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Granholm : Five Companies Investing in Michigan, 1,790 Jobs Created and Retained

January 16, 2007

Projects Generate $65 Million in New Capital Investment

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced four companies are expanding in Michigan with assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and a downtown redevelopment project in Mt. Pleasant is being backed by the MEDC with support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). In all, the projects are expected to create and retain 1,790 Michigan jobs and involve more than $65 million in new capital investment.
"We are doing everything we can to grow high-tech companies, and the jobs they provide, here in Michigan," Granholm said. "These projects are evidence that our first-class workforce and business-friendly climate make Michigan a place where companies want to locate and do business."
The five projects announced today:

- Eaton Corporation plans to invest approximately $1 million to consolidate its operations in Jackson and secure 1,262 Michigan jobs, including 364 directly by the company. A state tax credit valued at more than $5.5 million over seven years helped convince the company to consolidate in Michigan over a competing international site. To support the project, the city of Jackson has approved a 15-year Renaissance Redevelopment Zone designation worth $2.4 million up to 15 years. The MEDC's ability to support Eaton was made possible by changes in the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Act and the Michigan Renaissance Zone Act enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Granholm last month.

- Gentz Aerospace Production LLC, commonly known as Gentz Industries, will undertake a $3.7 million expansion in Warren. The project will create 282 new jobs, including 125 directly by the company. A state tax credit valued at more than $1.08 million over seven years helped convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Kansas. The city of Warren has proposed a local tax abatement worth $413,000 to support the expansion.

- ParkingCarma Inc. will invest $4.6 million to locate its customer contact center at the Great Lakes Technology Center in Flint. ParkingCarma Inc. was established in 2006 to commercialize the ParkingCarma parking guidance service that allows drivers to secure parking spaces through cell phones, the Internet or next generation on-board navigation systems. The product was developed by Emeryville, CA-based ACME Innovation in association with AT&T, Bay Area Regional Transportation, CalTrans, Intel, Microsoft, NavTech, Quixote Corporation, Senses (Siemens) and UC Berkeley. The project will create 155 new jobs, including 110 directly by the company. A state tax credit valued at $979,000 over seven years helped convince the company to choose Michigan instead of competing sites in California and North Carolina.

- Tesla Motors Inc. will invest $47.7 million to locate a new R&D and engineering center in Rochester Hills. The project will result in the creation of 76 new jobs. A state tax credit valued at $602,000 over three years convinced Tesla to grow in Michigan over other potential sites in South Carolina. The city of Rochester Hills has proposed a package of incentives estimated at $14,500 including a job fair for the company, a three-year abatement of the company's personal property taxes and business advisory services through Oakland University. In partnership with Oakland County, Automation Alley has also offered a two-year foundation membership valued at $30,000.

- City of Mt. Pleasant, in partnership with Central Michigan Development LLC and the Mt. Pleasant Economic Development Corporation, will utilize state and local tax capture valued at $358,097 to renovate the former Borden Condensing Corporation facility at 320 West Broadway in the city's downtown. The project involves an upgrade of the Borden Building along with new construction. The building renovation will yield 39,000 square feet of commercial office space, for which the primary tenant will be the City of Mt. Pleasant. In addition, new construction of 30,000 square feet on an adjacent property will be devoted to mixed commercial, retail and residential space to be known as the Riverplace on Broadway. The project is expected to generate at least $8.2 million in capital investment and create 15 new jobs.
"Michigan can help any company in any industry compete and win in today's global economy," MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. "Our unique combination of a business-friendly environment and outstanding workforce definitely give our state the upper hand when competing for new corporate investment and jobs."
In her 2006 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 164,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.

"Over the past years, MSHDA and MEDC have developed a very effective working relationship, and we are proud to collaborate with MEDC on these projects," MSHDA Executive Director Michael R. DeVos said. "This partnership will go a long way in not only helping develop and revitalize traditional downtowns and commercial centers but also improve the quality of life for those living in these communities." 
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more
information on the MEDC's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at
MSHDA is a quasi-state agency that provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing, engage in community economic development activities, and address homeless issues. MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds and notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. For more information on MSHDA programs and initiatives, visit the Web site at