AM General Moving Operations to Auburn Hills from Livonia, Joins Other State-funded Projects

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Projects expected to generate nearly $187 million in total investment and create 1,445 jobs in Michigan gained today approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

“The Michigan Strategic Fund took on an extensive agenda that promotes a wide array of new economic opportunities for the people of Michigan,” says Gov. Rick Snyder. “Today’s actions continue to demonstrate a commitment to keep Michigan on the path toward our future that leads to more jobs and better lives for our residents.”

AM General, a global manufacturer of military, commercial and consumer vehicles headquartered in South Bend, Ind., plans to move its operations from its current site in Livonia to a facility in Auburn Hills, investing $9.5 million and creating 55 new jobs.

As a result, the company has been awarded a $1.4 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Indiana that would have been closer to the company’s corporate offices, military and commercial assembly plants, and proving grounds. The city of Auburn Hills has offered support to the project in the form of staff time and assistance.

Antolin Shelby Inc. a new subsidiary of Grupo Antolin, a global manufacturer of interior components for the auto industry, in 2015 purchased the assets and business of Magna Interiors. Antolin Shelby has been awarded a contract with an automotive OEM and needs to add additional space. The company plans to lease a build-to-suit facility in Shelby Township, investing $61.2 million and creating 430 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $3.6 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Illinois. Shelby Township has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatement.

Credit Acceptance Corp., formed in 1972 in Southfield, provides indirect auto financing to consumers, regardless of their credit history. The company is experiencing significant growth and needs to expand its facilities in Southfield with plans to invest $33 million and create approximately 530 new jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $2.3 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant and the city of Southfield has offered support to the company in the form of a property tax abatement.

Huron Inc. in Lexington (Sanilac County), which manufactures complex tubular assembly components for automotive OEMs engines and transmissions, has been awarded new contracts and plans to expand its Worth Township facility, investing $12.9 million and creating 181 jobs. As a result of the expansion, the company has been awarded a $1.4 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Worth Township is offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement.

The Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received approval of $7,283,675 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the Stryker Corp. expansion in Portage. Stryker, a global leader in medical technology, is experiencing significant growth in its medical instruments division and needs an expanded facility to support a global instruments headquarters. The tax capture will be used for site preparation and infrastructure improvements. In December, the company was awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the project, which is expected to create 105 jobs. The total investment amount of an estimated $215 million for the entire project site includes the $130 million of private investment that was announced in December.

The City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $675,069 for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at three parcels of property located at 637 Michigan Street NE in downtown Grand Rapids. The proposed project will redevelop the site for the construction of rental housing with 42 micro apartments targeted for moderate income renters, or those earning approximately 80 percent of the area median income in Grand Rapids. The project is part of the city’s efforts to provide more affordable housing within the downtown and nearby neighborhoods where significant growth and price increases have occurred. The tax capture will be used for demolition activities, lead and asbestos abatement, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. The project is expected to generate nearly $6.9 million in total capital investment and create 12 jobs.

The City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $8,665,164 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions for the 150 Ottawa Development LLC project in downtown Grand Rapids. The project will include the construction of two towers on an existing parking lot located at 47 Pearl Street, NW and 155 Ionia Ave., NW that will include office, retail and restaurant space, an 11-story Hyatt Place hotel and integrated parking. The project is expected to add significant density to the downtown core and improve the vitality of all four city streets adjacent to the project. The tax capture will be used for demolition activities, lead and asbestos abatement, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $63.5 million and create 235 jobs.

MSF also approved the following:

    • A loan award of up to $10 million from the MSF Investment Fund for the Michigan Community Capital Fund (formerly known as the Michigan Magnet Fund) to facilitate investment in “attainable housing” projects across the state.
    • Two innovation hubs through the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Statewide Program. The University of Michigan’s College of Engineering will receive $1.7 million to serve as an Advanced Transportation Innovation Hub and Michigan Technological University will receive $525,000 to serve as the Advanced Materials Innovation Hub. Launched in 2016, the MTRAC Statewide Program supports the acceleration of technology transfer from Michigan’s institutions of higher education, nonprofit centers and hospital systems. Michigan State University’s agriculture-biology program and U-M’s life sciences programs were the first to be designated as Innovation Hubs for the program in 2016.
    • A one-year extension of a contract with Aviareps for tourism promotion services in China. Services include creating a strategy to attract more Chinese leisure visitors to Michigan, creating Chinese-language brochures, e-newsletters and managing Chinese social media accounts, working with tour operators to get more Michigan product in their catalogs and representing Michigan at key Chinese travel and tourism trade shows. The one-year extension will run from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.

“Today’s projects, including several major business expansions around the state and two community redevelopment projects in downtown Grand Rapids, will fuel new economic activity across Michigan, strengthen communities, and create well-paying jobs for our residents,” says Steve Arwood, CEO of MEDC.

IN RELATED NEWS, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced on Monday the initial appointments to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility, a 21-member group created in 2016 to be housed within the Department of Transportation. The council will provide Snyder with recommendations regarding changes to state policy to ensure Michigan continues to lead in automated, driverless, and connected vehicle technology.

Council members will be tasked with submitting recommendations for statewide policy changes and updates no later than Mach 31, and to continue making recommendations annually after, or as they see fit.

“Staying ahead of the curve in the field of mobility is key to Michigan’s future success,” says Snyder. “With these individuals lending their expertise from the field, we can be proactive in adopting new policies necessary to keep making advancements for Michigan and the world.  All of us working together will make cars smarter and safer for people globally while continuing to drive our economy forward.”

Synyder’s appointees include: Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Stephen Buckley, a senior manager at FCA US, David Bulkowski, executive director for Disability Advocates of Kent County, Mark Davidoff, Michigan managing partner for Deloitte, Eric DeLong, deputy city manager for Grand Rapids, Ryan Eustice, vice president of autonomous driving for Toyota Research Institute, Emily Frascaroli counsel for Ford Motor Co., John James, president of Renaissance Global Logistics, Amy Mass, vice president and general counsel for the Hanover Insurance Group, Jeremy McClain, director of systems and technology for Continental Automotive Systems, Inc., John Peracchino, managing member of Peracchino and Co., and Gary Smyth, executive director of global research and development labs for General Motors Co.

Members of this council will serve terms expiring at the pleasure of the governor and are not subject to the advice and approval of the Senate.

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