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Developers say they will turn the Wurlitzer building and the Professional Plaza building into a hotel and apartment complex, respectively. 

Detroit's historic Wurlitzer building was deemed one of the city's 'most dangerous structures' because it's been raining bricks onto neighboring buildings, such as 1515 Broadway Cafe. Comically, the cafe responded with a sign that reads 'Free coffee with purchase of Wurlitzer Building'. 

Metro Detroit has any number of problems, but finding affordable housing isn’t one of them.

In fact—by one measure at least—the region offers some of the most affordable housing anywhere in the world.

via shopatnorthland.com

Another major retailer is bowing out of Southfield’s struggling Northland mall.

Macy’s announced this week that it’s shuttering 14 stores nationwide—including the Northland location.

It’s yet another serious blow to Northland: Target also recently announced plans to close its Northland location this year. The mall itself is in receivership.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Postal workers are protesting the postal service’s plan to close three mail processing centers in Michigan later this year.

United States Postal Service processing centers in Lansing, Kalamazoo and Iron Mountain are slated to close.  Centers in Saginaw and Gaylord have already closed. The closings will leave three centers to process mail delivery in Michigan. 

The closings are part of a Post Office plan that also includes slowing first class mail delivery. In some cases, it may take a first class letter up to three days to be delivered.  Before this week, first class mail would usually take a day. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

A former security officer at the Palisades Nuclear Plant was not discriminated against for raising safety concerns. That’s the result of a special investigation released this week.

The security officer claimed her supervisors retaliated against her for raising a number of safety concerns at the plant near South Haven.

It’s a common complaint among security officers at the nuclear plant. So common the Nuclear Regulatory Commission spent a great deal of time last year investigating whether the “chilled work environment” has improved.

via DTE Energy

Michigan’s largest utility wants to raise rates next year.

DTE Energy has filed a request with the Michigan Public Service Commission to gather another $370 million a year in revenues from its more than 2 million customers in southeast Michigan.

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Falling crude oil prices may put the brakes on new oil exploration in Michigan.

Michigan’s not a big oil producer.   The state ranks 17th in the country in oil production. But companies have been drilling more wells in recent years. 

Around 8,000 people are employed by businesses that drill for oil and natural gas in Michigan.

Founders Brewing Company

A 125-year-old, seventh-generation, family-owned Spanish brewery, Mahou San Miguel, has bought a 30% interest in Founders Brewing Co., based in Grand Rapids.

Founders CEO Mike Stevens said the craft brewery has succeeded in its search for a long-term partner that will allow it to thrive for many generations.  

via Think Detroit PAL

DETROIT — A $33 million plan to build apartments and retail shops on the city-owned site of the old Tiger Stadium and a second proposal for a Detroit youth sports headquarters on the land are moving forward.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. board approved the plans Tuesday for the fabled corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

Bloomfield Hills-based Larson Realty Group wants to construct a 4-story building that includes retail space and 102 apartments in a project called The Corner. Two dozen town houses also are planned.

Kellogg logo
Flickr user EthelRedThePetrolHead / Flickr

Lobbyists aren't the most well liked people, but George Franklin, attorney and former lobbyist who became the Vice President of World Wide Government Relations for the Kellogg Company, would like to change your perception of them.

Franklin is currently the head of Franklin Public Affairs in Kalamazoo and recently wrote a memoir about his time in Washington entitled "Raisin Bran and Other Cereals: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World."

xianrendujia / Flickr

With all the news about Silicon Valley startups, you could get the idea that entrepreneurship is thriving in the United States.

The reality is U.S. entrepreneurship has been in a pretty steep decline for 30 years. The Next Idea team got to wondering about that. So, we asked Stewart Thornhill to write an essay about entrepreneurship. He’s a professor who teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

Michigan can expect “brisk” job growth at the start of 2015, according to a new report.

Twenty-five percent of Michigan employers tell Manpower they expect to hire new people during the first three months of 2015. Only Hawaii and North Dakota posted higher numbers.   

Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Founder and CEO
Quicken Loans

Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, has become synonymous with downtown Detroit. 

He's been called "Detroit's savior" by the national media because of his purchase of about 60 buildings downtown, but two new articles argue for a more dynamic depiction of Gilbert.

Ryan Felton recently wrote a piece titled "Dan Gilbert, downtown Detroit's demigod" for Detroit MetroTimes. 

Anna Clark authored "Detroit's Dan Gilbert and the savior complex" for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Both articles question how Gilbert has been framed in the media and scrutinize this portrayal of Gilbert as Detroit's guardian angel.

"Journalists can sometimes conflate a private business person with a charity or philanthropic figure," Clark says. He says it's important to remember Gilbert is still an individual working for his own self-interest.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Later this month, manufacturing returns to Buick City in Flint for the first time in a long time.

The last Buick rolled off the Buick City assembly line 15 years ago.  

The 400 acre site has sat largely unused until a year ago when the trust set up to dispose of old GM property sold 18 acres to an Alabama company.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Board of Water & Light officials sat down with first responders this morning to discuss ways to improve their communication.

An ice storm last December knocked out power to 40% of BWL customers.  Thousands of people spent more than a week waiting for their electricity to be restored.

A more seamlessly connected experience.

That's what Jeff DeGraff thinks Michigan needs to move its economy forward. DeGraff is our partner for The Next Idea. He's a clinical professor of management and organizations at the U of M Ross School of Business.

DeGraff says he sees Michigan’s economy as three distinct parts: large multinational corporations based in the greater Detroit metro area; mid-level businesses in western Michigan; and small startups in places like Ann Arbor that have young, vibrant, and intelligent people.

Click on the link above to hear Cynthia's conversation with DeGraff.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Holiday shoppers are feeling better about the U.S. and Michigan economies.

Economists credit holiday shoppers having a few extra dollars in their pockets this season.

Robert Dye is the chief economist for Comerica Bank. Dye points to falling gasoline prices and an improving job forecast as just a couple of factors helping boost consumer confidence over the holidays.

“I do expect the holiday shopping season to reflect a more secure, a more confident, and a more employed U.S. consumer,” says Dye.

But there is a dark cloud on the horizon: Inflation.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Black Friday is attracting shoppers and protesters.

Picketers stood outside more than a dozen Michigan Wal-Mart stores this morning.

Marilyn Coulter is with the Coalition of Labor Union Women.    She says this is “RED Friday” for minimum wage workers in Michigan.

“Because they’re in the red because they’re working and they are not getting paid enough money to be able to live and feed their families,” says Coulter. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Many holiday shoppers will be hunting for bargains in their pajamas.

A new report says nearly half of all holiday presents will be bought online this year.

Pat Huddleston is a Michigan State University professor who specializes in consumer behavior. She expects 56% of holiday shoppers will buy gifts online this year, buying 44% of their presents via the web.

By comparison, online shopping amounts to roughly 12% of retail sales annually.

American Farm Bureau

A new survey says the cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is up slightly.

The American Farm Bureau says the average cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner is $49.41; that’s up about 37 cents from last year.

Bob Boehm is with the Michigan Farm Bureau. He says the traditional Thanksgiving feast is still affordable. 

“For less than a lot of fast food meal, $5 a person is a pretty good deal,” says Boehm. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Customers and protesters will be at many big retailers today.

Toys R Us, Best Buy, JC Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Wal-Mart and Target are just a few of big retailers open on Thanksgiving.

Several groups object to retailers being open on the holiday. They say it’s unfair to their employees making them choose between their family and their job. 

Jim Hallan is with the Michigan Retailers Association.  He says other people have to work on Thanksgiving. Why not retail workers?

The abandoned Packard Automobile Factory is emblematic of the financial stress of many minority Michigan communities.
Albert Duce / Wikimedia Commons

Which areas of Michigan are bouncing back from the Great Recession?

As our next guest has discovered, the economic "report card" for Michigan is, as they put it, "a grab bag of the promising and the troubling."

Ted Roelofs dug into those numbers for Bridge Magazine.

Listen to our conversation with Roelofs below.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes Black Friday – one of the largest shopping days of the year.

Many stores begin Black Friday by opening their doors to shoppers at the crack of dawn, and even more have begun to open to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day itself.

To examine what goes into this shopping mania, we talked to University of Michigan marketing professors Scott Rick and Aradhna Krishna.

David Ferguson

Developers will try once again to turn one particular piece of prime downtown Lansing real estate from a vacant lot to upscale housing.

The land sits across the street from the state Supreme Court building.

Several times in the past decade high profile plans were announced only to fail.

Developer David Ferguson says this time will be different, even though his plans call for a similar mix of townhouses and apartments.

MSU

Having trouble with your boss?

A new Michigan State University study suggests your job performance will improve if you and your boss can at least “see eye to eye.”

MSU researchers say employers and employees understanding their relationship issues is more important that the quality of the relationship.

The study of 280 employees and their bosses found job motivation suffered when an employee believed he or she had a good relationship with the boss but the boss saw it differently.

Employee motivation was higher when the worker and supervisor saw eye-to-eye about the relationship, even when it was poor.

The study appears in the Academy of Management Journal.

Internet Archive Book Images / Flickr

Sometimes it’s a persistent annoyance that leads to a great solution. In this case the annoyance was cleaning up sawdust. It led to the creation of one of the most enduring ‘Made in Michigan’ brand names: Bissell. If you’ve ever shampooed or vacuumed your carpet with a Bissell machine, you can thank sawdust back in 1876. Mark Bissell is CEO of the Grand Rapids based company that bears his name.

user Marlith / Flickr

Nine major businesses based in Michigan got top scores for workplace equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual  and transgender workers.  That's according to the 2015 Corporate Equality Index released today by the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a leading national LGBT civil rights organization.

The Detroit 3 automakers were among those ranked highest - along with Kellogg, Steelcase, Whirlpool and Dow Chemical.

Missy Schmidt / Flickr

The creative, the visionary, and the just plain out there.

That’s the goal of Michigan Radio’s new project, The Next Idea.

The on-air and online project will focus on creativity and innovation and ideas to move Michigan forward.

We’ll be featuring this project here on Stateside and we will look to you and ask for your ideas.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly two-thirds of Michigan retailers are expecting a better holiday shopping season this year.

The Michigan Retailers Association polled its members about their expectations for the upcoming holiday shopping season and found 63% predict better sales than last year, while 28% expect sales will be more than 5% better.

Nationally, sales are expected to rise by 4%.

Jim Hallan is the president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association.

Bridgewater Interiors

A new $100 million dollar loan fund will help minority-owned businesses in Detroit.

Louis Green, president of the Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council, says access to capital is a big problem for minority companies.

"Minority businesses are more likely to be turned down for loans," says Green. "When they get loans they're at higher interest rates, and in fact, their experience has been so bad in trying to get access to capital that  they're even less likely to apply for access to capital than non-minority businesses."

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