Projects to add 1,300 jobs, $157M investment get state aid

LANSING — Projects generating a total capital investment of $157 million and creating more than 1,300 jobs were approved Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund, with efforts including business expansions, community revitalization projects, infrastructure grants for communities around the state and other activities.

Business investments and job announcements winning state support included:

  • FCA US LLC, which announced it will create 700 jobs at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant when it begins production of the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck. As a result, the company has been awarded a $4.56 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. In July FCA announced it was investing $1.48 billion to retool the assembly plant in Sterling Heights. As a result of that investment, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved an alternative exemption from the State Essential Services Assessment for the Auburn Hills-based automaker valued at $11.3 million. FCA US has invested $8.2 billion and created nearly 25,000 jobs in the United States since 2009.
  • Cargill, Inc., a provider of food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services, plans to establish a new animal feed mill in Owosso. The project is expected to generate total capital investment of $13.7 million and create 14 jobs with the potential of adding 30 jobs. MSF today approved $2,787,241 in local and school tax capture for the City of Owosso Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to make necessary infrastructure improvements at the site, including a new road and a new water service line. In addition, the city of Owosso will acquire property owned by a nearby business, Sonoco Protective Solutions, in order to develop the road. Sonoco has the potential to create approximately 30 jobs as a result of the project. People interested in careers with Cargill should visit
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Co. received approval for an amendment to its Michigan Business Development Program grant, originally approved in 2013, that will allow the company to continue creating jobs in Lansing. The company was awarded a MBDP grant in 2013 for a headquarters expansion that was projected to create 400 jobs over five years, with a total of 1,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. While the company has completed the expansion, is meeting its hiring milestones and has invested well over $100 million in the Lansing region, an amendment was necessary to ensure the project was supported as originally intended. Today’s MBDP amendment will support the creation of 304 additional jobs toward the overall goal of 1,000 jobs, and the company continues to expand and invest in Michigan.

Community development and revitalization projects supported by the state Tuesday included:

  • Diamond Place LLC plans to redevelop property on Michigan St. Northeast in downtown Grand Rapids. The completed project will include 42 apartments and commercial spaces that will include a 16,000 square foot neighborhood grocery store. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of nearly $19.5 million and create 112 full-time equivalent jobs, and will serve to increase walkability in the neighborhood. As a result, the project has been awarded a $2.8 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program investment. In addition, MSF approved $9,911,500 in local and school tax capture for the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions and prepare the site for redevelopment.
  • The Owosso Armory Redevelopment project will rehabilitate the vacant, historic former armory site located on North Water Street in downtown Owosso into three stories of mixed-use space including office suites, individual offices, incubator space, and conference rooms. A deck will be built on the west side of the building to take advantage of views of the Shiawassee River. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce building in front of the armory will be demolished and that space will become a public gathering area. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of nearly $5.7 million and create 10 jobs, and will bring a historic structure back to life while providing much needed office space to the area. As a result, the project has been awarded a $1.4 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The Owosso Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $394,650 in local and school tax capture to alleviate brownfield conditions and prepare the site for redevelopment.
  • MSF approved $3.475 million in support of SVRC Market Place, a project that will redevelop the former Saginaw News building into a 100,000 square foot hub of activity that is expected to have a transformational economic impact in downtown Saginaw. The MSF funds, which are an incentive awarded from the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, are part of a $19.8-million total capital investment that will also lead to the creation of 53 jobs. The development will feature an indoor-outdoor farmers market, a food processing center, rental commercial kitchens, business and entrepreneurial support services, retail establishments and permanent year-round vendors. It will also serve as the new headquarters for SVRC Industries, an area nonprofit that provides opportunities and support services for individuals with barriers to employment and community access. The project aims to elevate the city’s profile as a mid-Michigan destination, serving as a magnet for retailers, restaurants and businesses while attracting residents to an area where property has been long vacant.
  • Third & Grand, a mixed-use retail/residential project, will be constructed at Third Avenue and West Grand Boulevard between the Fisher Building and Henry Ford in Detroit. The MSF board approved a $2 million incentive from the Michigan Community Revitalization Program as part of funding for the $54.6 million development that will feature 20,000 square feet of commercial space, parking and 230 residential apartments. Approximately 55 jobs are expected to be created relating to retail and property management. MSF also approved $15,101,616 in local and school tax capture for the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions and prepare the site for redevelopment.
  • Trident Corktown LLC plans to invest $43.8 million to complete a large-scale infill development and a historic rehabilitation of the three-story Checker Cab building in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, on the east side of Trumbull Avenue across from the site of Tiger Stadium. The project also includes new construction of four mixed-use buildings on three acres of property with first-floor retail space and upper-floor residential space, historic rehabilitation of the Checker Cab building, and four multi-story townhome units. As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a $6.9 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program investment to go toward the project. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $43.8 million and create 50 full-time jobs, largely associated with retail and building management.

Funding approved for infrastructure improvements included:

  • A $3 million investment to finance a new water connection pipe in the city of Flint for the acquisition, construction, and installation of a water pipeline to connect the city’s water treatment plant with the Karegnondi Water Authority’s water supply system. Today’s MSF investment will supplement a $4.2 million grant provided by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to cover the approximate total cost of $7.5 million. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
  • In addition, MSF approved nearly $7 million in Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement funds for nine units of local government to make infrastructure improvements in their communities. The purpose of the ICE program is to accelerate economic development and assist low and moderate income communities in making improvements or upgrades to their existing public infrastructure systems. The nine communities will improve or replace water lines, water mains and related facilities, and sanitary and storm sewer lines and related facilities. More information on the grants will be announced later in the week.
  • MSF also approved funding for MEDC to provide financial assistance for international marketing-related activities to Michigan companies that meet the Small Business Administration small and medium-sized enterprise guidelines and size standards. The funds are being awarded through an $820,000 federal award to the State of Michigan under the SBA State Trade and Export Promotion program. MSF also approved a 25 percent match to the federal award in the amount of $273,333. The STEP program provides direct reimbursements to eligible companies for international marketing-related activities, ranging from market research to participation fees for international trade missions.

In addition, MSF took the following actions:

  • Expansion of the Michigan Business Development Program to provide assistance to  strategic business growth projects that plan to create fewer jobs than currently required by the program guidelines. These projects could include those of companies that serve a target industry; second stage companies located in Michigan; large companies with a limited but growing presence in the state; or companies considering locating in Michigan for the first time.
  • Approval of the issuance of Requests for Proposals for the following:
    • University Early Stage Proof of Concept Fund in the amount of $1 million
    • Angel Capital Development Fund in the amount of $750,000
    • First Capital Fund in the amount of $2 million

To view the full RFPs, visit

  • Approval of up to $10 million in private activity bond financing for Holland Home to renovate its facility in Grand Rapids and refinance the cost of construction of its facility in Byron Center.
  • Approval of up to $63 million in MSF bond financing to refund bonds that were issued in 2008 for the acquisition and improvement of the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing. The new bond issuance is anticipated to result in a lower interest rate than what was paid on the 2008 bonds.
  • Approval of up to $16 million in MSF bond financing for Canterbury Health Care to expand and renovate its facility in Waterford Township.
  • Approval of approximately $1.2 million in total grant funds to the 10 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in Michigan.

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 102,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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