DBusiness Daily Update: “Floating Citadel” Sculpture by Scott Hocking Unveiled at Huntington Place, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
The “Floating Citadel” sculpture by artist Scott Hocking now sits in the main circle drive of Huntington Place. // Courtesy of the DRCFA Art Foundation
The “Floating Citadel” sculpture by artist Scott Hocking now sits in the main circle drive of Huntington Place. // Courtesy of the DRCFA Art Foundation

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

“Floating Citadel” Sculpture by Scott Hocking Unveiled at Huntington Place

The DRCFA Art Foundation unveiled a new public art outdoor sculpture, “Floating Citadel,” by internationally acclaimed artist Scott Hocking at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit. The 11-foot diameter bronze sculpture is in the main circle drive of the convention center.

“We are excited to unveil this incredible sculpture at the front door of the world-class Huntington Place, welcoming our community and 1.5 million visitors each year,” says Lisa Canada, DRCFA board chair and DRCFA Art Foundation chair. “We are very grateful to our donors who made it possible to bring Scott Hocking’s vision to life and growing our public art collection at the center for all to enjoy. A special thank you to Huntington Bank for their generosity for this beautiful piece.”

Funders for “Floating Citadel” include Huntington Bank, The Kresge Foundation, the City of Detroit Office of Arts and Culture, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, National Electrical Contractors Association, IBEW Local 58, and the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

“Great cities have great public art and Detroit is gaining a national reputation for its murals and other forms of beauty we are creating across our city,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are fortunate to have this beautiful new work by internationally acclaimed artist Scott Hocking to add to our public collection and to welcome visitors to Huntington Place, which has its own great collection of art to explore and enjoy.”

“Floating Citadel” joins the public art collection at Huntington Place that includes work by internationally respected artists such as Hubert Massey, Robert Sestok, Tyree Guyton, and Gilda Snowden, among others.

“It’s a bit surreal to have my art installed in the Civic Center of Detroit, in the center of the City where I’ve been my whole life,” says Hocking. “So much iconic art and architecture surrounding it, and so many layers of history right on this spot, it’s mind-blowing.  I’m truly grateful to be a part of that ongoing history, and I feel pretty lucky.”

During the unveiling of “Floating Citadel,” the DRCFA Art Foundation gave a special dedication to Larry Alexander, the first chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

Focused on Detroit history and Huntington Place’s status as a global hub of activity, “Floating Citadel” is inspired by everything from ancient Native shorelines and French voyageurs to the city’s status as an artistic, creative, and entrepreneurial beacon.

It is influenced by the Savoyard Creek and the original Detroit River edge, which ran within steps of this sculpture’s site. The sculpture takes its name from the original walled Village boundaries and its defensive core, “the Citadel,” which was located where this sculpture stands.

The bronze sculpture harkens back to thousands of years of mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the copper and iron ore that traveled down the Great Lakes to Detroit, creating an industrial giant and auto-industry capital for over 100 years. All of these highlights through history occurred right where this sculpture is installed, at the corner of Washington and Jefferson, and the work will incorporate all of these qualities, to create a monument that speaks to Detroit’s past, present, and future.

Visually inspired by the East Jordan Iron Works cast-iron grates that are found throughout Michigan, “Floating Citadel’s” form references celestial bodies, astrolabes, cages, drains, thresholds, mystic symbols, and human skeletons – specifically echoing the idea of rib cages, which protect life, but also trap us on the earthly plane. The work is meant to represent both a global, terrestrial object, and yet an ascending, spiritual form.

Detroit joins major convention centers throughout the country featuring public art including cities such as Chicago, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. 

Birmingham’s TIR Equities Secures $16.7M Cash Out Refinance Loan with Help from Lev

Lev, the commercial real estate (CRE) financing platform, today announced the completion of a $16.7 million cash out refinance loan secured for TIR Equities located in Birmingham.

The loan, structured by Lev’s Justin Piasecki, Richard Sutton, and Max Lipner, closed with significant cash out proceeds for the borrower, enabling re-investment into four existing properties and new real estate investment opportunities.

“Lev provided white glove service and coordinated the deal from start to finish, working very closely with both myself and the lender to ensure a smooth process. I’m very happy with the end result,” says Ara Darakjian, a managing member of TIR Equities.

Darakjian has owned and operated the four properties located in Michigan for decades, with this newly closed transaction representing a significant milestone in his business growth trajectory. In addition, through Lev’s proprietary technology, TIR Equities received advantageous terms amid a challenging rising interest rate environment.

“The significant cash out proceeds achieved through the refinancing were a result of Mr. Darakjian’s excellent asset management capabilities and knowledge of the local market, as well as Lev’s expert guidance throughout a complicated loan placement and closing process,” says Justin Piasecki, managing partner at Lev. “We’re thrilled to have another quick close in the books.”

Oak Park’s Forgotten Harvest Brings Back Women’s Harvest Lunch Fundraising Event

Forgotten Harvest, the Oak Park-based food rescue service, announced the return of its annual fall fundraising event, Women’s Harvest Lunch, presented by the Kroger Co. of Michigan on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Royal Oak Farmers Market.

The event seeks to bring together women, businesses, and community leaders who are committed to alleviating hunger and reducing food waste.

Featuring a coursed luncheon highlighting the seasonal, nutritious produce Forgotten Harvest distributes through their pantry partners, the event will also feature a mixology course and drink pairing led by a local mixologist as well as additional distinguished speakers and a networking hour.

Proceeds from the event benefit Forgotten Harvest’s efforts to provide fresh, healthy produce that is too often unavailable or unaffordable to those in need through the organization’s farm, pantry partners, and grocery rescue efforts. Tickets begin at $100 and are on sale now.

Sponsors will have the ability to create themed tables for the luncheon. Sponsorship packages range from $1,500 to $10,000 and include multiple event perks and promotional benefits. Full sponsorship package descriptions can be found at the above link. For questions regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Erica Marra at emarra@forgottenharvest.org.

An online auction will take place in conjunction with this event from Sept. 26 to Oct. 9. For questions regarding the auction or information on how to donate an item, please contact Erica Marra at emarra@forgottenharvest.org.

For full event information and to purchase tickets, click here.

California Cannabis Brand STIIIZY to Open First Michigan Dispensary in Ferndale on Aug. 27

STIIIZY, the Los Angeles-based cannabis company, is opening its first cannabis dispensary outside of the Golden State in Ferndale with a new 7,000-square-foot Michigan flagship store at 642 E. Nine Mile Rd., opening Saturday, Aug. 27.

STIIIZY has had a presence in Michigan with its pods, infused joints, and pre-rolls for a while. The company says it is introducing its lifestyle brand in the state with its own dispensary. This includes manufacturing and selling STIIIZY logoed skateboard decks, a clothing line, and cannabis paraphernalia.

“The STIIIZY cannabis shopping experience, in our state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind in Michigan facility will be a controlled, efficient, and fun. We welcome one and all as we always put our customers satisfaction and safety first,” says Ryan Jundt, a representative for STIIIZY. “STIIIZY will be very involved in Ferndale and surrounding communities immediately, looking for charitable opportunities to give back.”

The STIIIZY consumer experience in Ferndale will have customers coming through its doors with no wait time in the lobby, instead going immediately into the store after check-in, providing the instant ability to peruse STIIIZY and other name brand products. Customers will be served by the more than 60 STIIIZY budtenders in a safe and efficient no-touch atmosphere.

When STIIIZY debuted in Los Angeles, thousands of customers lined up and thousands are also expected to show up in Ferndale. The first 100 customers will be rewarded with a free STIIIZY Ferndale engraved giant bong or an engraved battery as well as a STIIIZY Detroit shirt.

Others will receive different promotional items, deep discounts, free food, and refreshments. Rapper Tory Lanez, Icewear Vezzo, Snapdogg, and others will be on hand to promote their products. The company says social media response is indicating that thousands from adjacent states are planning to come to Ferndale for Saturday’s opening.

STIIIZY’s grand opening will happen from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at its Nine Mile location. Normal business hours following the grand opening will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

2022 Michigan Minority Procurement Conference Returns to In-person Format

The 41st Annual Michigan Minority Procurement Conference (MMPC) will take place from Tuesday, Aug. 23 through Thursday, Aug. 25 at Huntington Place (formerly COBO Center) in Detroit.

The MMPC, hosted by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), is a business conference dedicated to minority businesses in the business-to-business (B2B) industry and the corporations they supply.

The event draws close to 3,000 corporate buyers, executives, purchasing officers, and minority business owners each year. The event features a business matchmaker, where business owners have one-on-one meetings with buyers from the nation’s top corporations, and the largest regional supplier expo in the country, with over 200 exhibitors representing companies and corporations from around the world.

Following a two-year hiatus, the MMPC will be held in-person following strict health protocols. This year’s theme is “A.C.C.E.S.S. to Bridge Parity: Accelerating Capital, Contracts and Equity to Drive Sustainability.”

This theme focuses on areas that empower businesses of all sizes and enables them to take advantage of procurement opportunities, including electrification and access to capital. This aligns with the organization’s commitment to address the wealth gap by fueling the success of minority businesses.

Scheduled speakers and presentations cover myriad areas of interest to prepare businesses and business leaders to take part in procurement and business development opportunities. Conference enhancements include a showcase of minority business enterprise (MBE)-to-MBE sourcing opportunities and a matchmaker session.The event will feature sessions that include:

  • 90 MBE and buyer matchmaker appointments using MMSDC’s proprietary software, Matchmaker 365
  • The HerStory Keynote with NBA owner Valerie Daniels-Carter interviewed by Carla Walker-Miller.
  • An Electrification Forum led by chief engineers from various industries.
  • The Chief Diversity Officer Real Talk, Real Results session returns by popular demand.
  • An economic outlook with Kristen Broady from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Opening Session: 333 Years – Best Practices to drive MBE growth

“Our team has curated an impactful schedule for this year’s conference,” says Michelle Sourie Robinson, president, and CEO of the MMSDC. “MMPC will empower our attendees to compete for business opportunities through information, access, and resources.”

A complete schedule of events and speakers as well as tickets for the MMPC can be found at mmpc.minoritysupplier.org

McMullen Boutique and Bedrock Partner to Open Pop-up in Detroit this September

McMullen, an all-inclusive specialty retailer for luxury fashion, accessories, and home décor with its flagship store in Oakland, Cal., in partnership with Bedrock, a real estate developer managing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland, is set to open a six-month pop-up shop in downtown Detroit.

The grand opening is slated for Friday, Sept. 16 at 1419 Woodward Avenue along the Woodward retail corridor in Detroit’s Capitol City district, just three doors down from the lululemon store and across the street from the Shinola Hotel.

Founded by Sherri McMullen in 2007, the eponymous retailer features a curated selection of apparel, accessories, and home décor with emerging and established designers from around the globe.

The McMullen brand’s commitment to female empowerment and support of African and African American designers will be showcased at the downtown Detroit boutique.

“McMullen is excited to open a pop up in Detroit, a city much like Oakland, with a rich history and culture, and generally underrepresented in the fashion industry,” says Sherri McMullen. “We look forward to tapping into the city’s arts, entertainment and food scene, and engaging in meaningful conversations with the Detroit community both through our unique assortment of up-and-coming designers and also through facilitating connections and knowledge sharing.”

McMullen is excited to partner with organizations in Detroit that focus on women, children, and arts and is currently working to solidify those partnerships. The Detroit shop will carry goods from designers such as Christopher John Rogers, Proenza Schouler, Rachel Comey, Peter Do, Aisling Camps, Tracy Reese, and Mara Hoffman.

“I am so excited that McMullen has chosen to pop up in Detroit! Sherri McMullen is a retail maverick and a true merchant with an incredible eye for exciting, wearable fashion,” says Reese, a native-Detroit fashion designer. “Detroiters have been starved for just this type of immersive retail experience. Everyone who loves fashion will be beating down her door.”

In November, McMullen will be launching its 15-year anniversary collection which will feature exclusive pieces ranging from jewelry, beauty, to apparel by 15 of its coveted designers. McMullen is also the exclusive US retailer of Nigeria-based brand, Lisa Folawiyo.

“Sherri McMullen is a fashion pioneer, and we can’t wait to welcome this forward-thinking, women-owned concept to downtown Detroit,” says Ivy Greaner, COO of Bedrock. “This is such a pivotal time for retail in Detroit and McMullen not only brings a fresh designer offering, but they are also paving the way for up-and-coming brands to break through in the market.”

The store hours will be Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For additional information, visit shopmcmullen.com.

OneStream Partners with KKCG to Streamline Financial Reporting

KKCG, an investment group based in Switzerland, has selected Rochester-based corporate performance management (CPM) vendor OneStream and SIMPLEBEEZ, a Czech based implementation partner, to unify and streamline the company’s complex financial operations, replacing its current financial consolidation and reporting system with OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform.

“It is an honor to be selected by KKCG to streamline their financial processes and drive further growth within the Czech Republic,” says Johan Edlund, senior vice president of sales EMEA at OneStream. “We look forward to working with KKCG to unleash the power of finance and drive strategic, long-term growth by unifying their financial processes.”

KKCG says OneStream’s platform demonstrated to be the most efficient solution to handle the organization’s complex and fast evolving financial requirements. OneStream’s customer success, expertise and demonstrated experience of SIMPLEBEEZ also played a significant role in the decision.

KKCG will work with SIMPLEBEEZ and OneStream to deploy 100 users in phase one of implementation and streamline KKCG’s International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) consolidation, covering all four pillars of their business.

“We are happy to start a new partnership with OneStream and SIMPLEBEEZ to transform our consolidation and reporting processes and enable us to be more flexible and prepared for further business expansion,” says Zdeněk Jurák, finance manager at KKCG. “We think OneStream is the most capable system to handle our complex financial requirements in a single unified platform.

“Additionally, we have chosen SIMPLEBEEZ as an implementation partner due to their hands-on experience with similar complex projects. This partnership will allow KKCG to drive growth through streamlined processes, data-backed insights, and a single source of truth within the organization.”