Gilbert buys Kresge building

Make that one more for Dan Gilbert.

The downtown business owner and investor has closed on the purchase of the building that once housed the S.S. Kresge retailer, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The 70,000-square-foot building, at 1201 Woodward Ave., was sold by Detroit investor Dennis Kefallinos, who would not comment on the deal.

A sale price wasn’t obtained by Crain’s. Gilbert’s communications group declined to comment.

Beef bonanza in downtown Birmingham

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. Especially if you’re going to downtown Birmingham.

Under plans submitted to the city, the Max & Erma’s there will be converted into a Stoney River Legendary Steaks, meaning there will be four steakhouses in the downtown area.

Public relations representatives for American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC did not return calls on Friday, but the city confirmed it has received plans from American Blue Ribbon, parent company of Max and Erma’s.

Construction is expected to begin by spring.

Already in downtown Birmingham are Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Cameron’s Steakhouse.

Lighting company toggles over to a new name

As it gets ready to open its new manufacturing facility for high-volume production of LED lights to replace standard fluorescent tubes, Troy-based Ilumisys, a wholly owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering Inc., has been rebranded as Toggled.

Company President Dave Simon said he likes the word “toggled” for several reasons. “Toggle” as a noun is a synonym for switch, and he said the company wants people to switch from fluorescent tubes to much greener, energy-efficient LED lighting.

“Toggle is also a verb, it implies action,” said Simon, the past president of the Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association. “It’s more memorable than Ilumisys, which had kind of a techie sound that sounded similar to other names in the industry.”

In 2010, Altair bought a 136,000-square-foot building on 8.9 acres near 14 Mile Road and Dequindre to house Ilumisys, about three miles from Altair headquarters at Big Beaver Road and John R. Altair will share the building with Toggled as it grows.

Simon said the company is still installing manufacturing equipment in the building and will launch manufacturing early next year. He said the company is currently hiring highly paid technicians who can run automated equipment. A $4 million tax credit the state awarded the company in 2010 is supposed to lead to 213 direct jobs at the company, which was named in Crain’s 25th anniversary issue in 2010 as one of 25 state tech companies to watch. 

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