April 17, 2017

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C R A I N ’ S D E T R O I T B U S I N E S S // A P R I L 1 7 , 2 0 1 7



APRIL 8-14 | For more, visit crainsdetroit.com

Florida company gets state deal for pot-tracking software system


Florida-based software company has been chosen for a nearly $450,000 contract to manage Michigan’s new medical marijuana tracking system. Lakeland, Fla.-based Franwell Inc. has been recommended for a $447,625 award from a pool of 11 companies that bid to run Michigan’s statewide tracking system, which was created through legislation Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law last year. A formal contract has not yet been completed, according to a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The system will require the “seedto-sale” tracking of marijuana products. It was part of a three-bill package that also creates a new tiered licensing system for various segments of the state’s medical marijuana industry, including growers, provisioning centers or dispensaries and compliance testing labs. Franwell’s proposal includes a hosting charge to the state of $35,000 per year for the first two years, as well as in each of five annual contract extension options. The company also noted an additional cost of required tags for tracking plants and packages. The state licensing department will oversee the medical marijuana program through LARA’s new Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. Franwell will run Michigan’s program through a software program it developed called METRC, which stands for Marijuana Enforcement, Reporting, Tracking and Compliance, said Scott Denholm, executive director of METRC for Franwell. The products will be able to be traced back to the grower and the plant from which they are sourced.

Business News: Max Broock Realtors, a Birmingham-based residential real estate brokerage, has been retained to sell 98 condominiums planned for downtown Detroit. J Kathy Wendler, longtime president of the Southwest Detroit Business Association, plans to retire from the organization after leading it for more than 35 years. She will continue to lead the association until her successor is in place. J Several businesses opened in metro Detroit in the past week: Slows Bar BQ in Pontiac, Atomic Chicken in Detroit’s New Center area, La Lanterna in the city’s Capitol Park neighborhood, and Under Armour and Avalon International Breads’ new café in downtown Detroit. J Nexteer Automotive Corp. has signed an agreement to form a joint venture with China-based Dongfeng J

Detroit Digits A numbers-focused look at last week’s headlines:

$8 million

The cost of the North American headquarters Hutchinson plans to build in Auburn Hills’ Oakland Technology Park.

180 acres

The size of a massive site along the Detroit River in Trenton that is now in the hands of the Wayne County treasurer after the owner failed to pay millions in taxes, according to The Associated Press.

$34.6 million The operating income deficit the Detroit Tigers ran last year — the biggest loss in all of baseball that season.

Motor Parts and Components Group Co. Ltd. to produce electric power steering systems for Dongfeng Motor Corp. J Two metro Detroit companies, DiverseNote LLC and Universal Tool Equipment and Controls Inc., are planning expansions that would generate a collective $7.3 million in private investment and create 105 jobs. J Lyft is the latest business to offer benefits to Detroit residents through the Detroit ID program launched in December. Residents who sign up for the ride-share service using their Detroit ID will receive a $25 credit. J Longtime Detroit developer Joel Landy has sold a 60,000-square-foot Cass Avenue building to Detroit-based Sterling Group for an undisclosed price. J Re:purpose, a tech recruiting marketplace website, is the first startup to launch from the Detroit branch of WeWork LLC, an international workspace chain with locations in Detroit. J Radio One Detroit has agreed to sell its WCHB AM 1200 NewsTalk station to Birmingham, Ala.-based Crawford Broadcasting Co. for an undisclosed amount.

The Henry Ford has put on display a “cognitive dress” created by IBM Corp. and high-end New York womenswear brand Marchesa that uses IBM Watson technology to change color based on emotions used in social media posts. J Fiat Chrysler is planning to move the U.S. headquarters for its Maserati brand from New Jersey to the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the grounds of FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Crain's sister publication Automotive News reported. J Detroit’s three casinos had an aggregate revenue of $131.2 million in March, a 5 percent increase from the same time last year and an 11.9 percent rise from February, the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported. J The city of Windsor is renewing its partnership this year with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix to make it easier for Canadian fans to enjoy the June 2-4 festivities on Detroit’s Belle Isle. J Detroit Medical Center hospitals are now considered in good standing with state and federal regulators after DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan passed an unannounced follow-up inspection. J

Other News: The city of Detroit and three major Detroit health systems — Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence Health System — will team with Focus: Hope and Oakland University to provide training to city residents for entry-level health care jobs in high demand. J Democrat Gretchen Whitmer told Crain’s that she would not close Detroit’s persistently failing schools if elected governor, and instead would push to financially punish government entities that don’t shut down poor-performing charter schools. J The Waterford Township Board of Trustees gave the unnamed potential buyers of the Summit Place Mall site more time to finalize new development plans. J

Obituary: Taft Wallace “Wally” Wrathall, a former executive at Comshare Inc. previously based in Ann Arbor, died Monday at a nursing home in Livonia. He was 80. J

Slows Bar BQ plans to open its fourth location, in downtown Pontiac. SLOWS BAR BQ PONTIAC


A Piet Oudolf-designed garden at the Lurie Garden in Chicago.

Renowned Dutch garden designer eyes Belle Isle D

etroit’s Belle Isle could see a garden designed by internationally renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf. At the Garden Club of Michigan’s request, Oudolf visited Detroit recently to tour a bit of the city, the riverfront and Belle Isle. The Dutch designer — who has been likened by some to the late famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park in New York City and Belle Isle — was charmed by the island and said it’s there that he can see one of his famed gardens. Oudolf is a rock star in his world,

according to the Garden Club’s immediate past President Maura Campbell. He designed the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park in Chicago, several gardens at Battery Park in New York City and the full design of the High Line park in Manhattan. He is known for designing yearround gardens that look good even when the plants are dormant. The Garden Club has yet to talk numbers with Oudolf but already, individuals, foundations and companies like Penske Corp. have expressed interest in supporting the new garden, Campbell said.

Court: Colorful 9-story mural to stay on Milwaukee Junction building A Detroit-based artist and a Bloomfield Township-based real estate company have reached an agreement that will allow Katherine Craig’s colorful “The Illuminated Mural” to remain in place on the side of a Milwaukee Junction building. In a joint statement provided to Crain’s, Princeton Enterprises LLC’s law firm in the case, Southfield-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC, said the building at 2937 E. Grand Blvd. is under contract to Detroit-based The Platform LLC, which “has agreed to honor — and extend — a previous agreement allowing ‘The Illuminated Mural’ to stay on the side of the building for several years to come.” Crain's reported last month that The Platform — founded by Peter Cummings and Dietrich Knoer — has the building under contract. The building, built for the Detroit Storage Co. a century ago, sits just east of the northern terminus of the QLine streetcar project. That makes it a prime redevelopment prospect in a neighborhood just east of the New Center area, which has attracted considerable real estate invest-


Katherine Craig’s “The Illuminated Mural” was painted on this building at 2937 E. Grand Blvd. in 2009.

ment recently due to the rail project and a shortage of quality multifamily rental housing in the greater downtown area. Craig, whose nine-story mural adorns the western wall of the 73,000-square-foot building, sought an injunction in a January 2016 lawsuit under the federal Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 barring the destruction of the mural, created in 2009.


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