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Nine Companies To Invest $81M, Add Nearly 900 Jobs In Michigan

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MEDC

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder Wednesday announced Michigan Strategic Fund action to support nine business expansions expected to generate more than $81 million in investment and add 897 jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Wednesday approved:

* Michigan Business Development Program incentives

* Challenge Manufacturing Co., based in Walker, manufactures engineered metal stampings and modular assemblies for the automotive industry. Challenge plans to expand existing operations in Holland and Walker, investing $10.3 million and adding 180 jobs. As a result of the expansion, Challenge has been awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in the Southeast. Holland and Walker have offered property tax abatements in support of the project.

* Detroit Thermal Systems LLC is a newly formed venture between V. Johnson Enterprises LLC and Valeo Inc. that has acquired the climate control business from the Ford-ACH plant in Plymouth. Detroit Thermal Systems has leased an existing building in Romulus for a new operation to manufacture climate control systems and components for the auto industry. The company plans to invest more than $25 million and create more than 300 jobs, resulting in a $750,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Tennessee. Romulus is prepared to recommend a property tax abatement in further support of the project.

* Hanwha L&C Alabama LLC manufactures automotive products made of glass fiber mat-reinforced thermoplastics (GMT) and expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam. The company has locations in Opelika, Ala., Shelby, N.C. and Fenton. Hanwha plans to expand its EPP production in Monroe, investing $12 million and creating 70 jobs. As a result of this expansion, Hanwha has been awarded a $300,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio. Monroe has offered 12-year tax abatements valued at $548,756.

* Lyons Consulting Group LLC designs and hosts e-commerce Web sites for mid-market businesses throughout the United States. LCG plans to create a new unit that will provide additional IT services related to its e-commerce platforms in Ann Arbor, investing a total of $1.1 million and creating a total of 30 jobs. As a result of the expansion, the company has been awarded a $300,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Ann Arbor has offered a $1,500 financial contribution and $2,000 in staff time for staffing support.

* Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of leading brands, including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate, and Irwin. The company plans to build a design center in Kalamazoo that will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its United States product and graphic design capabilities. The company will invest $2.3 million and create 100 design jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Chicago. Kalamazoo has offered tax abatements valued at $164,000.

* Community Development Block Grant/Michigan Loan Participation Program

* Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth was formed in 1856 and offers hospitality products and services, including a restaurant, bakery, 18-hole golf course, and the Splash Village Water Park & Hotel. The company plans to invest at least $15 million to expand Splash Village to add an additional 30,000 square feet to the water park and 26 to 36 additional hotel rooms, more than doubling the current size of the existing venue. The project will create 69 new full time jobs; at least 35 of these positions will be held by low to moderate income persons. The city of Frankenmuth will work with the company to improve its waste water collection system and make other infrastructure improvements, and will contribute $862,000 from its Downtown Development Authority. As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants funds for the city of Frankenmuth. Zehnder’s also has received $5 million in loan enhancement funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Loan Participation Program.

* Michigan Community Revitalization Program incentives

* A $70,535 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to 521 LLC to renovate an 88-year-old building in Spring Lake. The completed project will include commercial space on the first floor and an apartment on the second level. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $440,162 and create nine full-time jobs. The village of Spring Lake has offered a $15,000 grant for fire suppression and façade improvements.

* A $207,190 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to 1205 W. Fulton LLC for the Rylee’s Ace Hardware Redevelopment Project in the city of Grand Rapids. The company has demolished a vacant gas station and will redevelop the site into Rylee’s Ace Hardware store, investing $1.2 million and creating five full-time jobs. The city of Grand Rapids has provided financial support in the form of tax increment revenues, an EPA assessment grant and funds from the Local Site Revolving Loan Fund.

* Michigan Economic Growth Authority amendment

* Martinrea Jonesville LLC develops and manufactures state of the art metal forming and fluid management systems for the automotive and industrial sectors. In January 2011, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a MEGA tax credit for an expansion at the company’s Jonesville location for a maximum of 168 new jobs over a statewide base of 1,026. The company plans to expand in new machinery and equipment to support new business related to the automotive industry. The company is at capacity at its Jonesville location and is expanding into a new plant in North Adams, investing $11.8 million and adding 122 jobs. As a result of this growth, MSF approved an increase in the maximum allowance for new jobs from 168 to 290. North Adams plans to approve 12-year property tax abatements valued at $422,000.

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