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New Investments to Create Nearly 700 Jobs and Drive Economic Momentum Across Michigan
April 26, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Announces New Investments to Create Nearly 700 Jobs, Drive Economic Momentum Across Michigan
LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of projects, including a business expansion by a global aluminum producer in Cassopolis, redevelopment of the former GM Warren Transmission Plant, a community revitalization project in Bay City, and other actions that will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy. The projects approved today represent a total capital investment of $330 million and could result in nearly 700 jobs.
“Today’s investment will help us continue growing Michigan’s economy by creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders, building on our leadership in the mobility space, expanding our inventory of development-ready facilities, and supporting vibrant communities,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan is on the move. Our unemployment is at 4.4% and we have added 174,000 jobs year over year. Investments like today’s are a testament to what’s possible when we work together to put Michiganders first, grow our talented manufacturing workforce, help communities build thriving downtowns, and provide growth opportunities for innovative businesses. Let’s keep growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and getting things done.”
New business brings $150 million in investment, 67 jobs to Cassopolis
Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, LLC recycles aluminum into new aluminum extrusion ingots for variety of uses. The company’s parent, Norsk Hydro ASA, is one of the largest aluminum companies in the world with 140 locations in 40 countries.
Hydro plans to construct a new facility in the village of Cassopolis where it will bring a new product line to support the electric vehicle market as well as other applications. The facility will be the first manufacturing operation to be located in the Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology (SMART) Park in Cassopolis. Part of the project will include a new rail spur that will also allow other businesses in the SMART Park to ship and receive their own materials.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $150 million and create up to 67 new well-paying jobs, supported by $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds. Per federal requirement, at least 51 percent of the jobs must be held by low-or moderate-income individuals. The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $1.7 million in support of the project. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana, Kentucky and Texas.
“Hydro is pleased to bring its innovative recycling technology to Cassopolis and looks forward to providing new long-term career opportunities for area residents” stated Trond Gjellesvik, President of Hydro Aluminum Metals USA. “We appreciate the warm welcome we have received from the Village of Cassopolis along with our partners at Midwest Energy & Communications, and we thank the Village and the State of Michigan for their support for our new facility.”
The project will bring 67 above-average-wage manufacturing jobs to a geographically disadvantaged area of the state. The Village of Cassopolis also approved a property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Hydro should visit https://jobs.hydro.com/Hydro/job/Cassopolis-is-Hiring-MI-49031/790679601.
New spec industrial building will bring in-demand, move-in ready facility, help attract new businesses to Metro Detroit
The Warren Transmission Redevelopment Project will redevelop 117 acres that previously housed the former General Motors Warren Transmission Plant in the city of Warren. The project will include the construction of three new buildings containing 1.4 million square feet of space that will support tenants in the light industrial, manufacturing, subassembly work and distribution industries. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $180 million and when fully occupied, could result in the creation of 600 full-time equivalent jobs.
“We are honored to partner with the Michigan Strategic Fund, Macomb County and the City of Warren to put Warren Transmission site back into production. We understand the significance and expertise that it will require to deliver a prosperous project,” said Marc Werner, Regional Vice President at NorthPoint Development. “The City of Warren has been instrumental in working with NorthPoint to provide opportunities to help us deliver pro-business solutions for the community.”
The City of Warren Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of state tax capture valued at $7,271,381 to be used to reimburse for brownfield-related activities at the site. The city is supporting the project through the local tax abatement valued at $10.8 million and a 12-year Industrial Facilities Property tax abatement valued at $12.6 million.
The activation of 1.4 million square feet of industrial space is critical in addressing the shortage of space in metro Detroit and the state. Market analysis has repeatedly shown that move-in ready sites in the 200,000- to 500,000- square-foot range are in demand. Supporting this type of property remains vital to retaining existing companies in the state as they grow and offers opportunities to attract new companies here to Michigan.
“There’s so much interest in the Detroit Region, we just need more move-in ready sites,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “The Warren property offers companies access to the type of talent, infrastructure, and supply chain they need to thrive. This project reflects the creative redevelopment needed to bring industrial sites back into productive use and better position this region to attract jobs and investment.”
Community revitalization project will renovate two historic buildings in downtown Bay City into needed housing, reactivated restaurant space
The 1108 Water Street project will redevelop two adjacent historic buildings in downtown Bay City. When completed, the development will include first floor space that will be occupied by North Peak Brewing Company and Kilkenny Irish Pub, with three loft-style apartments on the second floor.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4.8 million and result in the creation of 30 full-time equivalent jobs. Once complete, it will contribute to the vibrancy, density and walkability of historic downtown Bay City. The project will utilize Federal Historic Tax Credits to restore two buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and will revitalize underutilized property into much-needed housing as well as reactivate a vacant former restaurant.
The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant of $1.5 million. Bay City is supporting the project through a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act property tax abatement valued at $871,787. Bay City is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
“The city is very excited to see this project come to fruition. This project will bring even more vibrancy to our downtown and help to continue the positive energy we are seeing in Bay City,” said Bay City Economic Development Project Manager Sara Dimitroff. “The developer has so much passion for our area and wants to be a local and regional partner and we are thrilled to partner with him and MEDC to be sure this project is successful.”
“We love our great state of Michigan and can’t imagine doing work anywhere else. That said, some projects just don’t always work without additional support,” said 3Mission Design and Development Principal Jon Carlson. “We are fortunate to have the MEDC in our corner to look at projects that not only create jobs immediately but also help turn communities around by redeveloping our beautiful historic downtowns. Thank you MEDC!”
Industry 4.0 funding, grant administrators approved
The MSF also approved $3 million in grant funding to support Industry 4.0 awareness and preparedness and increase technology adoption with six nonprofit organizations being approved by MSF to administer the grant funding across the state. The grant program will provide assistance to small manufacturers looking to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and in turn, make transformational change to business, process and culture.
“Today’s MSF actions reinforcing our commitment to providing long-term economic growth for all Michiganders by highlighting the continued strength of our state’s talented workforce and our leadership positions in advanced manufacturing and future mobility,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are grateful to the Governor, legislators and local officials for their continued support of our efforts. These projects reflect our commitment to working to seize opportunities that ensure Michigan becomes an even better place for each of our 10 million-plus friends and neighbors to live, work, visit, play, and create futures.”
City Club Apartment Redevelopment Project – The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority requested approval of a Brownfield Act 381 Work Plan including $6,936,818 in school tax capture to reimburse the development team for eligible activity expenses associated with City Club Apartments in Detroit. Because the project work plan fails to demonstrate financial need and is inconsistent with program guidelines and requirements, the MSF board today voted to deny the request based on MEDC staff recommendations.