DBusiness Daily Update: Sakura Novi Planning First Asian-themed Mixed-use Project in Michigan, 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.
Sakura Novi
Sakura Novi, an Asian-themed development, is believed to be the first of its kind in Michigan. // Courtesy of Sakura

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.

Sakura Novi Planning First Asian-themed Mixed-use Project in Michigan

Sakura Novi has submitted an application to demolish all of the vacant buildings on a 10-acre parcel in downtown Novi, formerly owned by the city of Novi, to make way for a mixed-use, Asian-themed development.

The application, required by the city when it re-zoned the property last May, is the first step in cleaning up the land and starting the development of Sakura Novi, a 30,000-square-foot collection of restaurants and retail; 132 townhouse apartments; 14,000 square feet of professional office space, Asian-inspired gardens surrounding a pond. It is believed to be the first project of its kind in Michigan.

Originally dubbed Asian Village, Sakura Novi has been in the planning stages for several years. Government, civic, and business leaders have have helped in the development of this concept, according to Sakura Novi.

Among those playing a role are members of the Novi City Council, representatives from Oakland County, and Japanese Business Society of Detroit Executive Director Shosaku Ueda.

With the land re-zoned and the city-owned property sold to the development group, supporters say they hope Sakura Novi will be a centerpiece in the city’s efforts to foster a welcoming, international district in the heart of downtown.

Ground-breaking on the Sakura Novi project is slated for the end of 2021 with a spring 2023 grand opening.

Electric Last Mile Solutions Books 1,000 Orders as Start of Production Begins

Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. (ELMS) in Troy announced Wednesday it has received a binding purchase order for 1,000 units of its Urban Delivery vehicle from its strategic distribution partner, Randy Marion Automotive Group in North Carolina.

Production of ELMS’ Urban Delivery vehicle started Monday at its plant in Mishawaka, Ind. and expects to ship its first units on Sept. 28.

“From the outset, we stated that our goal was to deliver the first commercial Class 1 EV to the U.S. market, and with the start of production this week we will achieve that milestone,” says James Taylor, CEO of ELMS. “This order is reflective of the work that we do with our customers and sales channel partners to understand and meet their unique business needs.”

“There is no doubt that the commercial last mile delivery market is demanding electric vehicles and ELMS is leading the charge,” says Randy Marion, founder and CEO of Randy Marion Automotive Group. “Our customers are excited to get their hands on the Urban Delivery vehicle for their many use cases, including e-commerce transportation, utilities, telecommunications and other commercial vehicle applications.”

MMS in Canton Township Unveils SmartStart Tech-enabled Document Solution

MMS Holdings Inc., a data-focused clinical research organization in Canton Township CRO, has released SmartStart tech-enabled templates to reduce time and effort in the medical trials document content creation process while increasing the quality of deliverables.

SmartStart templates apply structured authoring rules to the authoring process and include tech-enabled templates for protocols, statistical analysis plans (SAPs), and clinical study reports (CSRs). These templates were developed to improve consistency, time-savings, and quality while allowing for the reuse of data across deliverables, such as protocol to protocol, protocol to CSR, protocol to SAP, CSR to CSR, and SAP to SAP.

Key features of SmartStart templates are proven to reduce human errors by:

  • Automatically sharing reusable content within and across protocols, SAPs, and CSRs.
  • Reusable content in the body of the protocol and CSR will automatically update in the synopsis.
  • Reusable content can be imported between documents.
  • Increasing quality and reduction of authoring and QC effort.
  • Efficiently presenting reusable content across products, programs, and therapeutic areas.
  • Decreasing review times, allowing reviewers to focus on newly added content.

“A goal of the organization is to accelerate the development of new therapies,” says Audelia Munguia, director of safety risk management at MMS. “The innovative technology of our SmartStart templates will greatly reduce the time and effort needed when writing deliverables and bring therapies to patients quicker.”

According to Munguia, sponsors who use SmartStart templates will experience increased consistency and efficiencies for internal teams, sites, regulators, investigational review boards (IRB), and patients, as well as in downstream documents as previously completed protocols can be transferred into SmartStart templates.

Rocket Community Fund Brings Back Small Business Murals Project

In celebration of Detroit Month of Design during September, the Rocket Community Fund is hosting “Shop, Sip and See with the Small Business Murals Project” on Sept. 25 that includes free bus tours.

The tours are curated by the Detroit Experience Factory and will feature the businesses participating in the Small Business Murals Project, as well as a history of Detroit’s

This year, six new murals by local artists such as Freddy Diaz and Tony WHLGN Robinson are included. The murals will be displayed at Detroit local businesses, two of which are past Detroit Demo Day winners. While on the bus tour, attendees will see four murals that contain augmented reality integrations.

Since 2017, the Rocket Mortgage Community Fund has gifted 18 murals to small businesses throughout Detroit to creatively fuel economic impact and beautify neighborhoods.

For more information, visit here.

Cranbrook House Reopening to the Public for Tours Oct. 2

Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary in Bloomfield Hills announced that Cranbrook House will be reopening to the public for guided tours starting Saturday, Oct. 2. Tours will be offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The tours will run through Thanksgiving Weekend.

“After careful consideration, we have decided that it is safe to resume tours at this time with some modifications to ensure the wellness of our visitors and volunteers,” says Helen Maiman, chair of the Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary. “This will be the first time that the historic doors to Cranbrook House will be open for public tours since March of 2020. We thank the public for their patience during this time and are excited to welcome them back for tours this fall.”

While inside Cranbrook House, visitors and docents will be required to wear face masks. Those who are unable or prefer not to wear a face mask are encouraged to take advantage of virtual tours and other experiences offered online and through the Cranbrook app. Tour capacity will be limited for the 2021 season to allow room for distancing.

Cranbrook House tour registration is required in advance online by Friday at 10 a.m. before each tour. Tour admission is $20 for adults; $15 for seniors (60+), students, active-duty military, and new this year, first responders and health care professionals; and free for Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary members. In partnership with Museums for All, Cranbrook House tour admission also is free for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits).

Tours are offered by Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers who have completed an extensive docent training program. Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary is celebrating 50 years of service this year. During that time, it has supported approximately $1M in restoration, preservation, and maintenance projects at Cranbrook House and Gardens through its tours, membership dues, Endowment interest, and other funding sources.

Cranbrook House and Gardens is located at 380 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills. For more information on Cranbrook House and Gardens and to book a tour, please visit here or call 248-645-3149.

Judson Center Establishes the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19

The Judson Center in Farmington Hills, along with Development Centers and the Practice Transformation Institute, have formed the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 (DECC) to fill a void in communities where people have had lower vaccination rates and, as a result, are more likely to contract COVID-19, experience more severe symptoms, and die at significantly higher rates.

The coalition was made possible by a $500,000 Equity Alliance Grant awarded to Judson Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in May 2021.

Targeted communities for purposes of the grant are Detroit, Dearborn, Redford, and Warren.

“I knew that by identifying the right partner agencies, we could make an immediate impact with the Equity Alliance Grant,” says Lenora Hardy-Foster, president and CEO of the Judson Center. “Having strong partnership organizations is critical even for large agencies like Judson Center. When a national grant opportunity was presented, we were able to spring into action.”

The Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 considers nuances and needs of at-risk communities with culturally competent education and outreach.  Weekly mobile vaccination clinics are offered at food pantries and cultural centers. English is translated into other languages on promotional materials and translators are available. Information is disseminated by peer-to-peer conversations, making for less intimidating interactions. Additional community partners are sought from nonprofit and civic groups in Detroit, Dearborn, Redford, and Warren to help expand the reach of the DECC’s efforts.

Through the duration of the 18-month grant, outreach by the DECC is anticipated to improve overall public health by:

  • Decreasing infection rates in vulnerable communities, leading to lower health care costs.
  • Improving quality of life as more people are vaccinated making it safer to gather.
  • Reducing confusion and misinformation about the vaccine.
  • Decreasing health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.
  • Improving trust between communities of color and medical/human service providers.

In the first three months of its inception, the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 has had 2,000 touches in communities and administered 420 doses of the vaccine. Additional partners and stakeholders interested in joining the coalition’s grass roots efforts can contact Sherri Mignot at Sherri_Mignot@JudsonCenter.org or 248-837-2065.

For more information, visit here.

Jurassic Quest Coming to Suburban Collection Showplace in December

The largest dinosaur exhibit in North America, Jurassic Quest, which features more than 100 photorealistic creatures, is coming to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi for a limited run from Dec. 10-19.

Jurassic Quest boasts dinosaur themed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratots” soft play area for the littlest explorers, bounce houses and inflatable attractions (socks required), photo opportunities, and more.

Guests are invited to walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed – a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon. Meet the babies, hatched only at Jurassic Quest: Cammie the Camarasaurus, Tyson the T-Rex and Trixie the Triceratops – and, you may even catch one of our star dino trainers: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick or Park Ranger Marty.

Tickets are timed entry and start at $19 — reserve online to ensure desired date and time — or are available on-site and include a 100 percent ticket guarantee that in the event of a show cancellation or postponement for any reason. Some attractions require additional tickets.

Detroit Pistons to Host Open Practice Oct. 9 at Little Caesars Arena

The Detroit Pistons will host an open practice and team scrimmage at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, Oct. 9. Admission to the event is free for the general public. Doors to Little Caesars Arena will open at 2 p.m., and the team will take the floor at 2:30 p.m.

Fans interested in attending the event may obtain a free general admission ticket by visiting here (10 ticket limit per account). Parking will be available for purchase at the UWM Parking Garage (128 W Fisher Service Dr.) as well as surrounding lots. Fans can use the Meijer entrance at Little Caesars Arena for entry.

The open practice also will feature the 2021-22 Detroit Pistons Entertainment Team, photo opportunities with Pistons mascot Hooper, opportunity to purchase 2021-22 tickets on-site, and concessions available for purchase. The first 1,000 fans that arrive for the open practice will receive a Pistons giveaway item.