DBusiness Daily Update: Work Continues on $265M Mixed-use Red Cedar Project in Lansing, 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.
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Developer Joel Ferguson is leading the $265 million Red Cedar Project in Lansing. // Courtesy of Ferguson Development
Developer Joel Ferguson is leading the $265 million Red Cedar Project in Lansing. // Courtesy of Ferguson Development

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.

Work Continues on $265M Mixed-use Red Cedar Project in Lansing

Work continues on the 33-acre, $265 million mixed-use Red Cedar Project in Lansing that is expected to connect the State Capitol area with Michigan State University in East Lansing and surrounding communities.

Led by Ferguson Development of Lansing, the project — located on the long-abandoned Red Cedar Golf Course — has completed its Red Cedar Lodge senior living subdivision and its market-rate subdivision Gateway Lofts.

Addition elements will include more than 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, a park with an amphitheater for performances, 792 student housing beds, 181 market-rate apartments, and two hotels.

Ferguson Development envisioned a multi-generational village where students, families, professionals, and seniors live in the same community.

“It brings people together when they can learn from each other’s different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives,” says Joel Ferguson, chairman of Ferguson Development.

In addition, the development supported the work taking place on the Montgomery drain, transforming a longtime environmental problem into a clean and natural habitat.

Other projects being undertaken by Ferguson Development include redeveloping vacant property that was once the former Malcolm X elementary school on the southwest side of Lansing.

In Muskegon, the company is involved with a multi-million-dollar adaptive reuse rehabilitation project of an existing skeletal steel structure that will is expected to have a long-term impact on the community’s overall health and economic vitality. Activating this vacant city corner after it has sat dormant for more than a decade will increase the property’s value and tax base, create new tax revenues, bring new jobs, and breathe life and activity back into the neighborhood.

In Detroit, Ferguson’s fourth active multi-million-dollar development project includes redeveloping a portion of the old Michigan State Fairgrounds property in into a new $18.6 million Detroit Department of Transportation indoor transit center.

Consumers Energy Offers 30K Thermostats to Help Customers with Winter Heating Costs

Consumers Energy in Jackson is providing 30,000 Google Nest smart thermostats to financially vulnerable natural gas customers to help Michiganders facing high household costs.

The giveaway comes with a reminder that financial help still is available for heating bills — and good news in the form of falling natural gas costs.

“Consumers Energy remains committed to helping our friends and neighbors, in the coldest days of winter and as the temperatures hopefully warm soon,” says Brian Rich, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Consumers Energy. “We’re excited to provide smart thermostats, which reduce energy waste, in addition to dollars that will keep people safe and warm in their homes.”

Last month, Consumers Energy announced it is providing $25 million to homes and businesses, focusing on those who are facing challenges with their energy bills. The contribution is made up of $15 million in automatic bill credits to all Consumers Energy electric customers and another $10 million in assistance for vulnerable households.

The smart thermostat initiative is another significant effort by Consumers Energy to help households facing financial challenges with heating costs. The energy provider has been reaching out to more vulnerable customers to promote the offer. For more information, visit here.

“Smart thermostats help lower costs by allowing people to easily set and adjust temperatures at home or work, and they’ve proved to be a powerful tool,” Rich says. “We are doing all we can at Consumers Energy to keep heating costs low in the first place, and we also are providing resources to help people use less energy.”

Natural gas costs are falling after having climbed over the last year due to inflation and other factors nationally. The price of natural gas itself, which significantly impacts power supply costs and makes up around half of a residential customer’s total bill, has dropped 24 percent since October.

Consumers Energy is reminding Michigan residents that financial help still is available. People who need help should contact 2-1-1, a free service that connects them with nonprofits to find help with basic needs, from energy bills to food and shelter. Consumers Energy customers also should call 800-477-5050 if they are facing challenges with their bill.

Additional tips for managing winter bills are available here.

Grosse Pointe’s Brieden Consulting Group Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Brieden Consulting Group (BCG) in Grosse Pointe is celebrating its 10th Anniversary as a partner in the health care industry.

BCG is an employee benefits broker specializing in group services, with an emphasis on culture enhancement and development. According to the company, its team is comprised culture specialists, “providing value and communication on what matters most for companies and their employees.”

“Our purpose from the beginning has been to provide our clients with meaningful benefit solutions with an attention on education,” says Hans Brieden, president and CEO of BCG. “We help clients achieve their best CAMPRA, a concept that recognizes and measures the value of the employer/employee partnership.”

BCG was founded in 2013 after Brieden’s previous more than 25 years in the industry proved that clients were being underserved by an antiquated and complacent agency system.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about helping real people,” says Debbie DoBiesz, vice president of BCG. “Many large corporations don’t realize the families and lives they impact on a daily basis; but we do. Our organization puts the planning in benefit plans to ensure our clients are met with accurate, affordable solutions.”

Over the past decade, Brieden Consulting Group has seen growth from hiring the right talent to expanding beyond Michigan’s borders. By putting its knowledge, experience, and dedicated employees to work, BCG now is serving the domestic United States.

“In 10 years we’ve managed to build something truly special,” says Brieden. “Ten years from now, I hope that we’ve continued our mission and vision of serving our clients with the utmost dedication to the health and wellness of their employees.”

Suburban Collection Initiative to Provide Gleaners with 500K Meals

The Troy -based Suburban Collection’s third annual Drive Away Hunger fundraising campaign, in partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank, has raised nearly $85,000, which will provide more than 500,000 meals throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, and Livingston counties.

The project began late Fall of 2022 and continued through the holidays with Suburban employees at 40 locations throughout metro Detroit and Ann Arbor developing and executing a wide range of fundraising initiatives. Store customers also were able to give both monetary and food donations.

“Gleaners has been a reliable lifeline for so many families in our communities who have been facing a really difficult time,” says Chris Shade, platform general manager, Lithia Motors/The Suburban Collection. “Across The Suburban Collection, our team members put forth passion and dedicated efforts to support Gleaners’ mission throughout our community to make sure local families know where their next meals are coming from.”

Angela Halverson, director of donor engagement at Gleaners, says: “We’re at a critical time for households still facing the effects of inflation with the added weight of winter utilities and continued uncertainty. We are grateful for the generosity and dedication of The Suburban Collection to help make sure children, families, seniors and others in our communities have access to the healthy food they need to thrive. When we work together to solve hunger, everyone wins.”

As part of the Drive Away Hunger campaign, The Suburban Collection will allocate funds raised by its Ann Arbor locations to Food Gatherers, the primary food bank serving Washtenaw County communities.

Dickinson Wright Attorney to Speak on Corporate Transparency Act Requirements

Dickinson Wright law firm member Mark High will be a speaker on the “The Corporate Transparency Act Mandatory Federal Reporting Requirements for ‘Mom and Pop’ Businesses” virtual panel from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 23.

The panel is presented by the Privately Held Businesses forum of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

The focus of this one-hour virtual program is about the upcoming requirements for privately held small businesses who are defined as “reporting companies” and are required to file personally identifiable information in the form of a “Beneficial Ownership Report” with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The requirements apply to newly formed entities starting on Jan. 1, 2024, and phase in for existing entities by Jan. 1, 2025.

High will be joined on the panel by Alexis Lupo, Corporations Division Director of LARA, and moderator Sharan Levine of Levine & Levine.

For more information about participating in the event, visit here.

Holocaust Center to Host ‘Getting Away with Murder(s): Behind the Film’ Event Feb. 19

The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills will host a virtual event recognizing the documentary “Getting Away with Murder(s)” at t p.m. Feb. 19.

Filmmaker David Wilkinson’s documentary focuses on how nearly 1 million people who carried out the unprovoked murder of untold millions of people in 22 countries during the Holocaust were never prosecuted.

Jews, Poles, Russian Prisoners of War, Roma, the mentally and physically handicapped, political and religious dissidents, homosexuals, and many more were slaughtered at the hand of the Nazis. Ninety-nine percent of those responsible were never prosecuted; with most never even questioned. The vast number of those enthusiastic participants in the murders simply walked away at war’s end – completely untroubled by justice, free to live out the rest of their lives, untouched.

The Allies unanimously agreed to prosecute those responsible when they drew up The London Agreement in August 1945. But, after the 1950s, the Allies’ pursuit of justice simply stopped, deciding not to proceed any further.

Wilkinson’s pursuit to find an answer to this question took him through 10 different countries over two decades. Interviews with countless experts helped to uncover how most Nazi perpetrators walked away untouched by justice. Wilkinson has distributed 120 films in the U.K. and Ireland in the cinema, on video, television, and online.

The film’s U.K. cinema release was on Oct. 1, 2021 (the 75th Anniversary of the sentencing at the International Tribunal in Nuremberg). Its final cinema screening in the U.K. was on Nov. 11, 2022 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This screening followed a 2-minute silence. It was launched in the United States on Jan. 27 on International Holocaust Memorial Day to many streaming platforms.

Register and follow the prompts to watch the film here.

Detroit Opera to Stage Handel’s ‘Xerxes’ with Key’mon Murrah March 4-12

American countertenor Key’mon W. Murrah will sing the title role in Detroit Opera’s performances of “Xerxes,” George Frideric Handel’s tongue-in-cheek 1738 masterpiece, March 4-12.

The opera tells the story of the ancient King Xerxes, who may be the most powerful man in Persia but can’t get Romilda to marry him.

These will be Detroit Opera’s first performances of “Xerxes” (Serse), which is best known for the aria “Ombra mai fu,” commonly known as “Handel’s Largo.” Xerxes will be performed in Italian with English translation.

In addition to Murrah, who sings the role of Xerxes, the cast includes soprano Lauren Snouffer as Romilda, mezzo-soprano Sun-Ly Pierce as Arsamene (Romilda’s lover, brother of Xerxes), mezzo-soprano Vanessa Cariddi as Amastre (betrothed to Xerxes), soprano Elizabeth Sutphen as Atalanta (Romilda’s sister), bass-baritone Nicholas Newton as Ariodate (Romilda’s father), and Michael Sumuel in the comic role of Elviro.

Dame Jane Glover is the conductor. James Blaszko is the director.

For performance times and ticket information, visit detroitopera.org.