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14 Companies To Add 4,590 Michigan Jobs, Invest $1.1 Billion

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LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund Wednesday approved state incentives to support 14 business expansions that are expected to generate more than $1.1 billion in investments and add 4,590 jobs in Michigan.

The MSF approved the following Michigan Business Development Program incentives:

* Cosma International, an operating unit of auto supplier Magna International, plans to open an automotive casting components and systems facility in Battle Creek, subject to completing all necessary commercial arrangements and receiving necessary approvals. Once established, the plant will be known as Cosma Casting Michigan and is expected to create up to 572 new jobs based on investment of up to $162 million. As a result, the company has been awarded a $1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites. Battle Creek has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatements.

* Denso International America Inc., the North American regional headquarters of auto supplier Denso Corp., plans to expand its new product research and development operations in Southfield, investing $45.7 million and creating 176 jobs. As a result, Denso International has been awarded a $1.54 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over existing sites in Japan and Tennessee. Southfield has offered five-year property tax abatements valued at $1.5 million.

* Denso Manufacturing Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of Denso International America, produces automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems. The company plans to invest $105 million in new manufacturing capabilities for advanced thermal management products including new lines for radiator and condenser products in Battle Creek, creating 266 jobs. As a result, Denso Manufacturing Michigan has been awarded a $1.46 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Arkansas, Ontario and Mexico. Battle Creek has offered five-year property tax abatements valued at $1.5 million.

* Fair Oaks Farms Brands Inc., part of a cooperative owned by a group of large dairy farming operations in the upper Midwest, plans to manufacture nutritionally enhanced liquid milk products at a new plant in Coopersville. The applicant expects to invest $127 million and create 133 jobs, resulting in a $900,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in New York, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Coopersville has offered support in the form of 12-year property tax abatements.

* Integrated Manufacturing and Assembly, a subsidiary of Lear Corp., manufactures and assembles automotive seating components. The company plans to expand operations at an existing plant, install new machinery and equipment and expand into a new plant in Detroit. The company plans to invest $13.85 million and create 755 jobs, resulting in a $3 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio. Detroit is considering 12-year property tax abatements for the existing facility valued at $942,479.

* Southfield-based Lear Corp. plans to expand its Highland Park plant, investing $18.75 million and creating 334 jobs. As a result of the expansion, Lear has been awarded a $1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio and Indiana. Highland Park is supporting the project with 12-year property tax abatements valued at $3.4 million.

* Moran Iron Works Inc., a designer and manufacturer of custom large metal components since 1978, has an opportunity to make larger products — and in order to do so, needs to expand both its Onaway plant and dock improvements at the Port of Calcite in Rogers City. The company plans to invest $16.2 million and create 75 jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Presque Isle County has offered support to the project in the form of a purchase of a boom crawler crane to be used at the Port of Calcite.

* Norplas Industries, a manufacturing division of Magna Exteriors and Interiors, plans to open a new robotic paint line and injection molding process operation in Delta Township and a new operation for light assembly and sequencing of front-end modules in Brownstown Township. The company plans to invest $81.75 million and create 658 jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites. Both Delta Township and Brownstown Township are offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatements.

* Rigaku Innovative Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Rigaku Corp., a manufacturer of high-tech optical products. RIT plans to expand into new markets including the semiconductor industry and grow research and development, and production operations at its plant in Auburn Hills, investing $55.7 million and creating 27 jobs. As a result of the expansion, RIT has been awarded a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Auburn Hills was chosen over a site in California. Auburn Hills is offering 12-year property tax abatements in support of the project valued at $241,146.

* Van-Rob Inc., through its Michigan subsidiaries including Lenawee Stamping Corp., produces metal stamping and welded fabrications and assemblies for auto bodies and substructures. Van-Rob is considering adding several programs at its plant in Tecumseh and a new plant elsewhere in Michigan. The company plans to invest $30.7 million and create 530 total jobs, resulting in a $5.3 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Tecumseh has offered seven-year property tax abatements valued at $1.3 million.

* Whirlpool Corp., founded in Benton Harbor in 1911, is the world’s largest home appliance company. It plans to relocate refrigeration research and development operations from Evansville, Ind., to a former Whirlpool plant in Benton Harbor. Whirlpool plans to invest $18.9 million and create 180 jobs, resulting in a $2.4 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Iowa and Mexico. The city of Benton Harbor is offering 12-year tax abatements valued at $1.85 million.

The MSF board also approved one Michigan Community Revitalization Program incentive. Whitney Partners LLC, a commercial real estate development company, has been awarded a $1 million Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant and a $7.5 million performance-based loan to renovate the historic 19-story David Whitney building in the central business district of Detroit. The project will transform the building into 108 residential apartments, 135 hotel rooms and retail space on the first floor, and will restore access to the Detroit People Mover. The project is expected to create 75 permanent full-time jobs and capital investment of $82.5 million.

The MSF board also approved the following amendments to Michigan Economic Growth Authority plans:

* Axle Alliance MEGA amendment – A subsidiary of Detroit Diesel Corp., Axle Alliance manufactures axles for commercial vehicles and provides consulting services to other axle plants. The addition of the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission and DD15 proprietary asymmetric turbo to the full line of Detroit brand engines and axles at the Redford Township facilities represents a capital investment of more than $100 million and an additional 204 jobs. As a result of the expansion, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved an increase in the maximum allowance for qualified new jobs on the company’s MEGA tax credit from 215 to 419.

* Perrigo Co. MEGA amendment – Perrigo is a supplier, developer and manufacturer of over-the-counter and generic prescription medications, infant formulas, nutritional products and dietary supplements. The company is planning to add infrastructure and equipment to its plant in Allegan and a new plant in Holland Charter Township, investing an additional $242 million and creating 650 jobs to support a tablet expansion for its over-the-counter business. As a result of the expansion, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved an increase in the maximum allowance for qualified new jobs on the company’s MEGA tax credit from 400 to 1,050.  Holland Charter Township and the city of Allegan have offered property tax abatements in support of this project. 

“These investments reach all parts of our state, from Alpena in the north, Benton Harbor in the south, Holland to Detroit, and promise new job creation in automotive manufacturing, robotics, home appliances, pharmaceuticals and high-tech optical products,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney.

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 Community Revitalization Program provides grants, loans, or other economic assistance of up to $10 million to projects that will revitalize regional urban areas, act as a catalyst for additional investment in a community, reuse vacant or historic buildings and promote mixed use and sustainable development.

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