West Michigan News

April 22, 2010
With the expansion of Bell's Eccentric Cafe, the imminent reopening of Kraftbrau Brewery and The Strutt gaining popularity almost by the minute, the music scene in Kalamazoo is on the move.

And if the past and present scenes are indicators, the direction it's headed in will be beyond labels.

Venues are changing to keep up with the new musical landscape. A $2.5 million renovation of Larry Bell's popular Eccentric Cafe is in the works. Signs have been hung outside the new home of Kraftbrau Brewery on Portage Street and more than 1,000 Facebook fans eagerly await the reopening of one of the favorite venue of the local-music lovers.
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

April 22, 2010
After 12 years at 24 E. 8th St. in Holland, the location for Kilwin's just wasn't working anymore. The confectioner was sandwiched between retail shops that closed early, greatly reducing customer traffic during the evening hours. And there wasn't enough room for the coffee shop that owners Darl and Judy Dalman wanted to add for Kilwin's new line of cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate.

Category: Community, Food, Holland, WestMichigan

April 08, 2010
It's all in how you look at it. And in an art gallery, looking is what you do.

When Midtown Gallery opened at 356 South Kalamazoo Mall in July 2009, some might have looked at it as business suicide.

Opening a new business in the midst of the most grueling economic times many of us have seen? Who will have a buck or a few hundred to spare for art?
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Entertainment, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

April 08, 2010
Grand Rapids' Aquinas College has begun a massive overhaul of its outdated athletic facility that promises to transform the 1957 structure into a showplace for college sports and fitness training.

The existing facility on the north side of the campus was mostly gymnasium. The basketball and volleyball courts ran north-south, but will be reoriented to east-west in the center of the main level. That makes room for the addition of interior second levels to the north and south, says Scott Vyn, design director for Integrated Architecture, the firm that designed the new structure.
Category: Community, Design, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sports&Recreation, WestMichigan

April 01, 2010

A proposed network of walking and bike trails in Lowell called the Lowell Area Trailway got a jumpstart this week with the announcement that nearly $1.1 million has been raised through philanthropy and grants for construction of Phase 1, a 2.5-mile paved trail connecting area schools.


Category: Community, GrandRapids, Health, Sports&Recreation, WestMichigan

March 18, 2010
If you didn't know it was there, as you approach Studio 246 on the north end of the Kalamazoo Mall, you could be forgiven for not recognizing the downtown storefront as Kalamazoo's newest home for theater.

If you do know it's there, you could be forgiven for asking, "isn't this the old home of theater in Kalamazoo?"

Both are true. This is the home of the Kalamazoo's newest theater collaboration, located in the space at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall, a spot on the far end of the outdoor pedestrian mall in the heart of downtown.
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

March 18, 2010
Studio 246 was born out of the demise of the Whole Art Theatre at the end 2009.
It's made up of a collection of actors who were not ready to give up when Whole Art, the 33-year-old home of innovative, often daring theater turned off the spotlights for the last time.
Category: Arts, Culture, Kalamazoo

March 11, 2010
PORTAGE – Like the frozen expanse of West Lake that stretches out from beyond the glass walls of MAVCON Properties' Portage headquarters on the east end of the lake, James Dally's dreams for Kalamazoo are expansive.

Category: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

February 25, 2010
If Jason and Kris Spaulding have their way, local growers will drink the fruits of their labor at a new European microbrewery in the middle of the East Hills business district in Grand Rapids.

Brewery Vivant, a microbrewery specializing in French and Belgian beers, is the lead tenant in Locus Development's renovation of the former Spectrum Health Childcare property at 925 Cherry Street.

Category: Community, Culture, Food, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

February 18, 2010
It may look peaceful when the frontloaders aren't running, but there's always a churning caldron of activity under the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, where microbes feast on the more than 4 million tons of trash covered by a layer of soil. As they munch on organic matter, the anaerobic bacteria release methane, a colorless and odorless gas that can be cleaned and burned. Kent County and Granger Electric have joined forces to turn the waste methane into electricity -- enough to power more than 1,800 homes. Rapid Growth takes you behind the scenes of how this creative public-private partnership turns a greenhouse gas into a valuable commodity.
Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan
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