State aid OK’d for projects planned to create 2,643 jobs, $455M investment

LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund board Tuesday approved a wide range of projects, including guidelines for the Good Jobs for Michigan incentive package, a performance grant to a new Amazon fulfillment center, funds to support community revitalization projects around the state, and grants for vital infrastructure improvements in 14 of the state’s low-populated communities.

The projects are expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $455.2 million and create 2,643 jobs.

Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in August, the Good Jobs for Michigan program is intended to be used on large job-creation projects that are paying above-average wages. The program allows for the capture of Michigan income tax withheld from the certified new jobs created as a result of a business expansion or new location. The maximum duration of the withholding capture tax revenue is five or 10 years, and the maximum amount is 50 to 100 percent, depending on the average annual wage and the number of certified new jobs created by the authorized business.

Amazon plans to build a new product fulfillment center in Shelby Township, investing $40 million and creating 1,025 full-time jobs. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other Midwestern states and Canada following the award of a $4.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Shelby Township has offered property tax abatement in support of the project. For information on careers with Amazon, visit http://amazondelivers.jobs.

In June, Amazon was awarded a $5 million MBDP grant for the creation of a fulfillment center in Romulus, a project that is on track to generate total investment of $140 million and create 1,600 jobs. In addition, Amazon was awarded a $7.5 million MBDP grant in December 2016 for the creation of 1,000 jobs at a new $90-million fulfillment center in Livonia.

In other projects:

* George F. Eyde Family LLC plans to redevelop the vacant Oliver Towers building located in downtown Lansing just north of the Capitol building. The project will include office and retail space, and 103 market-rate residential units. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $13.7 million and create 10 full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $2.4 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan participation award. In addition, the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $967,796 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site.

* HB BM East Lansing LLC plans to invest $126.6 million in downtown East Lansing for the Center City District project. The project will replace a two-story structure and surface parking lot with a mixed-use development that will include a new Target store, other retail space, residential apartments and a parking garage. The project is expected to create 125 full-time equivalent jobs. As a result, the project was awarded a $6.75 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan participation award. In addition, the East Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $53,861,536 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site.

* The Oakland County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval for $24,691,049 in local and school tax capture for the Village at Bloomfield Redevelopment Project in Pontiac. The project includes the renovation of existing structures and construction of new residential and commercial buildings at the site, resulting in a mixed-use project with residential, hotel, and retail space along with a parking deck and surface parking. The project is expected to generate total capital investment of nearly $122.7 million and create 1,144 permanent full-time equivalent jobs. The brownfield activities will include demolition of eight structures, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

* 550 Bears LLC and Uptown Reinvestment Corp. plan to rehabilitate the vacant Woolworth Building in downtown Flint into an expanded Mott Community College Culinary Arts Teaching Facility. When completed, the project will include two culinary arts teaching kitchens, two bakery teaching kitchens, a meat fabrication teaching laboratory, a fine dining student-staffed restaurant with a baked goods café, and meeting space. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $12.6 million and create 12 permanent full-time equivalent jobs, and the relocation to downtown will provide opportunities for greater collaboration between the Flint Farmers Market, MSU’s School of Public Health, and the University of Michigan-Flint Health Science programs. MSF approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project.

* Alma College and Alma Opera Block LLC plan to redevelop the Wright Opera Block in downtown Alma. The project will historically renovate the existing buildings into residential housing for Alma College students, with retail space on the first floor. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $5.2 million and create 42 permanent full-time equivalent jobs. MSF approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project.

* Geenen DeKock Properties LLC will redevelop 23 properties in downtown Holland in several phases. The first phase of the project will include the construction of a new mixed-use building as well as the complete rehabilitation of the Holland Sentinel building. Future phases will construction of several mixed use buildings, a multiplex theatre and parking deck. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $40 million and create 80 full-time equivalent jobs. MSF approved a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation award in support of the project. The Holland Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $17,766,736 in local and school tax capture for brownfield activities at the site.

* The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority won MSF approval of $2,274,235 in local and school tax capture for the CWD Monroe LLC – 50 Monroe project in downtown Grand Rapids. The project will consist of the historic renovation of three existing buildings into boutique hotel and commercial loft office space with ground floor restaurant and retail space. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $47.4 million and create 100 full-time equivalent jobs. The brownfield activities will include lead and asbestos abatement, removal of non-historic façade treatments on the building and infrastructure improvements.

* The Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $2,777,680 in local and school tax capture for the Park Place Redevelopment Area project in downtown Traverse City. Regency Midwest Ventures LP plans to redevelop 4.7 acres into a new conference center with a new health center and spa for guests. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4.7 million and create 18 full-time equivalent jobs. The brownfield activities will include the removal of the current structures at the site, lead and asbestos removal, and infrastructure improvements.

* The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $1.2 million performance-based grant from funds appropriated to the MSF to Cornerstone Alliance for the construction of a pedestrian bridge that will connect the city of Benton Harbor to the city of St. Joseph over the Paw Paw River. The bridge will provide an easier connection for Whilrpool Corp. employees at its technology center and the Whirlpool North American headquarters. Connectivity will also be improved for guests staying at the Inn at Harbor Shores, residents of the new Harbor Village, and citizens who live and work in the Twin Cities. The investment by Whirlpool will include construction of a new state-of-the-art lab and office facility and renovations at the Project Tech location.

* Newell Brands Inc. received a $1.48 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $7.3 million expansion of its product design and testing center in Kalamazoo, leading to the creation of 87 high-paying design jobs. Newell is a global manufacturer of consumer and commercial products that are marketed under a portfolio of brands, including Rubbermaid, Graco, Aprica, Levolar, Calphalon, Goody, Sharpie, Paper Mate, Dymo, Parker, Rubbermaid, Sunbeam, and Lenox. The city of Kalamazoo will meet next week to consider 12-year tax abatements valued at $1.5 million. Individuals interested in careers with Newell should visit https://jobs.newellbrands.com/.

In addition, MSF approved today:
* $23.2 million in Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement funds for 14 units of local government to make infrastructure improvements in their communities. The purpose of the 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 14 communities will improve or replace water, sewer and wastewater systems including water lines and related facilities; sanitary and storm sewer lines and related facilities; and wastewater treatment plants and related activities, with only road replacement activities related to these activities being eligible. More details on the infrastructure grants will be announced later.
* A three-year contract for Indianapolis-based Insights Strategic Marketing and Research to conduct the Pure Michigan Campaign Insights Study. The contract has two one-year options to renew and has an annual value of $92,500. The company will identify the return on investment of the regional and national 2017 Pure Michigan advertising campaign as well as provide economic impact information including jobs supported, incremental taxes and visitor trip numbers.
* The International Trade Program Small Business Services contracts to four organizations with international trade expertise to provide services to small and medium sized businesses to assist them in expanding their customer base through a variety of international trade services.
* Funding extensions for four state programs aimed at supporting Michigan entrepreneurs. The approved grant extensions include the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program; the Life Sciences Innovation Hub at the University of Michigan Fast Forward Innovation; Invest Michigan Pre-Seed Fund II; and the Michigan Small Business Development Center Technology Consulting Services program.

For more information on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers.

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