Auto supplier expansion, community revitalization projects get state aid

LANSING—The Michigan Strategic Fund board has approved a business expansion by a Tier 1 auto supplier and two community revitalization projects. The MSF board also approved amendments to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program guidelines to be able to use $41.9 million in federal CDBG CARES Act funding.

The MSF approved a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant to support a $1 5milion project to expand operations in Detroit and Ingham County’s Delta Township of Bridgewater Interiors LLC, a Detroit-based automotive seating manufacturer. The company is a joint venture between Ireland’s Adient plc and the Detroit-based manufacturer Epsilon Technologies LLC. In 1998, Bridgewater was founded with one facility in Detroit. As a certified Minority Business Enterprise under the Michigan and National Minority Supplier Development Councils, and as a company that embraces workforce diversity, Bridgewater reports that more than 65 percent of its employees are minorities. The company’s Michigan locations are in Detroit, Warren, and Lansing, with more than 1,800 total employees. Delta Township has offered staff time and resources in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Bridgewater Interiors should visit https://adient.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/External/1/refreshFacet/318c8bb6f553100021d223d9780d30be

Community revitalization projects create vibrant places, attract talent

The MSF board also approved two community revitalization projects in Detroit.

The 511 Woodward project will rehabilitate a vacant four-story building, the former headquarters of National Bank of Detroit, into a mixed-use retail and office development. When completed, one floor of the building will be occupied by the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a local nonprofit organization that supports workforce development and creative talent. The project will also include public improvements along Woodward Avenue. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $18 million and create 101 full-time equivalent jobs, increasing urban density and providing new commercial attractions for Detroit residents. The project also meets MEDC’s strategic goals of developing attractive places in a geographically disadvantaged area and transforming underutilized properties into product, viable mixed-use developments.

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a brownfield work plan including state tax capture valued at $1,491,728 to be used for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. Local support of the project includes local participation in the brownfield work plan, valued at $72,414. The development team is also seeking a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act abatement, valued at approximately $846,407. The city of Detroit is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

Also, Jefferson Larned Development Company LLC plans to develop vacant property and the surrounding right of way with a new grocery store and infrastructure improvements along the East Jefferson Corridor of Detroit. When completed, the Jefferson Larned Development Project will consist of a 42,000-square-foot Meijer store and a surface parking lot. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $15.6 million and create 72 full-time equivalent jobs, and will provide healthy food options to area residents, promote walkability, and lead to increased economic activity in the community. The project also aligns with MEDC’s strategic goals of transforming underutilized properties into vibrant areas and developing attractive places and attracting talent through innovative placemaking.

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a brownfield work plan including state tax capture valued at $573,144 to be used for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. Local support of the project includes local participation in the brownfield work plan, valued at $986,856.

Additional federal funding available to support response efforts to COVID-19

The MSF also approved the 2019 Program Year Action Plan second amendment for the Community Development Block Grant program, which includes incorporating an additional $41.9 million in federal CDBG Coronavirus Response funds into the program to be used for CARES Act CDBG eligible activities.

In May, the MSF Board approved MEDC staff to amend the CDBG PY19 Action Plan to add $20.5 million in COVID funding, which MEDC announced last week will be available to 77 counties across Michigan that didn’t already receive direct CDBG funding from HUD. The funding will allow counties to be reimbursed for unbudgeted expenditures used to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. These counties are also able to request reimbursement for eligible costs incurred by eligible cities, villages, and townships within their jurisdiction. Examples of eligible expenditures include PPE, sanitation equipment, COVID-19 testing, setup of quarantine sites and overtime or hazard pay related to COVID-19 response. These counties are also able to request reimbursement for eligible costs incurred by the eligible cities, villages, and townships within their jurisdiction.

The MSF board also adopted amended program guidelines to the recently approved Michigan Small Business Restart Program, announced earlier in July. The amendment updates the resolution in the Restart program guidelines to reflect recent legislation, House Bill 5265, pending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.

The amendment request allows for those small businesses that received grants through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund in March, to now be eligible for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program grants. The combined total of both grants cannot be in excess of $20,000.

The deadline for applications is expected to be extended beyond Aug. 5 as a result of today’s action. Additional information on the program will be announced in the coming days.

More than $135 million in federal funds have been deployed by MEDC within the past week, through Michigan Strategic Fund authorization, to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts of communities, small businesses, nonprofits, farms and food processors across the state. In addition to the CDBG CARES Act funding, MEDC announced the following programs:
• The Michigan Small Business Restart Grant Program to support the needs of Michigan businesses and nonprofits of 50 employees or less directly impacted by COVID-19
• The Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program to support the implementation of COVID-19 monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect agricultural employees and the state’s overall food production industry.

To date, the MEDC has launched 19 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs supporting more than 3,400 businesses in the state and helping to retain more than 14,700 jobs across all 83 counties. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.

To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org.

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