LANSING—The Michigan Strategic Fund board has approved state grants and loans to several new manufacturing and finance company expansions, as well as community revitalization projects, officials at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.
Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC received a $1.5 million Jobs Ready Michigan Program performance-based grant that will support training for new employees in a $31.9 million expansion that is expected to create 225 jobs. DMS is a minority-owned Tier 1 auto supplier, specializing in the manufacturing and assembly of vehicle modules, including instrument panels. Based in Detroit, the company has more than 800 employees in Michigan and 1,200 in the United States. DMS has secured long-term contracts with new and existing customers, which has vastly expanded its customer base and diversified its product offerings. The company plans to repurpose its existing plant in Detroit and also diversify and expand its capabilities to market to other industry segments. The for this project is the transformation of the company’s existing and new workforce into the next generation of skilled workers. This investment in new technology will result in skilled operators of advanced machinery and equipment, robotics and other automation technology. The Jobs Ready Michigan Program is designed to provide grants for business expansion and location projects that lead to job creation and investments in Michigan that have a demonstrated training need, particularly in pursuing new opportunities for high-tech, high-demand, and high-wage jobs. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Toledo, Ohio. The city of Detroit plans to offer personnel, financial or economic assistance in support of the project. For information on careers with DMS, visit https://www.dmsna.com/careers.
Clearcover Inc., the Chicago-based insurance carrier, received a $3.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to expand its Detroit operations, investing $5 million and creating up to 300 high-wage jobs. The company conducted a national search and then chose Michigan over its final competing sites in Indiana and Wisconsin. In addition to the MBDP grant, the MSF also approved a $400,000 Jobs Ready Michigan program performance-based grant. Clearcover is committed to hiring qualified Detroiters for the positions and is partnering with Detroit at Work and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. to achieve this goal. The company also anticipates that software engineering roles may be incorporated in the future. The DEGC has offered financial assistance in support of a Detroit office location for the project. Individuals interested in careers with Clearcover should visit https://clearcover.com/careers/.
The MSF also approved $700,000 in additional money for the Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) to be allocated to Michigan’s startups and entrepreneurs that are surviving and growing throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The BAF, administered by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, provides a series of small grants to be used toward the delivery of specialized commercialization services to assist advanced technology companies. The additional funding will allow for expanded and expedited services to companies developing technology with potential to fight COVID-19. Recipients include Tygrus in Troy, developer of a safe, nontoxic acide that kills the COVID-19 virus, which is assisted by the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University.
The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved two community revitalization projects in Detroit and one in Grand.
Life is a Dreamtroit LLC received $2,493,900 in Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loans to support a $19.7 millino project to redevelop the former Lincoln Motor Co. headquarters, which sits on 3.8 acres in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood of Detroit, into a mixed-use, mixed-income development. The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $1,264,729 in state tax capture that will assist with the remediation of brownfield conditions at the site. In addition to MSF support, local support for the project includes a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone with an estimated value of $908,500 and Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement with an estimated value of $2,489,000. The city is also contributing to the local portion of the Brownfield TIF with an estimated value of $1,400,000. The city is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan that will include $2,521,176 in state tax capture reimbursement for the Royal Palm redevelopment project in Detroit. The project will be in the Foxtown neighborhood of Detroit, redeveloping a historic 13-story building into a Hilton hotel with 172 rooms and a ground floor café and restaurant. In efforts to remain historically accurate per its 1996 listing in the National Register of Historic Places, modern amenities will blend with historic accents, and the building’s original name, the Royal Palm, will also be restored. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $50.3 million and create 65 new full-time equivalent jobs.
The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan that will include $4,431,633 in state tax capture reimbursement for the Vandenberg Center redevelopment project in Grand Rapids. The project will include the rehabilitation of the building at 111 Lyon St. NW, and demolition activities and ground floor commercial rehabilitation of the 200 Monroe Avenue property in downtown Grand Rapids. When completed, the project will include commercial office, retail and restaurant space. It will also include the installation of approximately 5,400 square feet of new snowmelt sidewalk. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $134.7 million, and will result in bringing new workers and increased economic activity to the downtown. Grand Rapids is supporting the project through the Downtown Development Authority’s Development Support program in the amount of $950,000. In addition, support includes the local portion of the Brownfield Tax Increment Financing Plan, valued at $1,237,592.
The MSF board also approved one-year extensions of two international trade services contracts with Foster Swift Collins & Swift P.C., IBT Online, Michigan State University International Business Center, and the Small Business Development Center. The contracts will allow the service providers to continue to offer export seminars, workshops and legal training resources to Michigan companies involved in exporting their goods or services.
The MSF board also approved a one-year extension of a contract with the Council of Great Lakes Governors Inc. to administer international trade centers overseas, and a one-year extension of a grant agreement with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to provide manufacturing support services to the Michigan manufacturing and related industries.
More about the Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. at www.michiganbusiness.org.