State OK’s Aid To Four Projects Adding 755 Jobs

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Tuesday announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of two business expansions and two community improvement projects that are expected to generate more than $145 million in new investments and create 755 jobs.

Michigan Business Development Program assistance was approved for a project by Sakthi Automotive Group USA Inc., a division of India-based Sakthi Group. The company supplies auto parts such as steering knuckles, control arms, brake drums, brake discs, hubs, brake calipers and carriers. In 2012 Sakthi Automotive received a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant to establish its first North American manufacturing operation in Detroit. The company now plans to expand into the production of lightweight aluminum castings that will support automakers’ fuel efficiency initiatives. The expansion is expected to include the acquisition and renovation of several buildings near the company’s existing plant that will be used for manufacturing, machining, advanced worker training and employee wellness programs. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $31.8 million and create 350 jobs, resulting in a $3.5 million state grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina. MEDC and Detroit will also recommend the approval of an MSF-designated Renaissance Zone for the expansion at a later date. The city has also offered support to the project in the form of proposed property tax abatement.

To watch a video on the Sakthi project, visit this link. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Sakthi Automotive should visit

In other Strategic Fund action, St. Clair County was awarded $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for on-the-job training needed for the SMR Automotive Systems USA Inc. expansion project in Marysville. SMR Automotive, a supplier of auto rear vision systems, has outgrown its current plant and plans to purchase additional space adjacent to its location in Marysville, investing nearly $18.7 million and creating 200 jobs. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri, where labor and training costs would be lower and which are geographically closer to several of the company’s largest customers. The CDBG funds will be used to offset higher labor and training costs in Michigan. Marysville will support the project through a 12-year property tax abatement valued at nearly $1.9 million. Individuals interested in career opportunities with SMR Automotive should email resumes to Laura Petz at

The Strategic Fund also approved a Michigan Community Revitalization Program Brownfield Work Plan for Moso Village LLC, which plans to redevelop five parcels of land in downtown Sturgis into a new two-story building that will include commercial, retail, restaurant and residential space. The project will be the first significant new construction in downtown Sturgis in nearly 50 years. The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $6.7 million and create 25 jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant.

In addition, the Sturgis Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval for $1,969,950 in brownfield tax increment financing for remediation, demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. Included in the $1.9 million total, the city is also supporting the project through more than $1 million in local taxes through tax-increment financing, and the St. Joseph County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has pledged up to $32,000 toward the project.

MSF also approved $28,880,350 in local and school tax capture for the Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to redevelop property in downtown Grand Rapids. The site will eventually be the site of a new multi-story, mixed use structure and parking deck in addition to a new Michigan State University Research Center, a biomedical research facility that will generate at least $88 million in investment and create 180 high-wage jobs. The project has also been awarded a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The tax increment revenue will be used for demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements including the 600-space parking structure.

The MSF board also approved the establishment of an escrow agreement for the New International Trade Crossing that will allow disbursement of funds for activities related to the project to build a second bridge across the Detroit River.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check, where more than 96,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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