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MEGA: 1,300 Jobs, $163 Million Investment In Michigan

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LANSING (WWJ) – Five companies will expand or locate in Michigan and one brownfield redevelopment project will rise under tax incentives granted Tuesday by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.

The companies involved estimate that projects will generate up to $163 million in new private investment, adding a projected 1,376 jobs.

“Today’s MEGA board action highlights our economic-gardening strategy at work to help long-established companies such as Magna grow while partnering with newer companies, like Hearthside, as they enlarge their footprint in our state,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “These new investments underscore once more Michigan’s tremendous talent and the continued growth of our auto supplier and food processing sectors .”

The MEGA board approved incentives to win the following projects for Michigan over competing states and countries:

* Hearthside Food Solutions LLC – The baking company that provides manufacturing and packaging services to several large national food brands plans to invest $17.5 million in its Kentwood and Grand Rapids locations to support new growth. The company expects the project to create up to 302 direct new jobs, resulting in a state tax credit valued at $1.2 million over five years. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio, Indiana, Oregon and Kentucky. The cities of Grand Rapids and Kentwood are considering abatements in support of the project. More at www.hearthsidefoods.com.

* Magna Electronics Technology Inc. – The auto supplier and wholly owned operating unit of Magna International plans to invest $64.8 million to expand its manufacturing facility in Grand Blanc Township. The company expects the project to create up to 385 direct new jobs, resulting in a state tax credit valued at $2.1 million over five years. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio, Canada and Mexico. The township of Grand Blanc is considering an abatement in support of the project. More at www.magna.com.

* Magna Steyr LLC — The auto supplier and wholly owned operating unit of Magna International plans to invest $765,000 to expand in Troy. The company expects the projects to create up to 200 direct new jobs, resulting in a state tax credit valued at $1.5 million over three years. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. The city of Troy is considering an abatement in support of the project. More at www.magnasteyr.com.

* Systrand Manufacturing Corp. — The supplier of products for auto engines, transmissions and axles plans to invest $19.2 million to expand in Brownstown Township and Rockwood to support growth. The company expects the projects to retain up to 162 direct new jobs, resulting in a state tax credit valued at $715,615 over four years. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in South Carolina. The city of Rockwood is considering an abatement in support of the project. More at www.systrand.com.

* Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority — The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use state and local tax capture valued at $3.8 million to redevelop an underutilized and partially vacant shopping center that straddles the border between Allen Park and Lincoln Park. The former Farmer Jack’s site will undergo significant improvements in the façade and internal site layout to attract and accommodate new tenants to the site. The project will generate $10 million in new private investment and create approximately 200 jobs.

* Gordon Food Service Inc. — The provider of food-service products to businesses and retail customers is amending a Standard MEGA tax credit approved in June 2010 to increase the scope of its consolidation project in Wyoming. The company plans to include a new high-technology business initiative, which will result in the creation of 127 new jobs and $56.5 million in new investment. Since the project will be a new development on a greenfield site, the company has agreed to forgo a brownfield credit for a previously planned location, approved in August 2010. More at www.gfs.com.

For the year to date, the MEGA board has approved agreements to assist the expansion of 39 companies that are projected to invest $758 million and create or retain nearly 9,000 direct jobs.  It has also approved five brownfield redevelopment projects with projected new investment of more than $300 million.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority may, under statute, provide a refundable tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax to companies expanding or relocating their operations in Michigan. Tax credit agreements, awarded on the basis of the company’s strength of project, program guidelines and MEGA board approval, are earned over time by a company’s performance in meeting specified investment and hiring requirements.

The MEGA board is also empowered under statute to award Brownfield Redevelopment tax credits to support new business expansion projects on property that is contaminated, blighted or functionally obsolete.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp., a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit www.MichiganAdvantage.org.

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