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Located in Southfield, internet service provider grows throughout state

The Southfield-based internet service provider 123Net continues its rapid pace of expansion. Its business-exclusive Fiber Network is expanding throughout the southeastern Michigan communities of Dearborn, Ferndale, Warren, Oak Park, Auburn Hills, Troy, Novi, Wixom, and Milford.

According to the company, its list of "On-Net" buildings has grown to 760 buildings since June of this year. These buildings count at least one tenant utilizing the fiber network.

In just the last two months, the company says it has "turned up" 84 new circuits, averaging three to four new customers a day.

"As speed and reliability become more and more critical to today’s businesses, dedicated internet access is key to achieving company performance metrics," says Heather Garey, Senior Account Executive at 123Net.

"By utilizing an On-Net Fiber provider, not only will you see dramatic cost savings, but a much faster installation time, allowing pivotal project time frames to be met without any unexpected delays."

The fiber network connects to the company’s data center, the largest, private carrier-neutral data center in Michigan.

123Net celebrated the hiring of its 100th employee in December 2017. The company has previously stated that it plans on growing its employee base by 30 percent every year.

The company unrolled its Smart Hands service in April 2018. With its service, 123Net guarantees customers IT support 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year at each of its four Tier 3, carrier-neutral data centers throughout Michigan. Three of the 123Net data centers are located in Southfield, with the fourth being located in Byron Center.

123Net is headquartered at 24700 Northwestern Hwy. in Southfield.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Local brewery expands in downtown Pontiac

Exferimentation Brewing Co. recently announced an expansion of its Saginaw Street brewery and tasting room, adding an additional 1,000 sq. ft. to its footprint.

With ten more taps and additional seating options, the second tasting room is ideal for overflow seating on weekends or for customers looking for a more quiet room when open mic or improv nights are scheduled. There is also a balcony attached, which will allow for outdoor seating once the summer months come around.

The room is also available to rent for private events, including weddings, company outings, and more.

"The new room has a different aesthetic, a little lighter and more airy," says Exferimentation co-owner Eric Benton.

"It’s been a great opportunity to create a completely different environment."

It’s not the only change for Exferimentation. The company recently hired a head chef and general manager, improving the food menu while streamlining it at the same time, allowing for faster service times.

The brewery is constantly releasing new varieties of beer, Benton says. An Exferimentation classic, the toasted coconut cream ale Clownpocalypse, one of the brewery’s first beers, will make its return later this month. A number of barrel-aged beers will be released in the first quarter of 2019, as well.

As for 2019, Benton says that there are several exciting announcements on the horizon--though he’s not ready to divulge any specifics, just yet.

It’s been a steady climb for the still-young brewery, which opened in July 2016. Benton, along with co-owners Andy Stamper and Scott Boughton, has been high on downtown Pontiac’s rebound since opening there. He’d like to see the city overtake Grand Rapids as Beer City, USA, one day, as he told us in a March 2017 profile of the company.

"Look out Grand Rapids, here comes Pontiac."

Exferimentation Brewing Co. is located at 7 N. Saginaw St. in downtown Pontiac.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Yard House to offer beer, modern American dining experience in Troy


Yard House, a restaurant and bar featuring more than two miles of beer lines and more than 100 made-from-scratch menu items, opened in Troy on Monday, Dec. 17.

“We’re so happy to be opening a Yard House in this wonderful city,” says Nathan Scheffler, general manager of the Troy location. “We learned early in our planning process that Troy is a great place with long-term growth potential.”

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English Gardens acquires Plymouth nursery

We're pleased to announce that we are opening a new store March 1, 2019.

English Gardens has acquired Plymouth Nursery, 9900 Ann Arbor Rd W, Plymouth, Michigan. The announcement was made jointly by John Darin, president of English Gardens, and Jeff Jones, owner of Plymouth Nursery.

This marks our sixth location in the Metro Detroit area.  Our family-owned company currently operates retail stores in Clinton Twp., Dearborn Heights, Eastpointe, Royal Oak/Troy and West Bloomfield.

“English Gardens has been looking for a new location in this market since we lost the lease on our Ann Arbor store in January 2018,” explains John. “We are very pleased about this opportunity and look forward to servicing customers who frequented our previous store, and meeting current Plymouth Nursery customers.

“Jeff and his team have built a beautiful operation.  We plan to continue his tradition of offering high-quality products and services, while expanding upon the store’s selection.”

English Gardens will continue to operate the landscaping portion of the business, as well.

“We hope that many of Plymouth Nursery’s current team members will continue on with English Gardens,” says John. “We’re also looking to hire additional people to work in the store and landscaping operation."

Plymouth Nursery will close on December 30, and re-open on March 1, 2019 as English Gardens Plymouth Nursery. After owning the company for 32 years, Jeff Jones will be retiring. 

“It is with mixed emotions that I am selling Plymouth Nursery & Garden Center,” Jeff says. “I am sad that after 55 years this wonderful company will no longer be in the hands of my family. However, it is with great joy that I turn the reins over to English Gardens.

“I am certain that English Gardens will continue to serve the loyal Plymouth Nursery customers with the same high quality products and services for which Plymouth Nursery has become known.”

The Plymouth Nursery name dates back to 1931. Jeff's parents, Wayne and Nancy, purchased Plymouth Nursery in 1963 from Pete Christensen of Christensen’s Plymouth Nursery.  The Nursery was moved to its present location in 1973.  He purchased the company from his parents in 1986 and has grown and diversified the business.

English Gardens Plymouth Nursery is on a 19-acre site at the corner of Ann Arbor Road and Gotfredson Road. The store features a 12,000-square-foot retail space and 12,000-square-foot enclosed greenhouse. The outdoor selling space is approximately nine acres. The store will offer a complete range of top-quality garden products and plants to beautify indoor and outdoor living spaces. The new store will also offer other special services, including: Garden Pharmacy, where associates diagnose plant troubles and provide solutions; as well as a Patio Furniture Design Center for custom orders and design services. 

The Outdoor Living Department includes patio furniture and accessories, and garden décor such as fountains, statues, accessories and garden art.  

During November and December, the store will transition to a Christmas Center with an extensive selection of fresh-cut and life-like Christmas trees, wreaths and greens as well as Christmas lights, decorations and gifts.  English Gardens award-winning Landscape Company will also offer holiday decorating services for lights and decor.

English Gardens Plymouth Nursery will also offer free weekly seminars and host monthly workshops and Kid’s Club events.
English Gardens has been consistently named one of the best places to shop in Metro Detroit. Our family-owned business will celebrate its 65th anniversary in 2019, and employs nearly 200 people on a year-round basis and more than 350 seasonally. 

English Gardens posts information weekly about promotions and events on our website: Additionally, English Gardens sells a selection of Christmas products, gift cards and floral arrangements online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Founded in 1954, English Gardens offers top quality garden products, flowering and tropical plants, fresh-cut and silk flowers, landscape design and installation, holiday decorating services, as well as the area’s largest selection of Christmas trees and decorations.

Troy's Protean Electric joins effort to produce in-wheel motors for intelligent connected vehicles


Troy-based Protean Electric Ltd. has joined two international companies to develop and manufacture in-wheel motors for the next generation of intelligent connected vehicles.

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Auburn Hills' Henniges Automotive to open technical and innovation center in Czech Republic


Auburn Hills-based Henniges Automotive, a global supplier of sealing and anti-vibration systems, will open a new technical and innovation center in the Czech Republic next year it says will strengthen its R&D in the region.

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ZEISS to build new state-of-the-art facility in the Detroit metro area

With the official groundbreaking, ZEISS has started the construction of a new modern site outside of Detroit.

The new facility for the Industrial Quality and Research (IQR) segment of ZEISS, represented in the USA by Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, LLC, will consolidate four existing Michigan facilities into one location and provide room for business growth. It will contain a customer demonstration area with new technologies and systems, offer training, support and metrology services, and house fixture system production and assembly.

New IQR customer center in North America with almost 170 employees
The new center will provide a broad portfolio of dimensional metrology and inspection equipment and services to a wide variety of industries including: automotive, medical, aerospace, defense, machine tools and general manufacturing job shops. With almost 170 employees, the center will span over 82,800 ft² (7,700 m²) with two floors and is expected to open in 2020.

"We are investing over 45 million dollars in the Detroit metro region to strengthen and increase our engagement in this global automotive and smart factory hot spot. This will not only have a strong, positive impact for our customers and partners in North America, but will also generate new momentum for the whole Industrial Quality and Research segment of ZEISS worldwide," says Dr. Jochen Peter, Member of the Executive Board of the ZEISS Group and Head of the Industrial Quality and Research segment.

Greater customer satisfaction and a better working environment
"With the new ZEISS Center in Michigan, we aim to assure a higher level of satisfaction with our solutions for our customers and provide a more attractive working environment for our team," explains Michael Kirchner, member of the leadership team for the ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions strategic business unit and Head of its business in North America.

ZEISS measuring specialists will be able to perform proof-of-capability demonstrations for multidimensional measurement equipment, surface form and geometry equipment, and non-destructive testing and surface defect detection equipment. The need to show how digital platforms and solutions that connect ZEISS equipment to the new infrastructure within modern smart factory environments is becoming increasingly important.

It will also be a center for aftermarket sales support. Here customers will receive training on how to use the software and systems. Additionally, software help desk services will operate out of the facility.

Mark Adams, Oakland County Sr. Business Representative, attended the groundbreaking event to support ZEISS with the consolidation of their operations into Lyon Township. "ZEISS is an optical technology leader with forward thinking leadership and a talented workforce. This is the type of firm and jobs that our County Executive L. Brooks Patterson envisioned when he started our Emerging Sector program 14 years ago. Economic development is a 'varsity sport' that involves competition from other states and countries. Oakland County competes on the national and international playing field for jobs and investment. This project demonstrates a partnership with ZESS, the State of Michigan and Lyon Township working as a team which led to an economic development win."

ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

Further information is available at www.zeiss.com.

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions
ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions. These include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, and metrology software for the automotive, aircraft, mechanical engineering, plastics and medical technology industries. Innovative technologies such as 3D X-ray metrology for quality inspection round off the product portfolio. ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions additionally offers a broad global spectrum of customer services with measuring houses and competence centers close to its customers.

The unit is headquartered in Oberkochen. Production and development sites outside Germany are located in Minneapolis in the USA, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is allocated to the Industrial Quality & Research segment. Around 6,300 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016/17.

State OKs brownfield plan for development on former Hazel Park Raceway land


The state has approved a brownfield plan for a developer to build a massive light-industrial building on part of the former Hazel Park Raceway property, which officials say will bring hundreds of jobs to the city.

Ashley Capital bought the 95-acre site near 10 Mile Road and Dequindre after the horse racing track closed unexpectedly in April.

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DoubleTree by Hilton opens new luxury hotel in Bloomfield Hills


Metro Detroit’s newest luxury hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton that was redeveloped from the former Kingsley Inn, greeted its first public guests just in time for the holiday season. The property has undergone a complete, multi-year renovation.

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Lineage Logistics in Novi expands to Great Britain with acquisition of UK-based Yearsley Group


Lineage Logistics Holdings in Novi, a global leader in providing temperature-controlled supply chain solutions, announced it has acquired Yearsley Group Limited, a large temperature-controlled logistics service provider and frozen food distributor in the UK. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Lyudviga Couture opens store in Downtown Birmingham


Nearly 20 years ago, Lyudviga Shneyders stepped off the plane from Crimea with nothing but $200 in her pocket.

Today, she’s a fashion maven and owner of Lyudviga Couture in Birmingham, providing only the best fabrics, original styles and singular customer service.

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Royal Oak Way now open

The City of Royal Oak celebrated the grand opening of Royal Oak Way, also known as The ROW, at a Small Business Saturday with Santa event on Nov. 24. The new public alley with decorative paving is part of the Downtown Development Authority’s plan to make downtown alleyways more attractive and will complement the new 581-space parking garage, office building, City Hall, police station and two-acre park.
The ROW will serve as a functional alley for deliveries, but with the option for seating, decorative lights, murals, special events and more. The ROW is the alleyway behind businesses along Main Street between 11 Mile and Third Street.
“The Small Business Saturday with Santa event is one of the first of many community events to be hosted in The Row,” said Sharlan Douglas, Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Royal Oak. “The City of Royal Oak is looking forward to expanding the alleyway project throughout the downtown.”
Additionally, an estimated 14 parking spaces will be added to the alley alongside the new parking garage and office building once completed. The alleyway will help connect pedestrians to the Royal Oak Library, Royal Oak Farmers Market and the two-acre park coming in 2020.

“It’s great to see Royal Oak creating other uses for downtown alleys,” said Aric Klar, owner of Toyology Toys. “Creativity like this helps make downtown Royal Oak more attractive, and this inviting new space will hopefully be used for events and more to help bring people to downtown Royal Oak.” 
The Small Business Saturday with Santa event in The ROW, featured family-friendly activities including photos with Santa, arts and crafts from Toyology Toys, ribbon cutting and brief remarks from Mayor Pro Tem Douglas, live entertainment from the Royal Oak Children’s Choir and coffee from Dessert Oasis.
For more information about the Rethink Royal Oak development, parking information, including a guide that advises available parking options and more, please visit www.rethinkro.com.
About Royal Oak
Royal Oak is a vibrant metro Detroit community home to nearly 60,000 residents located in Oakland County. Destinations within the 12-mile community include The Detroit Zoo, The Royal Oak Music Theatre, William Beaumont Hospital, Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle and a successful Farmers Market among others. The city’s recreational services include more than 50 public parks and was recently named one of the Top 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America by Movoto and the Best Place to Live in Michigan by AreaVibes. To learn more about Royal Oak, visit https://www.romi.gov.

Barber shop, furniture store open in Oakland County


A hip barber shop in Hazel Park, handmade furniture in Ferndale and El Salvador flavors in Oak Park are among what’s new or coming soon to southeast Oakland County.

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Troy's Continental acquires Ferndale's United Vending and Market Services


Troy-based Continental, Michigan’s largest food management company, announced it has acquired Ferndale’s United Vending and Market Services. The United team will join the Continental team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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New Royal Oak health facility offers Eastern, Western medicine


Holgistic, a new business in Royal Oak that bridges traditional medical care and alternative medicine, has opened. The business’ goal is to treat the root cause of conditions, not just symptoms.

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