DBusiness Daily Update: FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino Debuts New VIP Room, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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The new two-story retail sportsbook at MotorCity Casino expanded its footprint and added a VIP room. // Courtesy of MotorCity Casino
The new two-story retail sportsbook at MotorCity Casino expanded its footprint and added a VIP room. // Courtesy of MotorCity Casino

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino Debuts New VIP Room

MotorCity Casino and FanDuel Group recently opened the renovated FanDuel Sportsbook inside MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit. The two-story retail sportsbook expanded its footprint and added a VIP room to better serve its customers.

The exclusive VIP room comprises 1,100 square feet of sports watching entertainment and includes a bar, 15 HD TVs, comfortable leather seating, and capacity for up to 25 customers.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino features eight betting windows, 67 HD TVs, a sports ticker, and 54 self-service IGT PlaySports betting kiosks.

Rocket Cos. CEO Jay Farner Donates $1M to YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Cos. and a member of the Executive Committee for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, today announced a $1 million donation to the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit to expand the organization’s swim education programming over the next three years.

The investment will provide free programming to more than 7,500 metro Detroit youth. It will grow capacity in the Youth Safety Around Water Drowning Prevention program and allow it to serve more than 5,625 additional students, as well as an additional 1,875 participants in the Youth Swim lessons.

The donation also will go toward ensuring adequate lifeguard and instructor training as well as assist the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit in maintaining an appropriate ratio of instructors to students.

“As the father of three competitive swimmers, I am grateful for the role swimming has played in my children’s development, as well as the water safety education they have received,” Farner says. “It is important to me to share the joy of swimming with others, so that whether it’s in a pool, the river or in one of our Great Lakes, our youth are swimming carefully and equipped with the training they need to stay safe.”

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit operates seven facilities in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, each equipped with a pool and educational programming. The majority of the students supported through the investment will be at the flagship Boll Family YMCA, located in downtown Detroit.

“We are honored by Jay’s investment supporting the youth of our community through swim safety education, as well as his passionate advocacy as a member of our executive committee and the father of school-age competitive swimmers,” says Helene Weir, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. “Our goal is to support swimmers from every background who use our facilities, especially our youth, who are most in need of the proper tools and education to succeed. This investment will bring us closer to ensuring our youth can swim strongly and safely.”

City and State Announce $38M in LIHTC Tax Credits for Affordable Housing Projects in Detroit

City of Detroit and state of Michigan officials Thursday announced four projects totaling 183 units of new deeply affordable housing for Detroit residents that will be built thanks to $38 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Detroit received the most LIHTC awards of any city in Michigan.

The projects represent a total investment of $60.9 million across four city neighborhoods and will bring high-quality affordable housing for lower-income Detroiters and those most at risk of homelessness, as well as 20 market-rate apartments.

All 183 affordable units will have rents considered affordable to households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The announcement was made at St. Matthew’s School in the MorningSide community, one of the four LIHTC awardees this year. Following a $17.4 million conversion by the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, the vacant school will become the Residences at St. Matthew, home to 46 units of affordable housing. The project received $9.8 million in LIHTC funding from MSHDA, as well as 25 MSHDA project-based vouchers for permanent supportive housing units, ensuring those residents will not pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.

The other three Detroit LIHTC awardees are ground-up new construction projects replacing empty lots, with 157 units – 137 of which are reserved as affordable housing below 60 percent AMI. They are:

4401 Rosa Parks

This development at Rosa Parks Boulevard and Calumet will replace a vacant lot that was once part of the Wilbur Wright School campus. The project’s deep affordability will help ease the demand and high rents in the popular Woodbridge neighborhood. Construction is to start in the first quarter of next year and wrap up in the third quarter of 2024.

The developers are Cinnaire Solutions Corp. and Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corp. The LIHTC award value is $8.9 million over 10 years.

Greystone Senior Living

This new construction is on a vacant site on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, just west of Cass Avenue. The building will consist of 49 one- and two-bedroom units across four floors. Located in the heart of Midtown, the Greystone will offer seniors quick and easy access to public transit like the QLINE as well as shopping destinations such as Whole Foods. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 and wrap up by the end of the year.

The developer is Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corp. The LIHTC award value is $8.26 million over 10 years.

Orchard Village Apartments

CHN Housing Partners and Detroit Blight Busters are co-developing the 48-unit Orchard Village Apartments at Orchard and Santa Clara streets in the heart of Old Redford and near Blight Busters’ many commercial corridor projects near Lahser and Grand River. The two-bedroom Orchard Village apartments will serve residents with incomes of 30 percent to 60 percent AMI. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2023 and complete in 2024. CHN will manage the property once construction is complete.

The developers are CHN Housing Partners and Detroit Blight Busters. The LIHTC award value is $10.8 million over 10 years.

FDIC Signs Lease for Class A Office Space in Wixom’s Assembly Park 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has signed a lease for a 6,000-square-foot, Class A office space at 38000 Assembly Park Drive in Wixom.

FDIC will be closing the doors of its Livonia and Grand Rapids offices to move to this new office. The agency’s new space — in shell condition — will be a consolidation of two existing office spaces within the building. FDIC plans to build out the entire space, which will include training rooms for employees. Other building perks include free parking and wooded surroundings.

Construction on FDIC’s new space will begin in June, and the company plans to move into it in the fall.

General RV owns the building and the leasing was handled by JLL.

A 36,000-square-foot building with high-end finishes, 38000 Assembly Park Drive is one of two office locations within Assembly Park, a mixed-use development. It’s located near a variety of retail, dining, and lodging options, including Menards, General RV, Duluth Trading Company, Culver’s, Wendy’s, The Grand Diner, Meijer, the Holiday Inn Express, and more. Previously the site of the Ford Wixom Assembly Plant, the site was demolished and redeveloped to appeal to a wide range of tenants.

All Five Henry Ford Health Hospitals Earn Highest Quality Recognition for Stroke Care

All five hospitals of Henry Ford Health that are equipped to treat stroke, earned Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite status for stroke care excellence from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

This top-quality achievement recognizes Henry Ford’s commitment to ensuring patients with stroke receive the most appropriate and timely treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines grounded in the latest scientific evidence.

“This is the second consecutive year all of our hospitals have earned the Gold Plus designation, and the first time all of our hospitals at Henry Ford Health have earned Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite status,” says Dr. Alex Chebl, director of the Division of Vascular Neurology for Henry Ford Health and director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “While stroke continues to be a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, the lasting effects of stroke can be significantly minimized when a patient is treated quickly and with evidence-based therapies.

“These quality recognitions from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association are a testament to the consistency of care our patients receive when being treated for stroke at each one of our Henry Ford hospitals.”

Participation in Get With The Guidelines is the first level of recognition, which acknowledges entry of baseline stroke care data into the Patient Management Tool. Beyond participation, there are three levels of recognition, determined by the length of demonstrated performance:

  • Gold recognizes successful performance of 24 consecutive months or more
  • Silver recognizes successful performance of 12 consecutive months
  • Bronze recognizes successful performance of 90 consecutive days

The Gold Plus award, which is what all Henry Ford Health hospitals earned, is an advanced level of recognition, acknowledging consistent compliance with quality measures embedded within the Patient Management Tool. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with evidence-based guidelines to improve outcomes for those who experience stroke.

The Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite designation signifies that the hospitals achieved arrival to thrombolytic therapy times within 60 minutes for 85 percent or more of eligible acute ischemic stroke patients. IV tPA is a “clot busting” drug that helps break up the blood clot causing a disruption of blood flow to the brain, and the faster this is given, the more likely it is for patients to have better outcomes.

All five Henry Ford hospitals were also recognized with Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, which recognizes their commitment to ensuring patients with Type 2 diabetes receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized with a stroke.

To learn more, visit here.

Blue Cross Awards $50K Grant to Corktown Health Institute to Support LGBTQIA+ Community

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced $50,000 in grant funding awarded to Corktown Health’s new affiliate organization to advance equitable LGBTQIA+ health care practices in Michigan: Corktown LGBTQIA+ Health Institute.

Building on a nationwide model for equitable care inclusive of sexual orientation, the institute will provide expanded education and training to health care providers and organizations, equipping them with the tools, resources, and insight to effectively and compassionately treat all patients in an affirming and inclusive manner.

Corktown Health Center, a Blue Cross Strengthening the Safety Net-recognized clinic, already offers a variety of integrated health care services in southeast Michigan, including primary care, behavioral health, comprehensive HIV care and treatment, support for older adults, food assistance, and health insurance and general patient navigation.

Roughly 70% of Corktown Health’s patients identify as LGBTQIA+. According to UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, as of 2020 approximately 373,000 people in Michigan ages 13+ identify within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Corktown Health Institute will serve as the education, policy, and advocacy arm of the health care practice, committed to creating educational tools for Michigan health care systems and strengthen community partnerships. Key strategic priorities for Corktown Health Institute over the next year include developing online training programs that will dive deep into the nuts and bolts of LGBTQIA+-affirming care, compiling and distributing a directory of LGBTQIA+-affirming providers in Michigan, and training of medical professionals on LGBTQIA+-affirming care.

“The establishment of Corktown Health Institute is historic for our community in advancing health equity for all and reaching a resilient, connected LGBTQIA+ community,” says Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “This partnership exemplifies the very need to identify the disparities in health and health care in some of our most underrepresented populations, understand what the barriers to care are and provide actionable solutions through education and dialogue.”

Patrick Yankee, chief development officer at Corktown Health, says: “The Institute’s goal is to bring together medical professionals, researchers, and community members working in areas of LGBTQIA+ health so that we can improve access to affirming care for all Michigan residents.”

For more information, visit here.

Ernst & Young Announces Winners for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Awards

Ernst & Young is Detroit today announced winners of its Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award.

“EY has honored the curiosity, ingenuity, courage, and drive of unstoppable entrepreneurs since 1986, and we are proud to continue the tradition again this year by celebrating this outstanding group of leaders,” says Joe Lenglet, EY partner and Entrepreneur of the Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio program co-director.

Laura Trosper, EY partner and Entrepreneur of the Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio program co-director, says: “Each of these entrepreneurs has persevered to make their visions become a reality, and we have no doubt that they will benefit from and serve as valuable members of our global Entrepreneur of the Year community.”

The winners are:

  • Greg Williams, Acrisure, Grand Rapids
  • John Sammut and Jochen Lipp, Firstronic, Grand Rapids
  • Marcus Lewis, Full View Productions, Detroit
  • Barbara Yolles-Ludwig, Ludwig Plus, Bingham Farms
  • Dan Jaraczewski, R & E Automated, Romeo
  • Marc Schupan, Schupan & Sons Inc., Kalamazoo
  • Joe Zago, The Carpet Guys, Troy
  • Daryl Adams, The Shyft Group, Novi
  • Kurt Steckling and Jason Vazzano, Vectorform, Royal Oak
  • Shaya Baum, Wing Lake Capital Partners, Farmington Hills
  • Bryan Keller, Keller Logistics Group, Defiance, Ohio

For more information, visit here.

Organizations to Host ‘Experience Innovation – Smart Mobility’ June 29

The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. are hosting the virtual “Experience Innovation – Smart Mobility” event from 9-10 a.m. June 29.

The focus of the event is electrification and battery technology. Participants will hear multiple rapid-fire pitches of cutting-edge smart mobility solutions.

Participating Israeli companies include:

  • Addionics — A low-cost, drop-in, high power, and high energy battery solution.
  • Carrar — Battery thermal management systems.
  • Electreon — Wirelessly charge electric vehicles.
  • Enervibe — Kinetic energy harvesting for wireless applications.

To register, visit here.

Detroit-based Event Ticketing Company Passage Triples Revenue in Three Years

Passage, a Detroit-based event ticketing company launched in 2014, has reached 6 million ticket sales, serving more than 2 million customers, while tripling its revenue in the past three years.

In 2019, Passage’s revenue was $800,000 on ticket sales of $11.6 million rising to $2.4 million and $37.3 million in ticket sales by 2021; projected revenue for 2022 is at $4.5 million with $65 million in ticket sales. The company says it specializes in ticketing for small to medium-sized events, offering customized features to maximize sales for event organizers while keeping service fees low.

Features include assigned seating, virtual queues, a “pay what you want” price model, merchandise sales, season passes, subscriptions, concessions, and NFT (non-fungible token) collectibles, allowing event organizers to use just one vendor instead of multiple vendors.

This month also saw the launch of Digital NFT Collectibles, allowing event organizers to sell limited-edition digital collectibles to their fans. Unlike other NFT collectibles, Passage Collectibles are focused on event experiences and can be redeemed for physical items, used for VIP access at events, and more.

During the pandemic, the company launched Passage Capital, a program to provide cash-infusions to small events that were struggling with upfront costs. The program just reached $250,000 in cash-infusions and is on pace to make $500,000 capital-infusions in 2022.

Much of Passage’s success comes from the company’s approach of building category-specific features, functionality, and even branding for the event categories it works with. Passage says it now is the leading provider of haunted house tickets in the U.S., with more than $80 million worth of tickets sold under the brand HauntPay.

Other client categories include sports, particularly semi-pro, minor leagues, and soccer league games; escape rooms; food and drink festivals; axe-throwing and Scottish Highland games. In March 2020, the company launched Passage Virtual Events allowing venues and fans to continue to connect, despite pandemic restrictions. The company has sold tickets for events in all 50 states and as far afield as Canada and Australia. Closer to home, Passage is the official ticketing partner of Detroit City FC. Earlier in 2022, the company partnered with FloSports, which provides live streaming for over 200,000 events every year.

“I am proud to have built a business with a global reach right here in Detroit,” says Alex Linebrink, co-founder and CEO of Passage. “By helping thousands of events around the country, and even internationally, grow their own businesses, we’re showing just how much of an impact Detroit can have on the world.”

Linebrink founded the company with Passage Chief Technical Officer Patrick Misch, a full stack engineer and mobile application developer. The success of Passage, according to Linebrink, is its ability to offer unique features to events so that they can grow their audience.

For more information on Passage, visit here.

SkySpecs Integrates Advanced AI Capabilities to Enhance Wind Turbine Monitoring

Wind turbine operators now can now unlock the full potential of their fleet data in order to lower cost and focus on optimizing for maximum uptime with the launch of the Horizon CMS platform from SkySpecs in Ann Arbor.

The Advanced Condition Monitoring Platform is enhanced with Kaleidoscope AI — a cutting-edge fault detection technology that uses AI for early fault detection of critical drivetrain components like gearboxes, generators, and main bearings.

“We built the platform so operators can unify sensor data from across their entire fleet, and radically improve predictive performance and efficiency,” says Danny Ellis, CEO of SkySpecs. “True diagnostic AI has been a critical development path to help asset operators achieve a step change in monitoring efficiency. Through that effort, we realized early that asset owners also just need better CMS tools to improve efficiency and performance. CMS’ slow evolution has been holding the industry back. Horizon CMS is the leap forward the industry needs.”

Horizon CMS is a cloud-based platform for condition monitoring of renewable energy assets using sensor data streams from the already existing CMS hardware. It is built to enable the deployment of the Kaleidoscope AI library for advanced fault detection. The AI models are trained using CMS domain knowledge, mechanical data, and past failure data. This ensures that operators get early and robust warnings on developing faults. The work experience for CMS engineering teams will be revolutionized with a highly performant diagnostic toolbox and powerful alarm management workflows.

The software platform works across multiple CMS brands and seamlessly interfaces with existing hardware. It enables asset operators to unify condition monitoring across data streams into a single powerful platform. This is especially important for engineers and data scientists that are monitoring fleets with multi-brand wind turbines.

“Horizon CMS is a part of setting the industry up to take a big step into the future,” Ellis says. “Access to actionable data is a key part of that next step. Operators know that data is crucial for performance management and long-term maintenance of fleets. Horizon CMS puts all the necessary data at their fingertips.”

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