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Farbman Group in Southfield Gets Contract to Manage Cleveland’s Fifth Third Center

February 2, 2024

DBusiness Daily Update: Emagine Royal Oak to Host Premiere of Michigan-made Horror Movie ‘Thorns,’ 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.

Emagine Royal Oak to Host Premiere of Michigan-made Horror Movie ‘Thorns’

Emagine Entertainment in Troy will be hosting the North American Red Carpet Movie Premiere of Dark Planet Releasing’s horror movie “Thorns,” at 7 p.m. at its Royal Oak theater on Feb. 17.

The premiere will feature red carpet arrivals by key cast and crew including horror film legend Doug Bradley, and Michigan natives Doug Schulze (writer and editor) and Julie Schulze (editor and co-producer). There also will be a live Q&A prior to the film hosted by Anthony LaVerde, CEO of Emagine Entertainment.

Emagine Royal Oak is located at 200 N. Main Street in Royal Oak. Tickets are on sale at

In “Thorns,” Archbishop Jenkins (played by Bradley) mentors an ex-priest working for NASA who is sent to investigate a remote observatory that went silent after receiving a mysterious radio signal from deep space. Upon arrival, he discovers the signal opened a portal unleashing a thorned monster. The former priest must now summon his lost faith to stop the signal from spreading hell on earth.

“Thorns” was shot entirely in Michigan at the Motion Pictures Institute in Troy and in the Upper Peninsula.

Sheetz to Open Locations in Romulus and Chesterfield Township

Pennsylvania-based Sheetz, a family-owned and operated restaurant and convenience chain, says it’s planning to open two new locations in the metro Detroit area, in Romulus and Chesterfield Township.

The Romulus store will be on Middlebelt Road just north of I-94. The Chesterfield Township location will be on 23 Mile Road just east of I-94. Timing on both of these locations is not yet final.

Last summer, Sheetz announced that its first Michigan location would be located at 33380 Wick Road in Romulus. That is expected to open later in 2024.

Farbman Group in Southfield Gets Contract to Manage Cleveland’s Fifth Third Center

Farbman Group, a full-service commercial real estate company in Southfield, has taken over management of the 508,397-square-foot Fifth Third Center in downtown Cleveland.

“We are thrilled to add this important Class-A office property to Farbman Group’s Midwest management portfolio at a time when we see a bright future for the Cleveland market,” says Andrew Farbman, CEO of the Farbman Group. “Our team will maximize the potential of Fifth Third Center while working with ownership to streamline operations, efficiencies and drive new leasing opportunities to the building.”

Fifth Third Center is a Class-A office building located at the epicenter of the residential and retail movement in downtown Cleveland. The building offers the prestige and superior location of a class-A office building, coupled with manageable and efficient floor plans for tenants of all sizes.

Ann Arbor-based C3 Industries Opens 11th High Profile Dispensary Location in Michigan

C3 Industries, a multistate, vertically integrated cannabis company with headquarters in Ann Arbor, has opened its 22nd dispensary nationwide and its 11th High Profile location in Michigan.

High Profile Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula is serving cannabis consumers in-store and through its online ordering with inside drive-thru and curbside pickup, and offering 20 percent off to all new customers on their first visit and a free product on their second visit to the dispensary.

It will host its official grand opening on Feb. 9 at 4:20 p.m. CST.

Progress Project by Hyundai Supports Black-owned Businesses in Michigan

As Black History Month begins, Hyundai Motor America is announces the third consecutive year of the Progress Project, in which the company provides financial assistance to black-owned small businesses in a region.

This year, award recipients were chosen in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti — near Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. and the new Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory in Superior Township.

“Hyundai is proud to celebrate Black History Month through the continuation of the Progress Project,” says Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “The Progress Project by Hyundai underscores our progress for humanity vision by directly investing in the people and places that also call Michigan home, and we look forward to watching 3N1 Fitness Revolution (Ann Arbor), A-Square Fight Club (Ann Arbor), and Issa’s Pizza (Ypsilanti) continue to thrive in their local communities.”

Each business will receive $15,000.

Two Weeks Remain to Enter the $100K Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown

Local entrepreneurs seeking funding to open a restaurant or retail storefront have fewer than two weeks remaining to enter the 2024 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown for a chance to win $100,000 in startup funding from Comerica Bank as well as a business support package from TechTown Detroit and its partners.

Entrepreneurs with a retail concept looking to open their first brick-and-mortar location in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park can submit their business plans via the Hatch Detroit website now through noon on Feb. 16. The contest aims to promote small-business economic development in Detroit and its surrounding cities.

The Top 10 business ideas will be introduced to the community for a public vote to narrow down the Top 4 finalists. The contest will culminate May. 9 with the annual Hatch Off, where the Top 4 entrepreneurs present their business plans in front of a panel of expert judges and a live audience. A second public vote and judge deliberations will help decide the contest winner.

Steelcase Recognized as One of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune

Steelcase in Grand Rapids has been named among the world’s leading brands on the Fortune 2024 World’s Most Admired Companies list for the 18th year and recognized as first in the Home Equipment and Furnishings category.


Businesses featured on the Most Admired List, which includes JPMorgan Chase, Walt Disney, Microsoft, and Starbucks, are rated by executives, directors, and analysts in their respective industries based on nine criteria including investment value, quality of management and products, social responsibility, people management and ability to attract talent. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be included on the list.

For more information, visit here.

Meijer Continues its Commitment to Black-owned Brands, Small Businesses

Grand Rapids-based Meijer has reaffirmed its commitment to growing its selection of Black-owned brands to meet customer interest and demonstrate its support of small businesses in its communities.

Since formalizing this program in 2021, Meijer has grown its selection of Black-owned brands by nearly 35 percent.

When a certified diverse supplier joins Meijer, the Supplier Inclusion team welcomes them with a program that includes onboarding, training, and networking events that demonstrate not only how to do business with Meijer, but also how to grow within the retailer’s six-state footprint and three store formats.


Called the Meijer Grow Academy, this program helps diverse businesses every step of the way, presenting foundational material on brand strategy, marketing, product packaging, operating processes, and distribution capabilities, among other topics. Suppliers also receive 1:1 coaching from Meijer buyers, Supplier Inclusion, and other business teams to help them strengthen their business in reaching more customers.

Although customers can find Black-owned brands on Meijer shelves all year long, a curated product offering will be prominently displayed in all Meijer supercenters in celebration of Black History Month throughout February. The collection spans various product categories, including grocery, health and beauty and home, offering customers a unique opportunity to further discover and support the Black business community.

For Black-owned businesses interested in partnering with Meijer, visit the Meijer VendorNet.

To learn more about the retailer’s supplier inclusion efforts, visit its Supplier Inclusion hub.

NAF Receives $5.6M Grant from Ballmer Group to Expand in Southeast Michigan

NAF, a New York-based national education nonprofit that supports high school students’ efforts to be future-ready, is the recipient of a new, $5.6 million, three-year grant from Ballmer Group for growing its impact in southeast Michigan.

Since 2017, Ballmer Group has invested in NAF’s core work and strategic plan priorities, beginning with a $15 million grant, and now helping fund NAF’s expansion in southeast Michigan to amplify engagement in the Detroit community. With this support, NAF added 16 new academies, took part in stakeholder cultivation, and created a comprehensive, multi-year implementation plan for the Tri-County area.

The grant will enable NAF to expand top-tier, work-based, and outcomes-driven education to high school students across southeast Michigan. With the $5.6 million investment, NAF will be able to bolster career readiness systems and policies, strengthen NAF academy quality, and increase access to work-based learning and career preparation.

Varnum Named to U.S. News Best Law Firms to Work For List

U.S. News & World Report has named Varnum to its 2024 Class of Best Companies to Work For among U.S. law firms. The ranking recognizes exceptional workplaces within the legal industry, highlighting firms that excel in fostering a positive and supportive professional environment.

The evaluation process evaluates law firms nationwide on six key factors that contribute to a thriving workplace culture:

  • Quality of pay and benefits.
  • Work/life balance and flexibility.
  • Job and company stability.
  • Physical and psychological comfort.
  • Belongingness and esteem.
  • Career opportunities and professional development.

Varnum earned “commendable” results in all six factors.

Friends of Animals of Metro Detroit to Move All Operations Under One Roof

After 30 years of operation, nonprofit organization Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit will vacate its Greenfield Administrative and Animal Services intake facility in Dearborn on Feb. 5 and move all operations to the soon-to-be-completed Reckinger Road location, also in Dearborn.

The original facility is no longer suitable for the organization’s animals and team. Partnering with Neumann/Smith Architecture of Southfield, Friends for Animals has been developing this 20,000-square-foot center in two phases.

Phase One of the campaign was completed in September 2018, with $5.1 million in donations, as well as a donation of land from the city of Dearborn. It involved adding 10,000 square feet to a former Amtrak station on Reckinger Road, near the city’s Civil Services Plaza. This shelter now houses dogs and cats waiting for their forever homes.

In 2023, Phase Two was split into Phase 2A and 2B due to the increased costs from inflation and supply chain issues. Phase 2A added 6,500 square feet to the Reckinger Road facility and allows the shelter team to move operations completely from the current overcrowded and antiquated space on Greenfield. Included in this phase is a completely renovated Amtrak station that will be the home for the intake and animal services wing of the center. This phase also included healthy holding for cats, and a new kennel space to hold healthy dogs.

The final phase (2B), which will begin soon, will include 3,500 square feet and add evaluation and grooming space, puppy and kitten nurseries, and a community educational space.

To help complete fundraising to finish the final phase of the facility, visit here.

National Margarita Day is Feb. 22

New York-based MARGS, which is invested in by former University of Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, invites Margarita lovers to celebrate National Margarita Day on Feb. 22.

This annual recognition is a celebration that pays homage to the Mexico-originated cocktail and Margarita lovers around the globe unite to revel in the classic and iconic drink.

MARGS offer canned Margaritas in five flavors — Classic, Mango, Mezcal, Spicy, and Coconut — all made with real tequila, low sugar, and a 5 percent ABV delivered in a 12-ounce can. They are available in four-can packs for $12.99 and are sold in Detroit as well as other cities in Michigan, as well as at, and

Intersport Announces Schedule for 2024 The John Shippen Golf Events

Intersport, a leading Chicago-based agency, has announced the 2024 schedule for The John Shippen National Invitational, a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour for the nation’s top Black women and men golfers.

The John Shippen Sports Business Summit also be conducted for the fourth year to create awareness about employment opportunities within the business of sports and to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles within the sports industry for students of color.

The events are named after John Shippen Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional.

The series of competitions will kick off with The John Shippen Cognizant Cup May 6 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J. The women’s contest of The John Shippen National Invitational will be played June 4-5 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids. The men’s competition of The John Shippen National Invitational will be contested June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club.

“We are thrilled about what we have in store for The John Shippen in 2024,” says Jason Langwell, executive vice president of Intersport and the executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “It has been an honor to watch the tremendous abilities of these Black golfers in our competitions the last few years, which has led to Shippen winners making the cut at both the Rocket Mortgage Classic and Dow Championship as well as other players achieving playing status on the PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Americas, and Ladies European Tours.

“The Intersport and Rocket Mortgage teams continue to be passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and are thankful to be able to partner with organizations committed to making a difference. We are humbled to have the opportunity to continue providing elevated platforms and year-round exposure for these athletes — which aims to break barriers for Black golfers and aspiring business professionals.”


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