West Michigan News

November 13, 2008

Fifteen years ago, when Jack Groot founded JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar in downtown Holland, coffee shops weren’t on every corner in every town, and they didn’t have the aura of “cool” they have now. Groot had a vision to serve great coffee and baked goods, and his entrepreneurial ideas didn’t stop there.


Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, Food, Holland, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

July 24, 2008

During a night on the town, the short jaunt from one side of downtown Grand Rapids to the other hardly warrants the time and cash it takes to call a traditional taxi. Nor does it justify the hassle of fetching the car from a ramp and finding a new parking spot. Walking is always an option, but then there’s the friend who is too tired, or the one who wore stilettos.



Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

May 01, 2008

For the renovation of its newest commercial property, the two-story office building 1331 Lake Drive SE in Eastown, Second Story Properties will conduct a uniquely public experiment in what it takes to develop a green building.


“My company has always prided itself on social responsibility,” says Second Story President Sam Cummings. “A lot of what we’ve done historically has been green in practice but not officially LEED. We’d like to get to the point of doing LEED on all our buildings. But first we have to prove that a green building can work in a commercial application. We just don’t know if the marketplace will accept the additional expense of a LEED-certified restoration.”

Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

April 26, 2008

The US Green Building Council’s NaturalTalent Design Competition was daunting: re-design an existing 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility into a LEED-qualified space and do it in 10 weeks. The winner, Ryan Garone of Design Plus, wasn’t deterred. He out-designed a total of 71 competitors that included 17 teams of architectural design students from 7 different colleges as well as one designer from another firm.



Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, Education, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

January 24, 2008

Cities, like people, make first impressions, long-lasting impressions on our visitors and others who are in the process of determining where they will live, establish businesses, and raise their families. That can be a good or a bad thing, but for Grand Rapids it’s very positive.


We’ve been making a great first impression because of our friendly and talented people, our strong values of hope, family and faith, and our commitment to sustainable growth and renewal. We are making national news for our forward-thinking investments and we are seen by others as a model city for our public-private partnerships and our green approach to the future.

Category: Community, Culture, Diversity, Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Healthcare, Innovation, Lakeshore, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

October 11, 2007

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) wants to move the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) concept beyond specific buildings to encompass entire neighborhoods. Grand Rapids and several other municipalities have answered the call to participate in a pilot program, LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System (LEED-ND).



Category: Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

July 12, 2007

A consortium of 21 laboratories across Michigan life sciences corridor are available to entrepreneurs to research, test, develop, and even package clinical products. The Core Technology Alliance (CTA), which is housed at the Van Andel Institute in downtown Grand Rapids, is making it easier for life sciences startups to make their product without building an expensive laboratory many can't afford.


Category: Community, Education, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, LifeSciences, Technology, WestMichigan

September 28, 2006

Bazzani Associates recently received the nation’s first Double Gold LEED Certification for The East Hills Center (Of the Universe) building, corner of Lake Drive and Diamond. Gold certifications were awarded for both LEED-CS and LEED-CI.



Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, Design, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

August 03, 2006

Think about Grand Rapids-area architecture. A lot of new construction is going on. There are so many cranes overlooking downtown today, you’d think we were living in Beijing.


Let’s look a little closer at some of these glamorous attention getters: certainly, The Lacks Cancer Center. The Rapids' Central Station. The new Metropolitan Hospital. But also, look at some smaller projects: The Helmus Building. Keystone Community Church. The East Hills Center (of the Universe.). What do all these destinations have in common?



Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Manufacturing, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan
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