THE FOLKS AT TriMedia (an environmental and engineering firm) are starting to pack up their boxes as they get ready for their move across West Washington Street to their attractive, renovated new offices.
The official move-in could be by the end of the month.
The extensive renovation of the building, which used to house various businesses including a radio station and rental apartments, has taken about seven months.
It’s been time well-spent. An eyesore has been converted into a showplace.
You can imagine how eager TriMedia’s 40 employees are for the move; they’ve been watching the construction of their new office from their rented space across the street ever since last spring.
WE’RE ACTUALLY WITNESSING a remarkable transformation of the West Washington neighborhood.
That huge hole just 100 yards away from TriMedia’s new digs? That’ll be the new headquarters for the UP Health Plan whose 130 or so employees are busting at the seams in their old building downtown.
The new building will consist of three stories above ground, and two underground for parking.
The new building should go up fast, we’re told. Occupancy by August is the word. Well, we’ll see about that.
OF COURSE, THE biggest new structure will be Staybridge Suites, less than a stone’s throw from the UP Health Plan building.
More than 100 suites, meant for weeklong stays–mostly business, many of them tied to the new hospital going in, along with vacationers.
Staybridge–also with three floors above ground, and two below for parking–should be open by late summer. That’s the plan, anyway. Until recently, the builders have been blessed with unusually good construction weather.
Veridea, the developer for both the Staybridge Suites and UP Health Plan projects, has a busy year ahead. You might recall, it also developed the nearby mBank building just two years ago.
SO YOU COMBINE all these new buildings, along with the imminent start of construction for the $250-300 million new hospital just to the south, and you’ve got a neighborhood in transition. For the better, most would agree.
Lutey’s Heritage Motors just sold their property to the hospital for an entrance to the hospital campus. You gotta think other property owners on or around West Washington might be sniffing around for other buyers eager to develop new businesses that would cater to this daily influx of professionals, along with the guests at Staybridge Suites.
Speaking of which.
How about a full service restaurant or two? Right now, diners in this neighborhood have three choices: 1) the New York Deli several blocks to the east 2) fastfoodarama a couple of blocks to the west or 3) a car trip to somewhere else.
Oh, one more thing. How about a trendy new name for this suddenly blossoming neighborhood to the west of downtown? How about WestWash? Or WashWest? Or Marqwest? MarWe? WeMar?
MEANTIME, DOWNTOWN, ENTREPRENEUR Jeff Nyquist continues his quest to get traction for his brand new high tech business, NeuroTrainer.
His two week old Gofundme campaign has taken in a few thousand dollars so far, with a few thousand more verbally committed. His goal by the end of January? An ambitious $100,000.
Equally important, though, he’s already got customers coming in for sessions at his Brain Gym which is under construction. And the campaign has generated professional interest–from computer scientists, exercise experts, entrepreneurs, and prospective future employees.
Nyquist has developed virtual reality software for athletes hoping to improve their skills. But he’s also aware that virtual reality has almost unlimited potential in a broad range of applications–for athletes, the elderly, realtors, builders, the military, gamers–and they may eventually end up at his Brain Gym.
For now, though, he’s looking for athletes, in particular, and of course, ground floor investors for his business. And he’s working 14-18 hours a day trying to find them.
NMU GRAD ZACH Schroeder is cooking things up in Hessel. Literally.
He’s the program director and chef at the Les Cheneaux Culinary School over on the shores of Lake Huron.
The school was founded a year and a half ago–eight students graduated last year, and eight more are in class this year. It’s a one year program, and all of the graduates got jobs last year, most of them in management.
Schroeder says word is getting around about the school. Twenty prospective students have applied for next year, one from as far away as Texas.
The school emphasizes farm-to-table cuisine, and in fact, operates a highly regarded restaurant at the school, overlooking the lake, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Jam-packed nightly, Schroeder says. Reservations recommended.
ARE YOU LOOKING for that one final, belated Christmas gift? Or maybe a New Year’s present for that special someone?
Look no further than the Detroit News which recently reported on Michigan’s most expensive property for sale: Granot Loma, just 15 miles north of Marquette. It went up for sale in October and has drawn national interest.
The price? $40 million.
Not bad, considering you get 23 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 26 fireplaces, a guest house with four apartments, a couple of farm houses, a barn, a pool, a private harbor, and eight square miles of property.
Now, if we all pool our money and then come up with another investor to chip in $39.8 million, we can start planning an absolutely fabulous house-warming party.
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