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MEGA OK’s Four Brownfield Projects; MEDC Backs Amway Expansion

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LANSING — The Michigan Economic Growth Authority Wednesday approved work plans for four brownfield redevelopment projects expected to generate $39.4 million in new investment and create or retain 512 direct jobs.

“These projects will help transform blighted, contaminated or functionally obsolete properties into a variety of new uses that will add jobs and diversify Michigan’s economy,” said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. also announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a $1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program incentive for Amway to build a new facility in Ada Township, a project that will generate up to $80.95 million in new private investment and add up to 200 new jobs.

The MEGA board today approved brownfield work plans for the following Michigan brownfield projects:

* 2021 and 2025 Water Street Redevelopment Project — The City of Port Huron Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and OHMI Port Huron, LLC will use local and school tax capture valued at $646,410 to redevelop the vacant and functionally obsolete City Marina in Port Huron. This will be a three-phase project consisting of the construction of a hotel, a new restaurant development and redevelopment of the marina. The project is expected to generate $9.2 million in new investment and create approximately 25 permanent full-time jobs.

* Emergent BioSolutions Redevelopment Project — The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use MEGA school and local tax capture valued at $4,618,370 to expand and upgrade the Emergent BioSolutions campus in the City of Lansing. The project includes construction of a new 33,000 square foot administration building and other campus-wide improvements. The project is expected to generate up to $25 million in new investment and position Emergent, which employs 436 individuals, for substantial new growth with projected additional investment up to $95 million.

* M2 Enterprises Coldwater Project — M2 Enterprises Coldwater LLC and the Branch County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use local and school tax capture valued at $166,422 to redevelop a site in the City of Coldwater that has been vacant for 35 years and construct a new Culver’s restaurant. The project is expected to generate up to $2.25 million in new investment and create 44 permanent full-time equivalent jobs.

* Wolf River Development Company 514 Project — Wolf River Development Company 514 LLC and the City of East Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use school and local tax capture valued at $266,228 to redevelop the 514 Michigan Avenue property in East Lansing. The current building will be demolished and a new four-story, 23,200 square foot mixed-use building will be constructed. The project is expected to generate up to $2.9 million in new investment and create seven permanent full-time jobs.

Under the Brownfield Redevelopment Act PA 381 of 1996, a municipality may create a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to develop and implement Brownfield projects using a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool for property redevelopment. MEDC is responsible for administering Brownfield TIF Plans requesting capture of state education taxes under the direction of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Board.

As for the Amway project, the company plans to invest up to $80.95 million to open a new nutritional products manufacturing plant in Ada Township. The operation is planned to produce tablets and softgel capsules, resulting in the creation of 200 new jobs. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states. Ada Township has offered support to the project in the form of a 12-year tax abatement.

“Nutrilite is integral to the future of Amway as the world’s number one selling vitamin and supplement brand,” said Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos in a joint statement. “By bringing a second nutrition product manufacturing plant to our home market of Michigan, we are helping our distributors meet the growing customer demand for our Nutrilite products.”

Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in December, the Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

The Michigan Business Development Program replaces the state’s previous MEGA program that was a feature of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax restructuring legislation approved and signed into law by Snyder in May 2011.

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