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Redevelopments, Expansions Mean 2,997 Jobs in Michigan

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State officials Tuesday announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is supporting 11 brownfield redevelopment projects in Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Hamtramck, which will generate over $406 million in new investment and create and retain 1,401 jobs. The MEDC is also helping six companies grow, with $69.6 million in new private investment that is projected to create 1,596 total new jobs in the state.

“The brownfield redevelopment projects announced today are the latest examples of Michigan’s efforts to repurpose blighted, contaminated or functionally obsolete properties across the state,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said. “These incentives will spur redevelopment of properties that have often been underutilized for years, transforming our urban centers and fueling growth in communities across the state. At the same time, these incentives help companies to create new job opportunities as they expand in Michigan.”

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority board today Tuesday incentives to win the following projects for Michigan over competing states and countries:

* Force by Design – The technical services company, new to Michigan, plans to invest $430,000 to establish a new office in East Lansing to service underdeveloped markets and provide enterprise computing services through salesforce.com. The company is expected to create up to 90 total jobs, including 50 directly by the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project may create an additional 40 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $230,985 over three years to convince the company to locate in Michigan over competing sites in California and Pennsylvania. The city of East Lansing is considering an abatement in support of the project.  In addition, the company is pursuing training programs through Michigan New Jobs Training Program at Lansing Community College. More at http://forcebydesign.com.

* Otto Bock Polyurethane Technologies Inc. – The German company, a global leader in orthopedic applications and special polyurethane applications in the automotive and furniture sectors, plans to invest $13.3 million in a plant in Rochester Hills to produce polyurethane parts. The project is expected to create up to 233 total jobs, including 98 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 135 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $671,656 over five years to convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Pennsylvania. The city of Rochester Hills is considering an abatement in support of the project. More at www.ottobock.com.

* Piston Automotive LLC – The automotive supplier of chassis and interior parts plans to invest $15 million to expand in Redford Township to do chassis work and manufacture electric batteries. The project is expected to create up to 467 total jobs, including 135 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project has the potential to retain an additional 332 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $889,293 over five years to convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Kentucky. Redford Township and Detroit are considering abatements in support of the project. More at www.pistongroup.com.

* Plasan Carbon Composites Inc. – The manufacturer of carbon composite automotive components plans to invest $3.2 million to open a Customer and Technical Development Center in Wixom. The project is expected to create up to 78 total jobs, including 36 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project has the potential to create an additional 42 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $697,007 over seven years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Tennessee. The city of Wixom is considering an abatement in support of the project. More at www.plasancarbon.com/home.

* Ring Screw LLC (Acument Global Technologies) – The producer of mechanical fastening products and services for transportation markets plans to invest $5.1 million to expand locations in Fenton, Grand Blanc Township and Sterling Heights and retain its headquarters in Michigan. The project is expected to create up to 263 total jobs, including 150 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 113 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $874,651 over five years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mexico. The cities of Fenton and Sterling Heights, and Grand Blanc Township are considering abatements in support of the project. More at www.acument.com/ringscrew.asp.

* 20 Monroe Building Co. – A state brownfield credit valued at $4.5 million will support the construction of a four story, mixed-use space in Grand Rapids connected to the B.O.B., a four-story restaurant and night club. The new space will accommodate concerts and festivals, as well as retail and hotel condo suites. The project will generate $24.1 million in new private investment and create 94 jobs. 

* 38 Front Redevelopment LLC – The developer plans to use a state brownfield credit valued at $8 million to demolish the existing vacant building and construct the Seidman School of Business and Center for Entrepreneurship at 38 Front Ave. SW in Grand Rapids. The Center will bring various business development and training resources under one roof to meet West Michigan’s executive, corporate, and educational certification needs. The project will also include three stories of mixed-use space and will house Grand Valley State University’s business school. The project will generate $51 million in new private investment and create 165 jobs.

* 3800 Woodward – A state brownfield credit valued at $10 million will support a project to demolish a functionally obsolete medical center at 3800 Woodward Ave. in Detroit. The project includes a 15,000-square-foot, single-story retail center, a mixed-use medical office building and a 1,000-space parking garage. The project will generate $83.5 million in new private investment and create 155 jobs. 

* City of Hamtramck – State and local tax capture valued at $116,000 will support a brownfield project to redevelop a four-story commercial building on Joseph Campau. The project includes significant interior demolition to repurpose an old furniture showroom and warehouse into a mixed-use commercial and residential building. The first floor will feature a restaurant. The project is expected to generate up to $1.6 million in new private investment and create up to 18 new jobs.

* City of Lansing – State and local tax capture valued at $6.7 million will support a brownfield project to redevelop a vacant site on approximately 3.64 acres located at North Cedar Street and East Shiawassee Street, adjacent to the New Lansing City Market. The project includes residential housing along with a mix of uses possibly including retail, entertainment, and office space. The project is expected to generate up to $23.1 million in new private investment and create up to 30 new jobs. 

* Emerald Springs IA and IB LDHA LP – A state brownfield credit valued at $2.3 million will support a multi-phase project that will redevelop the former public housing site historically known as Charles Terrace, located at 5825 Emerald Springs Circle in Detroit. The project includes construction of 158 new housing units in a mixture of single family, duplex, and townhome units. Of the 158 units, all will be financed with low-income housing tax credits, and 75 of the 158 will be public housing units. The project will generate $33.1 million from new private investment and create five jobs. The project will also receive funding and a loan from the Detroit Housing Commission.

* Free Press Holdings LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $10 million, along with state and local tax capture valued at $442,989 will support a project that will renovate the former Detroit Free Press office building and printing plant at 321 W. Lafayette in Detroit into a mixed-use retail, commercial and residential complex. When complete, the project will feature approximately 23,000 square feet of first-floor retail and restaurant space and 27,000 square feet of commercial office space on the second floor. The third through 13th floors will be configured from office space to apartments. The basement, which once housed industrial printing equipment, will be repurposed for parking. The project will generate $73.2 million in new private investment and create 211 new jobs. 

* Grand Rapids Urban Market Holdings LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $5.4 million will support the renovation of a series of interconnected former warehouse buildings on Ionia Avenue SW and Logan Street SW. The project will include indoor areas for multi-vendor, year-round fresh food market, space for an outdoor farmer’s market, restaurants, educational facilities, food processing, a rooftop greenhouse and other mixed-use components. The project will generate $31 million in new private investment and create 290 jobs. 

* Lurvey White Ventures LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $5.6 million will support a project to redevelop the Michigan School for the Deaf, located in Flint for over 100 years. This project, which shares a campus with Powers High School, will result in 260,000 square feet of new construction. Because of its age, extensive work is needed on the infrastructure, HVAC, underground utilities and electrical systems in addition to extensive renovation and restoration work on the buildings. Without these renovations, the Michigan School for the Deaf faces shutdown. The project will generate $32.8 million in new private investment, retain 187 jobs and create 10 new jobs.

* Sugar Hill Residential LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $2.4 million will support a multi-phase project to redevelop blighted property on four vacant parcels on Garfield Street in Detroit. The project entails construction of a five-story residential building with a parking structure and first-floor arts-related commercial space. The project will generate $16.2 million in new private investment and create 36 jobs. 

* The Knapp Centre – A state brownfield credit valued at $4.8 million will support the historic redevelopment of the former Knapp’s Department Store building, a five story, 175,000 building located at 300 S. Washington in downtown Lansing. The new Knapp’s Centre will convert the first four floors and mezzanine of the former department store into a mix of 100,895 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. The fifth floor will be transformed into 21 residential units. Already, portions of the first floor and mezzanine have been dedicated to the Lansing Economic Development Corp.’s new business incubator program. The project is expected to generate $36.4 million in new private investment and create 200 jobs.

* Autocam Corp.  – The manufacturer of high volume specialty alloy components for the transportation and medical device sectors plans to amend a Standard MEGA incentive it received in June 1997 to expand manufacturing operations in Kentwood to produce next-generation components to be used in new fuel-saving technologies and various ophthalmic, orthopedic and cardiovascular applications. The company plans to invest an additional $32.6 million and create 200 direct jobs. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 265 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs. This investment and additional jobs are dependent upon the development of a successful, competitive business case. More at www.autocam.com.

“These projects demonstrate the spirit of public-private collaboration is alive in Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “Communities across the state are making strong business cases to win investment and jobs from the world’s most innovative companies over competing locations not only in the United States, but all over the world.”

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state’s response to interstate competition for company expansions and relocations, may provide a refundable tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax to companies expanding or relocating their operations in Michigan. 

Since January 2010, more than 330,000 new and retained jobs have been announced as a result of the MEGA, brownfield and additional incentive programs.

Michigan brownfield programs provide incentives to invest in property that has been used for industrial, commercial or residential purposes and to keep that property in productive use or return it to productive use. Brownfield incentives can be used for functionally obsolete, blighted or contaminated property. 

For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit www.MichiganAdvantage.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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