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2nd Detroit Meijer, Renewables Among $1.2 Billion New Investments For State

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From the second Detroit Meijer in a month to new jobs for manufacturing plants and urban downtowns to renewable energy plants, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Tuesday approved a dozen projects expected to generate $1.2 billion in new investments and up to 7,601 direct jobs.

“We’re seeing new business investments across our state from Detroit to Grand Rapids to Oakland County to the Bay area and Lansing,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “New industries are picking Michigan over national competitors, old plants and downtowns are reviving and major retailers are seeing opportunities in Detroit.”

The MEGA board approved incentives for the following Michigan projects:

205 South Division Avenue – A large MBT brownfield credit valued at up to $1.8 million will support the construction of two new mixed-use buildings in downtown Grand Rapids. The project is expected to generate $19.5 million in new investment and create up to 10 full-time jobs. The project will also be designated as an Urban Development Area Project.

Capitol Park Development Initiative – Four large MBT brownfield credits valued at a total of $17,450,457 will support the development of four mixed-use commercial and residential buildings within one of downtown Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods. The Capitol Park district is bounded by Washington Boulevard, Woodward Avenue and Michigan Avenue and represents a significant sub-district within the larger historic “West District” of downtown Detroit. The project is expected to generate $166.1 million in private investment and create at least 75 full-time jobs. The buildings are:

  • The Chamber of Commerce Building – 1212 Griswold.
  • The Capitol Park Building – 1145 Griswold.
  • The Farwell – 1249 Griswold.
  • The Whitney – 1533 Woodward.

Detroit Manufacturing Systems – Detroit Manufacturing Systems is a new automotive components manufacturer in Michigan. DMS proposes to establish a vehicle component manufacturing facility in the Gateway Industrial Center in the City of Detroit. The company expects to create approximately 572 jobs over the next five years, resulting in a state tax credit valued at up to $4,055,642. The Detroit Economic Growth Corp., on behalf of the City of Detroit, will assist DMS with applications for tax abatements for the project.

Detroit Renewable – A large MBT Brownfield credit valued at up to $4.1 million will support the rehabilitation of the Detroit Renewable Power building located at 5700 Russell in the City of Detroit. Some walls and obsolete equipment will be removed and new machinery will be installed, resulting in a fully operational and efficient steam generation and delivery plant, which is necessary to maintain a consistent supply of steam to over 140 buildings that are serviced. The total capital investment will be approximately $67 million. The project is expected to create approximately 24 full-time jobs and retain 151 jobs.

Ford Motor Co. – Two large MBT brownfield credits valued at up to $20 million will support the redevelopment of the former Ford Motor Company Wixom Assembly Plant into two project areas for future industrial use which may include renewable energy manufacturing. Each project is expected to generate approximately $80 million in new investment, creating a total of up to 600 full-time jobs.

Gateway Marketplace Project – A large MBT Brownfield credit valued at up to $6,134,368 and local and school tax capture valued at $10,750,000 will support the development of Gateway Marketplace, the first major retail center within the City of Detroit in the last 50 years. The project will be anchored by a new Meijer store with full retail, grocery, garden center and fuel service station and also will include a variety of other of retail and business users. Meijer anticipates adding a total of 83 full-time and 208 part-time jobs. The project is expected to generate up to $71 million in new investment.

MJC Templin Medical/Professional Office Redevelopment Project – The Wyandotte Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use local and school tax capture valued at $527,906 to redevelop largely vacant and blighted property in the City of Wyandotte. The project includes demolition of the last remaining vacant and blighted structure at the site. The site will be rebuilt into a 22,000 square foot two-story medical office and professional building, with appropriate site improvements including landscaping, paved parking, lighting, and others. The project is expected to create up to 44 permanent full-time jobs, with a total capital investment of approximately $4 million.

Stadium District Project – A large MBT brownfield credit valued at up to $3.5 million will support the redevelopment of the former McKay Press property in downtown Midland. The project will demolish the vacant building and construct a four-story mixed-use commercial, office and retail building adjacent to the Dow Diamond baseball stadium. The project is expected to generate $49 million in new investment and create up to 150 full-time jobs.

Suniva Inc. – Founded in 2007 at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics, Suniva manufactures highly efficient photovoltaic solar cells and modules. Subject to certain conditions, Suniva plans to locate its “ARTisun Select Project,” which will manufacture solar cells with efficiency rates of 18-20 percent or higher in Saginaw County’s Thomas Township. If this project receives funding, the company plans to invest approximately $250 million and create up to 500 jobs over the next five years, resulting in an estimated High Technology MEGA credit valued at up to $8,691,874. An investment is subject to the company receiving favorable financing terms as well as market conditions. In addition, the board reauthorized the credit agreement for the company’s 2009 Photovoltaic Michigan Business Tax credit. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Georgia, Tennessee, New Mexico and Oregon. In addition to the MEGA award, the incentive package also is expected to include Renaissance Zone designation and Community Development Block Grants. www.suniva.com.

Townsend Energy Solutions – Townsend Energy Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Townsend Ventures which was established in 2007 to invest in emerging technologies that focus on the energy sector. TES proposes to invest up to $237 million to locate advanced manufacturing operations of technologies and products related to energy efficiency in the former Ford Wixom Assembly facility in the City of Wixom. The company expects to create up to 875 jobs over the next five years, resulting in an estimated High Technology MEGA credit valued at up to $6,300,807. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Missouri and Vermont. If approved, the City of Wixom will consider a Renaissance Zone application for the project.

Uptown at Rivers Edge – A large MBT brownfield credit valued at $5.1 million and local and school tax capture valued at $30,271,716  will support the redevelopment of vacant property located at 202 N. Saginaw in Bay City, better known as Rivers Edge. The project will include demolition, infrastructure improvements and site preparation across the entire property and the construction of a commercial, retail and residential development within a portion of the area. The total capital investment is expected to be at least $50 million and approximately 395 full-time jobs are expected to be created. The project will also be designated as an Urban Development Area Project.

Y Site Project – The Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use local and school tax capture valued at $1.4 million to demolish the vacant former YWCA building and construct a four story mixed-use development in the City of Lansing. The new building will include 228 residential units, commercial space, underground parking and surface parking. The first floor of the development will include retail space with a coffee shop and small market or grocery store. The project is expected to create up to 25 permanent full-time jobs, with a total capital investment of approximately $15.6 million.

In addition, the MEGA board approved amendments to the following projects:

  • Ford Motor Co. – In 2010, the MEGA board approved a retention tax credit for up to 28,000 retained employees based on an $850 million investment by Ford throughout Michigan. The company now is considering a significant new project at the AAI facility in Flat Rock. Investment is expected to be a minimum of $150 million and up to $550 million. This investment will contribute to the retention of an additional 3,600 jobs throughout Michigan. The City of Flat Rock anticipates approval of a tax abatement related to the project. Based on these factors, the retention tax credit will be expanded to allow for the additional 3,600 retained jobs.
  • Lenawee Stamping Corp. – In 2010, the MEGA board approved a tax credit for the expansion of LSC’s facility in the City of Tecumseh. LSC now is under consideration for two new General Motors programs that would otherwise be sourced to Ohio. The company plans to invest more than $9.3 million and create 128 jobs over the next five      years as a result of the project. Based on these factors, the state tax credit will be expanded to capture the additional 128 jobs expected as a result of the project.
  • US Farathane Corp. – In 2009, US Farathane was awarded a standard and retention credit for its new headquarters in the City of Auburn Hills. USF now has the potential to increase the scope of the project as a result of new business awarded to the company. The company is considering investing an additional $58.5 million and creating an additional 391 jobs in the state of Michigan. As a result, the state tax credit will be amended to allow for the additional 391 jobs.

For the year to date, the MEGA board has approved 133 brownfield redevelopment projects with projected new investment of more than $1.25 billion. It has also approved agreements to assist the expansion of 53 companies that are projected to invest approximately $2 billion and create or retain more than 20,000 direct jobs.

The MEGA may, under statute, provide a refundable tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax to companies expanding or relocating their operations in Michigan. 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.

Beginning in January, the $100 million Michigan Business Development and Michigan Community Revitalization Programs will replace the state’s previous MEGA, Brownfield and Historic tax credit programs that were features of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax restructuring legislation approved and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in May.

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