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14 Finance Articles | Page:

New business lab at Oakland University gives students access to cutting-edge Wall Street tech

A newly renovated business lab at Oakland University is giving students access to Bloomberg financial terminals that are used by many professionals in the financial sector to analyze company data, financial news, industry research, and more.

The 10 dual-screen Bloomberg terminals opened in January, giving OU students access to the same info used by brokers, investors, and other financial planners and advisors. The terminals also come with Bloomberg Professional Service, which trains students and tests them on their decisions and predictions.

Oakland University's lab is one of a handful in Michigan and is seen by administrators as a way to best prepare students for financial careers, giving them early access to tools that many would have been required to learn on the job.

Source: Nivedita Mukherji, associate professor of economics, associate dean, Oakland University
Writer: Kim North Shine

DFCU Financial breaks ground on Plymouth branch

DFCU Financial, Michigan's largest credit union, is opening a new branch in Plymouth.

Ground was broken in late August on a 4,583-square-foot facility that will open in the first quarter of 2015 at Ann Arbor Road and Main Street.

The branch will be the 25th for the credit union that formed in 1950, started by seven Ford Motor Co. engineering employees. President and CEO Mark Shobe says the Plymouth location will serve more than 4,000 families.

The branch, which will sit on about one acre of land, will have two drive-through teller lanes, a drive up ATM and full services inside.

DFCU currently has branches in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Source: Peggy Richard, spokesperson, DFCU Financial
Writer: Kim North Shine

Vibe Credit Union brings e-banking to Birmingham

Vibe Credit Union's online and handheld-technology-driven style of banking has come to a new branch in Birmingham.

Vibe's e-Center, or remote branch, at 163 W. Maple opened Sept. 25, adding to Vibe's other locations in Berkley, Canton, Livonia, Novi, South Lyon, Southfield and Sterling Heights. A downtown Royal Oak location will open later this year, says Tom Reagan, president and CEO of Vibe Credit Union.

Vibe's new e-Center is staffed with a customer service rep who will tell customers how to use Vibe's mobile and online services, which include banking apps, mobile deposits, quick online loans and other programs geared toward different audiences.

Vibe rounds out its banking services with rewards programs, lower fees and other offerings such as bill pay. An ATM is located at the e-Center, and Vibe has more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Vibe banking can also be completed by phone.

“We are very excited to grow our business and reach out to new communities," Reagan says. "The design of this new eCenter was built around technology and a way for more people to bank differently.”

Source: Vibe Credit Union
Writer: Kim North Shine

Lake Trust Credit Union to build $30 million HQ in Brighton

A Lansing-based credit union is expanding into southeast Michigan, first building a $30-million headquarters near Brighton and later investing in Plymouth.

Lake Trust Credit Union will invest more than $40 million in extending its network in Michigan over the next five years, says Lori Anderson, spokesperson for the credit union.

The headquarters near Brighton is on 17 acres near US 23 and I-96 and will give employees a campus with a pond, walking trails, picnic areas and a 100,000 sq. ft. workspace that brings together employees from Lansing and Plymouth.

Lake Trust formed from a 2010 merger between NuUnion Credit Union and Detroit Edison Credit Union.

Construction on the new headquarters, which is expected to cost $30 million, is scheduled for completion by 2015. At least another $10 million will go into other improvements, such as those in Plymouth and Lansing.

Writer: Kim North Shine
Source: Lori Anderson, spokesperson, Lake Trust Credit Union

Walsh College creates mini Wall Street on campus

Going to Wall Street each day is out of the question for finance students at Walsh College -- or any college for that matter -- so Walsh has built a miniature version of the stock exchange right on its Troy campus.

The 1,400-square-foot, glass-walled finance lab comes with a dozen Bloomberg terminals, several large, flat-screened TVs tuned to financial reports, and an LED ticker that runs along the top of the wall, giving real-time readings of financial reports and financial news.

Inside, students have a number of ways to learn the principle of market structure, including software that drives the marketplace. The lab goes hand in hand with courses in investment, portfolios, financial markets, international finance, financial management and economics. It will also be used for public events such as financial planning seminars and private investment programs.

"Walsh College’s interactive finance lab will change the way we teach financial courses,” Walsh College Professor Linda Wiechowski, chair of the finance and economics department, says in a statement about the last week's lab opening. “Our new lab will provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to fine-tune their skills and increase their marketability.”

Writer: Kim North Shine
Source: Lindsay Karpinskas, Airfoil public relations

Berkley-based Shanti Yoga blends yoga with financial advising

Rebecca Bayes has brought together her two passions into one business in downtown Berkley.

It's an unlikely pairing, but Bayes, a longtime financial consultant and yoga practitioner, believes mixing the two fields and helping her financial consultants get in touch with their emotional, spiritual, and physical sides is the next frontier in finance.

She's exploring it through her newly opened Shanti Yoga on Coolidge between Catalpa and 12 Mile roads.

"It's my fantasy," she says. "It's amazing to see it come together."

Shanti, which means peace, opened July 2 in a 1,300-square-foot renovated building that now has offices, meeting rooms, and yoga studio in one.

Bayes, who was a longtime financial consultant for Comerica Bank before going out on her own two years ago, already plans to expand to physical therapy and reiki.

Source: Rebecca Bayes, owner, Shanti Yoga
Writer: Kim North Shine

Rochester DDA microloan program puts money where retail is

Retailers are being enticed to downtown Rochester with the offer of loans with no payback for two years and business start-up assistance from Oakland University.

The micro loan program was announced last week and loans may be made starting in the fall, says Kristi Trevarrow, director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

"Basically the idea is the DDA is putting in $100,000 and we're looking for private investors to fund an additional $400,000," Trevarrow says.

The fund will offer two-year loans of up to $50,000 with payback coming at the end of two years and a 12-percent interest rate, which is how private investors will see a return on their put-in.

"What it does is it gives time to get your business going," she says.

It also gives the retailers access to Oakland University INCubator's "kitchen cabinet," she says. The incubator provides answers, guidance, connections, "areas where we identify issues where they need assistance before the end of the two-year period."

The requirement for the loan is to be a retail business operating in Rochester's DDA district, which is bordered on the north by Woodward Avenue, the west by Helen Street, the east by Elizabeth, and the south by Diversion.

Trevarrow says she and others behind the micro loan program have not located any other cities doing something similar.

"We're kind of the guinea pigs to see how something like this will work," she says.

Source: Kristi Trevarrow, director, Rochester DDA
Writer: Kim North Shine

Greenpath Debt Solutions begins construction on new Farmington Hills HQ

The ground is broken and the construction fences are up around the site of the future home for GreenPath Debt Solutions.

The non-profit that specializes in financial counseling (think dealing with bankruptcy or foreclosure) is building a new headquarters in Farmington Hills, not far from its existing headquarters on 12 Mile Road. It will house the company's 400 employees, with enough room to accommodate foreseeable growth.

The four-story building
will be situated on a 10.5-acre plot just east of Halstead on the south side of 12 Mile Road. The planned 125,000 square-foot structure will house both the non-profit's headquarters and call center, and will come complete with high ceilings to deaden noise.

GreenPath is going for LEED certification by incorporating lots of natural light in the building and preserving a two-acre wetland on the property. The structure was designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux. Work is expected to take up to a year to complete.

Source: GreenPath Debt Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

GreenPath plans to build new HQ in Farmington Hills

GreenPath Debt Solutions is building a new headquarters in Farmington Hills not far from its existing headquarters on 12 Mile Road.

The non-profit that specializes in financial counseling (think dealing with bankruptcy or foreclosure) plans to build the new structure so it can house the company's 400 employees. That's enough room to accommodate the organization's expected growth for the foreseeable future.

The 4-story building will be 125,000 square feet and sit on a 10.5-acre plot just east of Halstead on the south side of 12 Mile Road. It will house both the non-profit's headquarters and call center, and will come complete with high ceilings to deaden noise and lots of natural light.

GreenPath plans to go for LEED certification. Among the green features is the preservation of a two-acre wetland on the property.

GreenPath has contracted Harley Ellis Devereaux to design the building and is in discussions with Steelcase to provide furnishings. Construction is set to begin in March and to take one year to complete.

Source: Andrew K Johnson, 
communications and public relations manager for GreenPath Debt Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Downtown Ann Arbor projects stack up on shelf

Ann Arbor may be generating a lot of buzz with its big downtown developments on the boards, but don't expect them to all go into the ground at once.


The shelf for downtown Ann Arbor projects is started to get a little crowded. You might have noticed a bit of controversy surrounding a number of projects slated for downtown in recent years. However, most of those have yet to materialize.

Seven major projects have been approved but have yet to break ground in the downtown Ann Arbor area. Another two are going through the approval process and the city has issued request for proposals for two of its downtown-area parcels.

Common sense would seem to dictate that there might be a flood of projects as soon as the economy recovers. However, don't expect to start seeing shovels go into the ground all at once (or any time soon) as banks and the rest of the financial industry continue to lick their wounds from the housing and mortgage meltdowns.

"The banks were all very burned by real estate," says Stewart Beal, an Ypsilanti-based developer and owner of Beal Properties. "They will be looking for other projects to finance before real estate."

Read the rest of the story here.

WSU breaks ground on S. University Village in Detroit's Midtown

Wayne State University broke ground on the $50 million South University Village development.


The mixed-use project will consist of the 130-unit Studio One Apartments and a parking structure with ground-floor retail including:
  • Five retail spaces ranging in size from 1,53 to-2,332 square feet in size;
  • a 6,362-square foot restaurant;
  • a 4,940-square foot bank office; and
  • a 6,362-square foot Fifth Third Bank that will serve as the company's main Detroit branch.
Read the entire article here.

4 new community banks to open this year

Community Banks are jumping into high-growth mode. Four are scheduled to open this year--one each in Troy, Novi, Farmington Hills and Detroit.


Donald Snider is president and CEO of Detroit-based Paper Plas Inc., a DaimlerChrysler supplier, and chairman of First Spirit Bancorp Inc.

He said years of frustrations with a variety of big banks with his current and past businesses he used to own a McDonald's franchise in Detroit and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Illinois and Georgia convinced him that a community bank can fill a niche larger banks can't.

Read the entire article here.

Downtown Detroit's newest office tower secures tenants

One Kennedy Square has secured two office tenants. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young occupies the building's top two floors and Walbridge Aldinger will move into floors 2 and 3 this summer.


The One Kennedy site is triangular, necessitating a building footprint that is less-than-ideal for an office tower. However, architect Ken Neumann of Neumann/Smith Architecture proposed a novel solution: extend two corners of the second floor out over the road's right-of-way. The extended corners are supported by girders that run vertically to the eighth floor. Thus, floors two through ten of the building have rectangular footprints, each 25,000 square feet.

Ernst & Young moved into the building in January, and its offices are scattered with 40 original works by Detroit artists.

Read the entire article here.

3-story building planned for Birmingham's Peabody Block

Preliminary site approval has been granted for the construction of a three-story building for Birmingham's Peabody Block, at Woodward and Maple. Planned tenants include Lasalle Bank and a health spa, with third-floor office space still available.


[Planning director jenna] Ecker said the three-story building will provide more of an architectural statement over the previous proposal. While she's not thrilled with the idea of a drive-through bank in the heart of a walkable community, she noted the entrance to the drive-through is off Peabody and designed in such a way to make it more pedestrian friendly.

"I think the mix of uses is exactly what we want to see downtown," she said Friday. "That block has always been a target for redevelopment."

Read the entire article here.

14 Finance Articles | Page:
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