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New patio duals as gathering space and fundraising venue for Fenner Conservancy

A gift by two Lansing philanthropists has paved the way for community members to support programs of Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy brick-by-brick.
 
Dedicated April 19, the Davis Patio enables visitors to contribute to Fenner by purchasing paver bricks that can be engraved with personal messages and re-laid in the structure.
 
"One hundred percent of the proceeds go right to Fenner to deliver high quality education and park stewardship programs," says Katie Woodhams, program manager of Fenner Nature Center. "We have the potential to raise half a million dollars if we sell every brick."
 
Fenner supporters Susan and Jack Davis donated funds to build the patio that overlooks the center's pond and butterfly garden. The patio features a campfire ring as the centerpiece, and provides a gathering spot for school-aged children, day-campers, community members or families or friends to enjoy educational, recreational or other organized social activities. 
 
"It's a great place to sit back and relax and see all the wildlife," says Woodhams. "We are forever grateful to Susan and Jack for making this possible."
 
The Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy at 2020 E. Mount Hope Ave. consists of 134 acres with four miles of trails. Located in the heart of the city, Fenner's mission is to connect people to nature through conservation, education and stewardship.
 
"Every one who comes out here experiences a calming feeling," says Woodhams. "It's all about reconnecting with the natural world. It's hard to find time to do that, but when we do, it makes a difference in our day."
 
Among the projects supported by the Davis Patio and associated fundraising is the restoration of 19 acres of land as native Michigan prairie. Admission to the park is free, with summer camp registration underway for school-age children.
 
Source: Katie Woodhams, Program Manager, Fenner Nature Center
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Kayak shop makes splash on the Grand River

Trey Rouss describes himself as being "pretty miserable" when he first moved to Lansing from Arizona 14 years ago.
 
"I missed the mountains and the ocean," says Rouss. "But once I discovered the Great Lakes, rivers and inland lakes and how water works here, I embraced it."
 
Rouss took to the water as an avid kayaker and became an immediate ambassador for paddle sports. Today, he's making a splash as Lansing's newest purveyor of paddle sports gear and instruction as the owner of the Power of Water Kayak store.
 
Rouss opened in early spring, and invited the public to fours days of paddle sports activities and demonstrations during a grand opening from April 24 to 27. His goal, he says, is broader than simply equipping people with gear and accessories; it's to equip people with the knowledge and skills they need to enjoy being on the water.
 
"We're focused on outreach and getting as many people as we can out on the water," says Rouss. "We want people in Lansing to see what the Grand River has to offer and to take an interest in exploring it more."
 
Located in a repurposed strip mall at 420 E. Saginaw, the Power of Water has access to Lansing's riverfront right out the backdoor. Rouss and his three staff decked-out the 1,300-square foot space with reclaimed barn wood for an earthy look that complements displays of nearly 20 stand-up paddle boards, 40 kayaks and gear.
 
Working with his director of programming Scott Fairty, Rouss offers classes for all ages and skill levels, including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, advanced whitewater and river self-rescue.
 
"Our classes are focused, experiential and fun," says Rouss. "There's not a lot of talking and lectures. It's very on the water learning."
 
Rouss and his five to 10 instructors are certified through the American Canoe Association or the British Canoe Union. Courses run from May through October, with dry land or pool instruction offered during the off-season.
 
"The Grand River is an amazing resource going right through the middle of our town," says Rouss. "Our goal is to share our passion, to show people how to play on the water, and hope that will inspire people to protect it."
 
Source: Trey Rouss, Owner, Power of Water Kayak Store
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Buscemis franchise expands to Lansing, creates 10 jobs

Greater Lansing residents will find it's "hip to be square" as a popular Detroit-based party store and pizzeria opens its first Greater Lansing area franchise in Delta Township this June.
 
Known for its square pizza by the slice since 1956, Buscemis Party Shoppe is building a 5,000-square foot store from the ground up on the former site of Udder Creamery and Fannie Mae Candy. The brand new building at 4037 W. Saginaw will include three additional suites at 1,200-feet each.
 
"We're putting our heart and soul into this operation," says Steven Kesto, Buscemis manager of operations and Lansing franchise owner. "Lansing is an up and coming place turning Michigan around and we want to be part of it."
 
Kesto says the building's exterior of brick, stucco and expansive glass windows will make customers stop and say 'wow'—just like the great service and prices they'll find inside.
 
Buscemis will carry beer, wine and liquor as well as a full line of snack foods. About 25 percent of the floor and shelf space will be dedicated to craft beer, with customers being able to mix and match their selections. Made-to-order food is also available, including Buscemis fabled pizza, calzones, subs and salads.
 
"We also deliver," says Kesto. "We've heard that lots of hotels are excited about that."
 
Lansing's Buscemis franchise joins about 40 other Buscemis party shoppes in Michigan. Kesto says the Lansing store will employ 10 people for starters, with more staff added as business takes off.
 
"As they say, you build it and people will come," says Kesto. "We're hoping that to be the case."
  
Source: Steven Kesto, Manager of Operations, Buscemis Party Shoppe
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Strange Matter Coffee to open espresso bar, create gathering space

There's some strange brew coming to the East Side. And according to Lansing's latest artisan barista, she's serving up brew that begins with the essence of the bean.
 
Beginning in July, Cara Nader will open the doors to Strange Matter Coffee at 2001 E. Michigan Ave. The coffee bar, she says, has been in the works for about three years, and is a friendly collision of her two passions: science and java.
 
"Strange matter is a particular form of quark matter," says Nader of her business moniker. "It's a theoretical form of quark, often thought of as a liquid. It's a nerdy kind-of science thing."
 
Nader's confessed geekiness for science shapes her approach to brewing. Each cup served in Strange Matter, she says, will be made to order using one of several brewing devices. One device—the Chemex—extracts a clean cup of coffee through a drip filtering process. The Chemex, Nader says, resembles a science beaker, and is among contemporary devices featured in the Museum of Modern Art. Another system Nader uses—the V-60—involves a cone-shaped pour-over device that produces a quicker cup.
 
"We'll use a particular device to bring out different characteristics of the bean," says Nadar, who compares her coffee to micro-brewed beer. "Each device has its benefits and I'll be using one or another to highlight flavors."
 
Nader sources her beans from distributors like Populace Coffee who specialize in single- origin, seasonal coffee. She'll also feature a rotating menu of roasters from around the country, and a few varieties of chai tea.
 
"I like to focus on in-season coffee that's freshly harvested," she says. "We'll feature coffees from individuals farms and particular regions since not every region harvests at the same time of year."
 
Nader is currently replacing flooring, painting and putting in a espresso bar in the 1,500-square foot place that will seat from 25 to 30 people. And as business gets up and running, she hopes to bring two to three staff on board.
 
"I want people to sit and enjoy their beverage," says Nader. "Every coffee has it's place, and I want people to have that moment when they say 'wow, I didn't know coffee could be this good.'"
 
Source: Cara Nader, Chief Coffee Engineer, Strange Matter Coffee Co.
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Detroit Frankie's fires up outdoor kitchen for fresh, made-to-order pizza

Frank Tignanelli has gone from restaurants to backyards to city streets to make and bake the freshest pizza on earth.
 
"From the time you order to the time it's in the box it takes about seven minutes," says Tignanelli, a long-time Michigan restaurateur also known as Detroit Frankie. "And you're there watching me make it, watching it go into the oven. I even have people take pictures while it's baking."
 
In mid-March, Tignanelli started cooking his famous wood-fired pizzas for Greater Lansing in an outdoor kitchen on the corner of Cedar and Oakland, Monday through Friday. Passers-by can pull in, order pizzas to go from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and watch as Tignanelli hand-tosses the dough, sauces with fresh-packed tomatoes, and cheeses with whole milk mozzarella. Customers then choose up to four toppings from a list of 20 fresh ingredients, including meats, vegetables and fruits. Tignanelli completes the "old world charm" by cooking the 16-inch pizza in a deluxe wood-fired brick oven.
 
"I feed wood into the oven to keep it hot all day—about 750 degrees," says Tignanelli. "The crust gets little charred marks on the outside and stays chewy on the inside. You get a nice clean taste with all the fresh ingredients."
 
Tignanelli says he learned all about pizza from his dad "Papa Joe" while growing up in Detroit. In the mid-70s, he started in the pizza biz by working in family restaurants in central and Northern Michigan. In between restaurant gigs, he became an expert food distributor, then came back to his his true calling: creating and serving pizza. He bought the wood-fired brick oven, started catering, and began making and baking pizzas at festivals and events. When a friend suggested he find a weekday location, he staked out his current corner.
 
"I've owned and managed restaurants all over Michigan," says Tignanelli. "But what I always loved best was standing in front of my oven making pizza and talking to customers. And that's what I do now. It's like having a food show every day."
 
Source: Frank Tignanelli, Owner, Detroit Frankie's
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Homeless Angels sets up home base for coordinating outreach

Jessep Magoon doesn't believe that everyone who holds up a cardboard sign and asks for help is doing so to support a drug or alcohol addiction.
 
That's why Magoon asked a friend to create a sign for his grassroots cause that helps redefine perceptions of the homeless.
 
In mid-April, Magoon's sign for the Homeless Angels found a permanent home in the window of their first brick and mortar office.
 
"It fit perfectly," says Magoon of the portable sign he has used for outreach events. "It was one of those fate things—that this place was meant to be."
 
Magoon co-founded the Homeless Angels with Mike Karl in November 2013. The idea, he says, is to provide a resource that bridges the gap between the homeless and local agencies.
 
Until April, the Homeless Angels was run from the streets. Volunteers met in parks, parking lots, churches or other supportive organizations to coordinate outreach and "street teams" to help Greater Lansing's homeless.
 
"Since the beginning, our big focus has been street outreach and building relationships with people who might otherwise fall through the cracks," says Magoon who is also a student at Lansing Community College. "But since we didn't have a home base it was hard to do client intake. We did everything by laptop and cell phone, and knew as we got more innovative we would need an office."
 
Directly across from the State capitol, the 900-square foot office at 328 W. Ottawa Street is easy-to-access, wired for Internet, has ample storage space for a food pantry and supplies, and is staffed by a core group of about 10 volunteers. There's even a washer and dryer on site to clean cloths or blankets for homeless clients. Rent, Magoon says, is funded by donations made through GoFundMe, with other services supported through community fundraisers and donations.
 
Magoon says his drive to build the volunteer non-profit is fueled by his past struggles with addiction. He finds inspiration, too, in the depth of understanding held by Karl, who previously lived on the streets.
 
"We know there are underlying factors and a story behind why people are homeless," says Magoon. "Our hope is to shed a positive light on a negative situation, and to show the community that the homeless are not just stereotypes, but people needing help to get them back into society."
 
Source: Jessep Magoon, Co-founder, Homeless Angels
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Go Green Trikes rolls out on Earth Day

Yvonne LeFave got rolling on her business while waiting for the bus in East Lansing.
 
"Traffic was backing up because of a delivery truck that had stopped to take in four loads of big boxes," says LeFave. "All of us at the bus stop were saying there had to be a better way."
 
LeFave set out to find it. Beginning Earth Day, LeFave will roll out Go Green Trikes—a local courier service for businesses that involves electric-assisted trikes. The trikes, LeFave says, are more nimble in traffic than many motorized vehicles and carry up to 600 pounds. Plus, they're quirky, eye-catching and fun.
 
"There's nothing else like them on the road," LeFave says.
 
LeFave's fleet of two can go up to 100 miles each at speeds of 15 miles per hour. The ELF—short for Electric, Lightweight and Fun—operates through pedaling and a solar-powered battery, and looks like a cross between a recumbent bike and a Smart car. Go Green's larger vehicle, the Truck Trike, resembles a small pickup truck on a bike frame and can carry up to 12 18-gallon totes.
 
Go Green's initial cargos will be made up of print items, food, and business-to-business supplies or products. And because it's Michigan, trikes will be on the road from April to November.
 
"I like green technology and the idea of living without a motorized vehicle," says LeFave, whose Quaker faith puts simplicity and stewardship top-of-mind. "I've wanted to show people what can be done without a car. And this does that."
 
Go Green Trikes will pedal between businesses in the East Lansing-Lansing downtown districts, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. LeFave hopes to set up an office on Lansing's Eastside in the coming year, and to employ two or more part-time staff as trike couriers. For now, Go Green Trikes is reachable through her web site.
 
Interested in learning more about Go Green Trikes? LeFave invites the public to attend an open house on her first day of business: April 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Michigan Energy Options, 405 Grove Street, East Lansing. Both trikes and city officials from East Lansing and Lansing will be onsite. 
 
Source: Yvonne LeFave, President, Go Green Trikes
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor



Center for Business Innovation enters strategic partnership, strengthens cloud services

When you hear the word 'cloud' associated with Lansing, you can start thinking of something aside from the city's reputation as one of the nation's most overcast cities.
 
In mid-March, a Michigan managed technology service provider headquartered in Lansing announced a new partnership to offer Microsoft Office 365 services to businesses and organizations. By pairing with AppRiver—a software-as-service organization—the Center for Business Innovation will build on 14 years of cloud computing experience by becoming an authorized reseller for Office 365.
 
"We're excited to partner with AppRiver for our Office 365 service offerings," says Douglas Horne, CBI technology services director. "Our partners will not only receive anywhere access to the latest version of Microsoft applications, but will also have access to the CBI Partner Care Center for personable, technical support."
 
The CBI provides business-to-business cloud, networking, imaging and professional services to thousands of customers across Michigan and the Midwest. The new partnership with AppRiver is an extension of CBI's cloud services in the mobility market.
 
"People are wanting to work on phones and tablets and from coffee shops and homes," says Katie Saglimbene, CBI marketing and communications director. "The new service and software will serve the workforce more from the mobility aspect."
 
Saglimbene says that CBI provides technical support for nearly 2,000 customers. The same will hold true for the new partnership with AppRiver when customers need to resolve issues related to the use of Office 365.
 
"It's easier for our partners to call us than to try and call Microsoft directly," she says. "We can provide that personal relationship and level of support that you might not get from a big conglomerate."
 
CBI has regional offices in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Southfield, Flint and Saginaw. About 45 people work in the Lansing office, with potential to add more trained specialists to service Office 365.
 
Source: Katie Saglimbene, Marketing and Communications Director, Center for Business Innovation
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Red Haven expands kitchen, adds staff to serve growing menu and food truck

Mid-Michigan farm-to-table dining experience is getting bigger.
 
The once fledging Red Haven is adding nearly 1,000 square feet to the existing 2,200-square food restaurant at 4880 S. Hagadorn Road in East Lansing. Co-owner Nina Santucci says Meridian Township approved the expansion the week of March 3. Renovations, she says, will be completed by mid- to late-April and primarily involve adding square footage to the kitchen, and reconfiguring space to create a private dining area.
 
"The additional kitchen space will allow us to prep and store food for our new lunch menu and for our food truck and catering services," says Santucci of the Red Haven and the popular Purple Carrot food truck. "Our goal is to get our food truck up and running five days a week rather than the current two we've been doing since the restaurant opened."
 
Santucci and her business partner and husband Anthony Maiale celebrated the grand opening of Red Haven in October 2012. A sit-down complement to the Purple Carrot, the restaurant serves upscale food made from seasonal, local ingredients in a casual environment.
 
Red Haven's tapas style of dining encourages restaurant guests to experiment and share menu items at their table. An ever-changing seasonal menu includes dinner favorites like white bean and kale soup, patty melt, pork steak, chicken confit panini, and shrimp fettuccini. The new lunch menu, which started in January, features similar items with a focus on sandwiches, soups and lunch-size plates of pasta.
 
"We try to put a creative spin on classic dishes," says Santucci. "We want to have that sense of whimsy and bring you something that you wouldn't expect."
 
Santucci says that the expanded kitchen will include a couple convection ovens plus lots of storage.
 
"It will be helpful to have more space for our dry storage items," she says. "Plus we'll actually have a real office here."
 
The Red Haven employs 25 cooks, wait staff and managers. Santucci says the expansion and new lunch service may enable the restaurant to add up to five staff in the summer season.

Source: Nina Santucci, co-owner, Red Haven
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Red's Smokehouse to bring BBQ artistry to Lansing City Market

Carol Smith has perfected her artistry for years. Now she's ready to share her barbecue and smoking finesse with Greater Lansing through Red's Smokehouse in the Lansing City Market.
 
Located directly across from the Waterfront Bar & Grille, Red's Smokehouse will offer briskets, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and portabella mushrooms and vegetables come early- to mid-April. The idea, Smith says, is to provide easy take-out food that can be enjoyed at home or outside on a warm day. She even has plans to serve chili and soup with a smoky flavor once she gets up and running in her 425-square foot booth.
 
"We're a barbecue restaurant that does things a little bit different," says Smith. "I do more dry rubs than wet, and use more spice than others. One of my rubs has 20 spices, so it's a little more complex."
 
Smith earned her chef hat after attending culinary school and worked for a variety of restaurants in Michigan and other states. She's been a server, chef, butcher and manager, and has prepared meals for weddings, graduations and other special events through her catering services.
 
Smith and her assistant, Jacke Randall, say they will focus on bringing a Michigan flavor to Red's Smokehouse as much as possible.
 
"Right now I have a friend who does tree trimming and we're on the hunt for hickory, cherry and apple so we can use local woods to smoke," says Smith.
 
Smith and Randall say Red's Smokehouse signature items will be the pulled pork sandwich, followed by pulled pork nachos with black beans and cheese. The versatile features of a Chinese-made smoker will also allow Red's to diversify the menu and to cold smoke vegetables, cheese and seafood.
 
"This is a really great opportunity for us," says Randall. "The City Market is a great place to start out small and grow big."
 
Source: Carol Smith and Jacke Randall, Owners, Red's Smokehouse
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Avant-garde food court at LCC inspires downtown dining

Diners hungry for downtown ambiance will find an abundance of satisfying and trendy selections when Lansing Community College opens its new food court this fall.
 
Now under construction, the food court in the Gannon Building will feature a smorgasbord of specialty areas for a customized, culinary experience as well as nationally branded vendors including Einstein Bagels, Pizza Hut and Subway.
 
Food stations managed by the Michigan-based Continental Services will feature handcrafted Angus burgers, hand-cut French Fries, breakfast burrito and sandwiches, and other specialty grill items. Diners can create fresh, custom salads at a Wild Greens station, while time-pressed or snack seekers will find grab-and-go options such as frozen yogurt, fresh popcorn, pretzels and cherry and cola-flavored ices through the Retail Market Outtakes. An EVO circular grill in a global cuisine area allows adventurous palates to experience foods from around the world.
 
"The community is welcome to come in, dine and see the new LCC," says Director of Public Affairs Ellen Jones. "The food options are fantastic and will awe you as much as the incredibly designed space."
 
The food court and student commons area are part of LCC's $18.3 million renovation to the Gannon Building that includes a curving glass wall on the building's eastern side.
 
"The beautiful glass wall will make the building an instant landmark and help make Grand Avenue truly grand again," says Jones. "On a nice day, downtown workers may want to walk the avenue past the Accident Fund to enjoy the wonderful view as well as a spectacular lunch."
 
Lansing's Granger Construction will manage the construction, while Lansing Glass will install the curving glass wall. Viracon, a company that made the glass for the Spertus Building in Chicago, will manufacture the actual glass, with framing provided by Innovation Glass. 

Sparrow and Mary Free Bed to bring advanced inpatient rehab, 70 jobs to Lansing

A joint venture between two hospitals in Lansing and Grand Rapids will provide advanced inpatient rehabilitation care and create employment opportunities in mid-Michigan.
 
Sparrow Hospital and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital will partner to create Mary Free Bed at Sparrow, a dramatic expansion of Sparrow's rehabilitation unit that will be built during the next 18 to 24 months.
 
"Patients in mid-Michigan have not had the kind of access to rehabilitation care that patients in Southeast Michigan or Grand Rapids have had," says Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids. "Rather than going it alone, Sparrow approached us in this exciting venture to broaden the base of rehab care available."
 
The two hospitals will co-invest $5 to $7 million to double the size of the existing 20,000 square foot rehabilitation unit at Sparrow's Lansing facility. The new 40,000 square foot wing will span the entire sixth floor, feature all private rooms and two therapy gymnasiums, and will accommodate up to 40 patients day—twice the unit's current capacity. Staff is also expected to double, Riddle says, upping current needs from 70 to 140 employees.
 
"We see a tremendous opportunity to service patients together with quality rehabilitation and through sub-specialty programs," says Riddle. "Serving patients with cancer and stroke care is high on our list, for instance."
 
Established in 1891, Mary Free Bed has grown into the most comprehensive provider of rehabilitation services in the state. Sparrow is the largest provider of inpatient rehabilitation care in mid-Michigan and has the region's only Level 1 Trauma Center.
 
Source: Kent Riddle, CEO, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Michigan Creative moves to new co-working space, adds first full-time staff

This February, Michigan Creative will celebrate three years of business, job creation, and new digs at the Center for New Enterprise Opportunity, 934 Clark Street in Lansing. It's a move, CEO Town says, that reflects his philosophy of always being there to provide expert creative services to Michigan businesses.
 
"It would be silly for us to get a space and be a company all by ourselves," says Town as he reflects on the value of occupying the third floor of co-working space at the NEO Center. "We're around so many people here who have a passion for the local area. It's a perfect fit, and it feels like we've been here forever."
 
Town, his staff of eight part-timers, and his first-ever full-time employee, Melissa Meschke, relocated from East Lansing's Technology and Innovation Center to Clark Street on Dec. 1. A grand opening is in the works for Feb. 20, with a program chock-full of speakers and presentations that celebrate good things happening in Michigan.
 
As a full-service marketing company specializing in web design and video production, Michigan Creative also offers branding, social marketing, and creative strategies for leveraging the often slim- to none-marketing budgets of any Michigan business.  
 
"We want to be unique and not just be 'that marketing company,'" says Town. "Our goal is to be long-time partners with companies we work with. We'd even like to place employees within companies once a week as a resource to help with marketing and business decisions."
 
Town says he envisions Michigan Creative as a 100-person company in as little as five years, with employees who live and raise families in mid-Michigan.
 
"Right now, we're a marketing company, but we hope to become a business development company too," says Town. "We just want to employ a lot of people and help them to stick around."
 
Source: Brian Town, CEO and Owner, Michigan Creative
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Craft & Mason spills the beans on single-source fresh coffee

Jeremy Mason was never much of a coffee drinker until he came upon an espresso place that sourced beans from local farmers. From then on, he was hooked.
 
"When I find something I like, I look at it from as many angles as I can," says the co-owner of Craft & Mason Roasting Company, a brand new micro roaster in Lansing. "I started visiting coffee shops that used small roasters and checked out direct trade arrangements for ordering green beans."
 
Mason bought his first beans from Sweet Maria's—a home-roasting site that sources beans directly from small farmers. He did his first roasts in a popcorn popper, and when he shared a cup with his friend, Eric Craft, they decided to brew up something bigger.
 
The two friends purchased several hundred pounds of beans, bought a small roaster, and launched Craft & Mason in a 500-square-foot warehouse. Since December 2013, the two have roasted once a week, filling orders for local restaurants, coffee shops and individuals.
 
"We feel coffee tastes best when it's fresh," says Mason, who sells online direct and ships within one to two days. "If you can drink coffee within the first two weeks of its roast, it's the best."
 
Mason believes that enjoying coffee that's fresh roasted from a single origin can be as unique as eating food from a great local farm. His goal, he says, is to honor small coffee farmers by finding the optimal spot in each roast that maximizes the complex flavors of the beans.
 
"It's a little bit like wine," says Mason of the varieties he sources from El Salvador, Columbia and Sumatra. "All the questions you might ask of a cabernet or pinot wine, you could apply to coffee."
 
Source: Jeremy Mason, Co-owner, Craft & Mason Roasting Company
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

Ciena Healthcare Management expands footprint of Delta facility, adds 30 more jobs

Plans for a new rehabilitation facility in Delta Township have grown in scope after an enthusiastic reception prompted the health care company to take a second look.
 
Southfield-based Ciena Healthcare Management is expanding the blueprint of the 78,000-square-foot Regency at Lansing West by several thousand feet to accommodate 120 beds—up 20 from the 100 announced at the December 2013 groundbreaking. The increase, says CEO Mohammad Qazi, adds $1 million to the $9.1 million investment, as well as 30 more full-time jobs.
 
"We're also excited that we're creating construction jobs during the building phase," says Qazi, who estimates the now 150 full-time staff jobs will bring about $6 million in salaries to the local economy. "The community response has been very positive. We're anxious to get open."
 
Regency at Lansing West is the first Ciena facility in mid-Michigan and joins a network of 34 other company-run centers in the state. The facility will be located on Broadbent Road off Interstate 96 and is slated to open in fall 2014.
 
The single story building will feature private and semi-private rooms, common areas, a restaurant with chef-prepared food, and a library, lounge and salon. Regency at Lansing West, Qazi says, is a departure from older health and rehab facilities built in the '60s and '70s, and mirrors the "medical hospitality model" in which customers are regarded as guests, not patients.
 
"Most of the guests we will have will be coming direct from the hospital for a couple weeks of rehabilitation, and will range in age from 60 to 70," he says. "Since we are looking to meet the needs and expectations of a relatively younger population, this will be a very different environment, with lots of amenities."
 
Source: Mohammad Qazi, president, Ciena Healthcare
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor

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