Business, community projects get state aid through MSF, MEDC

LANSING—The final meeting of 2020 for the Michigan Strategic Fund board saw approval of projects that will result in the investment of $80.7 million into businesses and communities around the state.

Also approved was a new Industry 4.0 initiative, a statewide effort to ensure 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers – or 6,200 businesses – are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies at some level by 2025. The initiative includes efforts to drive awareness on the importance of Industry 4.0 readiness and technical support to help small- to medium-sized manufacturers adopt Industry 4.0 technologies through a partnership with Automation Alley and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. An RFP for a grant program of up to $2 million to support regional needs related to Industry 4.0 readiness complementary, but separate, from the Automation Alley and MMTC efforts, was also approved. To learn more about the initiative, visit here.

The MSF board also approved $3,330,293 in state capture for the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to fund brownfield remediation activites at the former Cadillac stamping plant in Detroit. NorthPoint Development LLC and Michigan based LoPatin & Co. plan to redevelop the 45-acre site into a new multi-tenant industrial manufacturing center, pictured above, that will be targeted toward automotive suppliers and advanced manufacturing and logistics firms. NorthPoint is one of the country’s largest manufacturing and logistics development companies and was ranked by Real Capital Analytics as the No. 1 industrial developer over the last five years in terms of square feet developed.

The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $47.9 million and, when the facility is fully leased, has the potential to support manufacturing efforts that could employ up to 450 workers. The company will use the Detroit at Work career center for hiring, with a commitment to giving preference to Detroit residents in trades that include carpentry, general labor, operators, roofing, plumbing, electricians, and landscaping. In addition, the project will address the lack of manufacturing space in the region that can be used to attract large corporate tenants, particularly in the mobility and automotive sectors. The facility is expected to be operational by January 2022.

The city of Detroit is supporting the project with the local portion of the Act 381 Work Plan request valued at $4,659,235 and an anticipated 12-year Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption valued at $8,081,377.

MSF also approved $5 million in collateral support to the Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund, operated by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, for the construction of a training center on the west side of Detroit, supporting additional workforce training in the state. The center will feature classrooms and training areas for hands-on experience and real-world simulations. Additionally, the building will offer meeting space for contractor symposiums, career fairs, apprenticeship readiness programs, and space for community events.

The 147,000-square-foot center on seven acres will centralize operations that are currently spread across southeast Michigan, consolidating administrative and training operations under one roof. The property was leased from the city of Detroit for 99 years at $1. As part of MRCC’s commitment to the city, 25 percent of the apprentice applicants at the new training center will be reserved for Detroit residents. The $30 million center is projected to open in 2021 and will begin hosting classes in early 2022.

TCF Bank is providing $24 million in financing for the construction of the project. The collateral support from MSF will serve as an enhancement to the MSCM Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund loan from TCF Bank.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to support the Wrigley Center Development Project, which will renovate and expand a vacant, functionally obsolete one-story building in downtown Port Huron. The completed development will consist of a four-story building including 36 mixed-income residential units and commercial space that will contain multiple tenants including the  Port Huron farmers’ market. The project will also include multi-level parking and public improvements including sidewalks and the space occupied by the farmers market. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $14.4 million and create 45 full-time equivalent jobs. The Port Huron Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $689,143 in state tax capture to be used to reimburse for brownfield remediation activities.

The city of Port Huron is supporting the project by approving the local portion of the Act 381 Work Plan valued at $981,507 and a 10-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $2.7 million. St. Clair County has also agreed to sell the property to the developer for less than the appraised value. The developer has partnered with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, which will be contributing $350,000 in the form of a direct equity investment as well as a forgivable loan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also took a number of administrative actions, including updated program guidelines for the Michigan Business Development Program and allocation of funds for continued business marketing efforts by the MEDC.

  • Updated guidelines for MEDC’s flagship Michigan Business Development Program better reflect updated goals of achieving a more equitable and resilient economy for all. Updates include stronger definitions around pathway jobs, a reinforcement of MEDC’s commitment to invest in geographically disadvantaged areas and will reflect its continued support for innovative industries throughout the state. These program guideline updates build on approval of updated program guidelines for the Michigan Community Revitalization Program in October.
  • An amendment to the contract with global advertising agency McCann Erickson, allocating an additional $5.7 million for McCann Detroit to continue to provide business marketing and advertising services to MEDC. These efforts have helped Michigan continue to perform well in national business rankings, connect Michigan businesses to critical services through the Pure Partnership campaign and support small businesses through efforts including the “Support Local” campaign launched earlier this month.


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