$500M+ in expansions, renovations get state aid

LANSING—Projects expected to generate more than $500 million in total investment received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced today.

Besides the massive $80 million redevelopment of a former paper mill in Vicksburg (see story), the following projects were announced:

Knauf Insulation North America Inc. received a $204,000 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $32.4 million expansion in the city of Albion that is expected to create 34 jobs. Knauf North America is a subsidiary of its German parent Knauf Insulation GmbH and was established in Shelbyville, Ind. in 1978. The parent company is the fastest-growing insulation manufacturer in the world with a wide range of products for energy efficiency and acoustic performance in new and existing homes, commercial buildings, and industrial applications. Knauf Insulation has production sites in Alabama, California, Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia. MSF also approved a 100-percent, 15-year State Essential Services Act exemption valued at $708,325. Michigan was chosen for the project over facilities in Indiana and Alabama. The city of Albion plans to host a job fair in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Knauf should visit https://www.knaufinsulation.us/en/careers.

The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan including local and school tax capture in the amount of up to $92,853,618 for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site of the FCA US LLC Mack Engine Plant at Mack Avenue and Conner Street in Detroit. Of that amount, $33,977,977 in state and $58,875,641 in local tax revenue over the next 30 years was approved for MSF-related activities at the project site. FCA plans to reopen its long-idled Mack II plant, as well as convert the Mack I plant from producing engines and transform the plants into a full assembly facility for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. In addition to the expansion of the assembly plant, the eligible property will be developed into surface parking, storage areas and locations for newly constructed stormwater management infrastructure. Current brownfield conditions will be alleviated through the redevelopment and expansion of the Mack and development of the facility’s supporting properties. Without the tax capture, the cost burden related to alleviation of the brownfield conditions at the site would make the project financially unfeasible. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1.7 billion consisting of $1.6 billion by FCA and $150 million by the DBRA, along with the creation of approximately 3,850 permanent full-time equivalent jobs. At its May 2019 meeting, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a package of incentives for FCA for projects that will generate a total of 6,433 new jobs and up to $4.5 billion in investment for the Mack plant, Jefferson North Assembly Plant, Warren Truck Assembly Plant, Warren Stamping Plant, as well as its Sterling Stamping Plant. As part of the comprehensive package, it was noted that the city of Detroit would be requesting a brownfield work plan to support the brownfield activities associated with the project.

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of local and school tax capture in the amount of $9,965,000 for a project that will include the redevelopment of a parking lot into a six-story, mixed-use parking structure to support the SoMA project located at 115 Erskine in Midtown Detroit. The project will rehabilitate an existing office building and will also include the activation of the adjacent alleyway, allowing for a vibrant mixed-use district. The parking structure will also support proposed development projects in the surrounding area. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $21.5 million and create 225 permanent, full-time equivalent jobs. The tax capture will be used to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site. Local support for the project includes a Commercial Rehabilitation tax exemption valued at roughly $3 million. The city of Detroit is engaged with the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program, simplifying and streamlining the process of engaging with developers in alignment with the city’s development goals.

Midtown Project, LLC received MSF approval to amend the original Brownfield Michigan Business Tax credit for The Mid at 3750 Woodward project with the addition of 3750 Woodward Avenue LLC as a qualified taxpayer and a change to the scope of the project. The Mid at 3750 Woodward project will include the redevelopment of one parcel of property located at 3750 Woodward Ave. in the city of Detroit. The proposed amendment will bring a new developer to the project and include the construction of a 25-story tower that will house retail and event space, hotel space and condominiums. The amended project will also include a 27-story building containing 180 multi-family units and five levels of integrated parking; a 12-story building containing 198 co-living residential units and retail on the first two floors, and two single story cultural/arts buildings. The new facility will replace the previously approved medical office building and parking deck that were not built. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received approval of an amendment to increase its local and school tax capture for brownfield alleviation activities to $58,331,654. Tax increment capture began in 2015 and is expected to continue for 30 years. The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $377 million, which is an increase of nearly $304 million over the previously approved work plan.

The Holland Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of an amendment to a Brownfield Work Plan for previously approved local and school tax capture in the amount of $4,031,000. The original project consisted of the construction of a 91,336 square-foot parking deck and site improvement activities between Columbia and College Avenues in downtown Holland. The amended project now includes the completed parking deck, construction of a three-story, multi-tenant commercial building and the installation of approximately 3,300 square feet of publicly maintained, snowmelt-equipped sidewalks to support the project and downtown. The amended project will generate an additional capital investment of $37.2 million and create 75 full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a new total tax capture of $6,901,450.

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

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