Community development projects get state aid

LANSING–Projects that will support growth and economic opportunity in three communities around Michigan have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

In total, the projects are expected to generate a total investment of $30.6 million and create 16 jobs in Michigan.

* Battle Dog LLC received a $968,500 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to support a $4,065,220 project to redevelop a vacant historic building and adjacent surface parking lot into a restaurant with onsite brewing and distilling, as well as a seasonal outdoor beer garden, in downtown Battle Creek. The project will also bring a well-known brewery, New Holland Brewing Co., into the city to act as a commercial anchor and to provide an additional amenity for the downtown residential units being added throughout the district. Local support for the project includes a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement with an estimated value of $995,000, as well as a $265,000 Real Estate Connection grant and a $250,000 development grant from Battle Creek Unlimited. The project is in a Michigan Geographically Disadvantaged Business Location, and the project qualities for a MCRP grant because the site is a historic resource. The city of Battle Creek is engaged with the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

* Flint Cultural Center Corp. received a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to support a $26.5 million project to renovate and expand Flint’s Sloan Museum, a project expected to create 16 new jobs. The project will rehabilitate the existing 58,000 square feet and add 42,000 square feet of new construction to create a new building with a total of 100,000 square feet of exhibit, office, collections storage and community space. Currently, Sloan Museum attracts 175,000 visitors annually, while the new museum is estimated to draw up to 225,000 visitors annually, and it is anticipated that it will serve as a catalyst for more growth and economic activity in the community. In addition, the new exhibit spaces will give the community new opportunities to learn about science and history through exploration, discovery and action. The completed project will provide early childhood learning, act as a STEM and social studies resource and assist with workforce development. Local support for the project includes a reduction of permit fees by the city of Flint, estimated to be $99,185. The city of Flint is also engaged with the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

* The city of Caro has received $57,281 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for the Caro Facades Project and an additional $17,000 for a CDBG Certified Grant Administrator to assist in the administration of the project. The project includes the historic rehabilitation of two storefronts in downtown Caro that will continue the economic growth occurring in the area. The façade renovation projects are expected to be a catalyst for other projects and investment in downtown Caro. The project is estimated to cost $118,626. The city of Caro contributed design services for each building, estimated at $25,000. The city of Caro is also requiring the business owners to contract with one contractor, along with requiring the match funds be escrowed to assure the projects are completed. The city of Caro is engaged with the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

For moer information on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.michiganbusiness.org.

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