LANSING – The establishment of the I-69 Corridor and the Grand Traverse Region into cargo and logistics hubs moved forward Monday with Michigan Strategic Fund approval of the regional collaborations as the state’s newest Next Michigan Development Corporations.
“These designations will accelerate efforts already underway to transform these areas into centers of economic development activity and hubs for commerce and freight logistics in the regions,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “As we showcase Michigan innovation at work, these designations serve as terrific examples of collaboration and business-friendly practices put into action.”
The I-69 Corridor’s focus will be on small to medium-sized businesses, as well as major multi-modal sites and industrial parks, linking direct freeway and five different rail connections to the Halifax Deep Water Port in Nova Scotia, Canada; Bishop International Airport, which is the third busiest airport in Michigan; Foreign Trade Zones located in Flint and Port Huron, and I-69. There are three deep-water ports located along the St. Clair River: two in the City of Marysville and one in Port Huron, which was recently renovated in 2003. As a Next Michigan Development Corporation, the I-69 Corridor will use incentives along with existing federal and state programs to assist with marketing, research, finance packaging and translation.
The Grand Traverse Region is made up of an interlocal agreement among Grand Traverse County, City of Traverse City, Garfield Charter Township, East Bay Charter Township and Blair Township. The Grand Traverse Region NMDC will focus on a number of industries, including biomedical-biotechnical, agribusiness, fabricated metal product manufacturing, machinery, computer and product manufacturing and others. Cherry Capital Airport, the fourth busiest airport in Michigan for passenger flights, will be one of the focus areas with Aero Park and Peninsula Business Park adjacent to the airport. The Hammond Corridor is within one mile of the airport and contains four industrial parks with available space for development. Under the Next Michigan Development Corporation legislation, businesses attracted as part of the NMDC designation must utilize a minimum of two out of four transportation modes (freight, air, rail or water). The statute allows for only two designations per calendar year, and one more if located north of the 43rd parallel.
In February 2011, the MSF awarded the first NMDC designation to the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corporation, with Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run Airports as the central development hubs. In December, the MSF awarded the second NMDC designation to the Port Lansing Global Logistics Centre, with the city of Lansing, DeWitt Charter Township and the Capital Regional Airport Authority as the central development hubs.
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: www.MichiganAdvantage.org.