MEDC OK’s state aid to community redevelopment projects

LANSING—Support for projects that will create vibrant spaces and boost tourism in the communities of Grand Haven, Hillsdale and Ludington and a program that will further grow Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, officials of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

An artist’s conception of Peerless Flats. MEDC photo.

Peerless Caddis LLC received a $4.75 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation award to support a $24.7 million project that will redevelop a mostly vacant site that previously housed a manufacturing plant and construct four multifamily residential buildings in downtown Grand Haven. The project includes the demolition of four existing buildings at the site and will also include publicly maintained improvements including sidewalks, parking, roadway, and curbs and gutters. When complete, Peerless Flats will consist of 124 year-round, market-rate residential units and an amenities building that will include a kitchenette, meeting space, an exercise area and a community room.

The Grand Haven Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan that includes $1,378,865 in state tax capture that will help with the remediation of brownfield conditions at the site.

The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has agreed to support the project through a local portion of the Brownfield Tax Increment Financing Plan in the amount of $1,220,962 to reimburse for brownfield eligible activity costs, as well as $1,114,889 in local-only eligible activity reimbursement. Grand Haven is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program and is a master level community in the Michigan Main Street program.

The Keefer House in Hillsdale. MEDC photo.

The Keefer House Hotel LLC received a $2 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program equity investment award to support a $12.3 million project to restore the blighted Keefer Hotel in the heart of downtown Hillsdale into a 34-room boutique hotel. This historical renovation project will include commercial space on the ground floor as well as hotel space with modern amenities, a welcoming lobby and an upscale restaurant to be enjoyed by guests as well as members of the community. The project is expected to create 50 full time equivalent jobs.

Local support for the project includes an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) tax abatement for 12 years valued at approximately $577,000. In addition, the city will partially forgive the loan for the building upon Certificate of Occupancy in the amount of $265,000. The city of Hillsdale is also certified with MEDC’s RRC program.

the Haskell Building-Lofts project in Ludington. MEDC photo.

The MSF also approved $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for elimination of blight at the site of the Haskell Building-Lofts project at 801 N. Rowe St. in Ludington. The $12.7 million project will convert a long-vacant manufacturing building into a residential structure with office space on the first floor. Built in 1890, the building has been vacant for many years and has fallen into a condition of significant disrepair and will require a full rehabilitation. Once completed, the project will include 65 affordable housing units and one office unit and will create a new parking lot and sidewalks and will also relocate two municipal facilities.

In addition, the Mason County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan that includes $1,554,279 in state tax capture that will assist with the remediation of brownfield conditions at the site.

The city of Ludington is contributing an OPRA tax abatement for 12 years, estimated to be worth $1,825,802. Other local support includes the local portion of the Brownfield TIF for MSF eligible activities estimated at $1,574,302 and for EGLE eligible activities at $219,798. The Pennies from Heaven Foundation has contributed a $1million grant to the project. The city is engaged with the MEDC’s RRC program.

Lofts on Rowe is a single purpose entity formed and owned by Michigan Community Capital, (MCC). MCC is a private non-profit corporation and 501c3 public charity that was created to attract and deploy capital for use in job creation and community development in Michigan.

The MSF board also approved the University Early Stage Proof of Concept—Advance Fund Request for Proposals to strengthen the ecosystem that enables more entrepreneurship, commercialization and new businesses in the state.

The fund awards grants to university faculty with early-stage technology ideas to encourage the development of competitive-edge technologies to create startups in Michigan. The program provides matching funds that create a strong incentive for faculty with early-stage technologies at Michigan universities to engage with their university’s technology transfer office to achieve critical early-stage milestones that lead to commercialization activities.

The purpose of the RFP is to award a grant in the amount of $250,000 to a university for the implementation of the program. Additional information on the RFP is available here: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/317360/.

More on the MEDC and its initiatives at www.michiganbusiness.org.

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