Business expansion, community revitalization projects get state aid

LANSING – Projects expected to generate more than $126 million in total investment and create 650 jobs in Michigan gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

* Plastic Trim International Inc., a subsidiary of the Chinese auto supplier Minth Group US Holdings Inc., plans to expand a plant in Baldwin Township by 42,000 square feet, a capital investment of $16.1 million investment that is expected to create 210 jobs in Baldwin Township and a logistics center in Tawas City. That resulted in the company receiving a $1.575 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. The company’s Michigan plants produce auto parts for General Motors, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Nissan, and BMW. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Tennessee. Since the majority of the investment will take place in Baldwin Township, the township has offered a 50-percent tax abatement in support of the project.

* Jackson Entertainment LLC plans to redevelop surface parking lots and adjacent vacant land in downtown Grand Rapids into a mixed-use project that will include a multiplex movie theater, retail space, residential apartments, hotel and commercial office space. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $110 million and create 440 full-time equivalent jobs. MSF approved a $5.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan in support of the project. In addition, the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received approval of $30,377,630 in local and school tax capture for brownfield remediation activities at the site.

MSF also approved the new $1.5 million Façade Restoration Initiative, or FRI, for façade improvement efforts in communities around the state. The purpose of the initiative is to expand state support for façade improvement projects because they have been seen to stimulate downtown foot traffic, add to a community’s economic vitality, encourage building owners to make additional improvements, and create a sense of place in downtowns. FRI will provide matching funds of up to 50 percent of façade restoration costs to local downtown development authorities, Main Street organizations, principal shopping districts or local authorities. To be eligible, communities must have an existing and locally administered façade improvement program already in place.

In addition, MSF approved a Request for Proposals for the MEDC International Trade Program to solicit proposals from organizations with international trade expertise to provide trade promotion services to Michigan-based businesses seeking export sales in the following target markets: Brazil, China, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. There are currently Michigan Trade Centers established in all markets included in the RFP. The centers provide export services including customized market research, market entry strategy, matchmaking meetings and more. The purpose of the RFP is to enter into a fixed-fee contract for trade promotion services.

For more information on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org.

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