield Road.
The Market is accessible to many people throughout the region. In 2014, SMART added twelve bus stops in Lathrup Village among Southfield Road, including one at City Hall for riders wishing to stop at the Market.
In 2013, the Market began accepting EBT cards and now participates in the Double Up Food Bucks Program, which allows EBT card users up to an extra $20 per day to spend on fresh produce. It is one of the only Farmers Markets in Southeast Oakland County to do so. Other programs include the Senior Market Fresh Program, the Oakland County Be Fit Program sponsored by Fortson Family Dentistry of Lathrup Village, and the Passport to Flavors and Fun Program sponsored by Blue Care Network, with a supporting sponsorship by D&D Bicycle and Hockey. These programs and their generous supporters have made the Market more convenient for vendors to connect with customers and bring awareness to important issues such as fitness and nutrition.
“The participation of these organizations and programs has definitely helped the market grow in popularity,” said Market Manager Maralee Rosemond. As a testimony to the Market’s success, it will extend its season further into fall. Beginning October 19, the market will continue indoors until December 14. “We are going to move the market into the Community Room inside City Hall when the weather gets colder,” Rosemond added. Many vendors called for the extended market season. The City responded to the increased demand by creating more options and an expanded calendar.
Local entrepreneurs have excelled at the market generating loyalty from the vendors and some interesting success stories. Two vendors have even expanded their operations and are now renting the use of Lathrup’s commercial kitchen. Jesse Nemeth of the Salt and Sugar Company began as a vendor last year and now rents the City’s kitchen up to four days a week. Specializing in boxed lunches, baked goods, and coffee and tea, his company serves a wide region that includes the Sterling Heights, Birmingham, Troy, Canton, and Royal Oak.
“Maralee has been awesome,” said Nemeth. Rosemond pioneered the deal with vendors to rent the City’s kitchen. It is a mutually beneficial agreement, helping local businesses grow, and putting the City’s facilities to use to bring in additional revenue.
Billie Jo Delfin operates All Natural Bites, a healthy snack company. She is a returning market vendor who is also utilizing the City’s kitchen to produce B’Bites, a natural snack made from dried fruit and nuts. Delfin has a background in health and wellness and developed B’Bites when she was living in Belgium with her husband. When they returned to the United States she began producing B’Bites in a commercial kitchen and distributing them to yoga studios and juice bars. This is her first Farmers Market. When the commercial kitchen she was using closed, Maralee Rosemond offered the use of the City’s kitchen.
“The kitchen is convenient for me because of how close it is,” said Delfin.
“This Farmers Market should be seen as a business incubator,” said Sean Kammer, Assistant City Administrator and DDA Executive Director. “It’s important that we encourage their development to diversify our local economy and attract people into the area.” Kammer oversees economic development in the City and is working to make Lathrup Village more of a destination in the region.
In 2010, the Market began with only six vendors in the parking lot of City Hall. Today, the number of vendors has grown to over 30 and the event attracts people from all over Southeast Michigan. The Market is putting Lathrup Village on the map as a popular destination on Wednesday afternoons.
Beginning June 15, the Lathrup Village Summer Concerts begin after the market closes at 7:00 P.M. The concerts are a popular draw for residents, who mostly walk to Municipal park from the City’s historic neighborhoods. The Summer Concerts are sponsored by the Lathrup Village Community Foundation.
Lathrup Village is a City of 1.5 mi² in Oakland County, Michigan. It is known for its historic homes, strong neighborhoods, and stunning architecture. Its popular community events attract people throughout the region.

McFarlan and Presbyterian Villages of Michigan sign letter of intent

McFarlan Charitable Corporation (McFarlan) and Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM) have announced their signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) effective May 17, 2016.  The LOI formally expresses their mutual expectations regarding the establishment of a future relationship involving a comprehensive Executive Leadership and Management Services Agreement between the two organizations.  McFarlan and PVM intend to prepare and execute a Management Agreement no later than May 31, 2016
In 1926 The McFarlan Home was established to provide housing for single, older women in an area adjacent to downtown Flint and near the Cultural Center.  In 1976, The McFarlan Home moved from its original home, which is now a museum facility known as the Whaley Historical House, to next door on Kearsley Street.  The McFarlan Home is a well-maintained 29-unit assisted living facility for women (State licensed home for the aged).
In 2011 The McFarlan Home acquired two nearby apartment buildings known as Court Street Village (CSV) East (150 units) and Court Street Village (CSV) West (106 units).  These buildings are occupied by moderate to low income seniors, who are able to live independently.
In 2013 The McFarlan Home transferred all properties and investments to various subsidiary organizations. The McFarlan Home was renamed the McFarlan Charitable Corporation (McFarlan), a Michigan nonprofit corporation, to better reflect the work it does.  All the residential facilities are supported by McFarlan, which provides amenities and services to the residents.                                                                                                                             
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM), based in Southfield – Michigan, is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1945.  It currently serves over 4,500 seniors of all financial means across the State in 28 diverse communities (urban, suburban, rural and resort areas).  Its mission is to serve seniors of all faiths and to create new possibilities for quality living, and its vision is to positively transform senior living and services and enhance the communities it serves.
McFarlan and PVM anticipate that an Executive Director for McFarlan will be employed by PVM and provide leadership, strategy, and direction to achieve McFarlan’s mission, will represent McFarlan (and PVM) in the Flint community, and will be responsible for all aspects of McFarlan’s operations, including finances, personnel, marketing, community and government relations.  The Executive Director will also closely coordinate and actively engage with management and other professional resources provided by PVM to McFarlan.  The Executive Director will have a dual reporting relationship to both the McFarlan Board of Directors and to the PVM President/CEO.  A recruitment process has been launched and interested individuals are invited to visit www.pvm.org for more information.
Robert Bessert, President and Chair of the McFarlan Board of Directors, stated “The Board of McFarlan Charitable Corporation is thrilled to enter into this Management Agreement with PVM.  Because of our similar missions, PVM will be able to begin managing McFarlan with little disruption.  We look forward to our future relationship”.  Roger Myers, PVM President and CEO, commenting on the LOI said, “PVM is looking forward to working closely with the McFarlan Charitable Corporation and to strengthening its impressive 90 year legacy of providing quality services to Flint area seniors.  We are excited about the prospects of sharing PVM’s professional experiences and leadership resources, along with becoming engaged with a broad set of community stakeholders.”  

Royal Oak's Beaumont Hospital receives cancer-killing medical device for new proton therapy center


The Gantry, a medical device that directs a cancer-killing proton beam at tumors  — used for the treatment of tumors of the brain, central nervous system, and lung, among other tumors — has arrived at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Beaumont's new proton therapy building that will house the Gantry is expected to open next spring.

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Auburn Hills' fabricating firm acquires Canadian adhesive product manufacturer


Auburn Hills-based automotive supplier Unique Fabricating Inc., a manufacturer of multi-material foam, rubber, and plastic components, has acquired Intasco Corp., a Canadian manufacturer of precision die cut solutions, for $21 million.

“This acquisition is representative of our strategy to acquire profitable companies that add new markets, products, and processes that enable us to recognize sales efficiencies and expand our scale,” says John Weinhardt, CEO of Unique Fabricating. “The specialized processes and customized nature of Intasco's offerings provide an attractive, high-margin growth opportunity to augment our financial performance.”

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