Detroit Receives MSF Funding for Three Projects, Includes Landmark Woodward Location

The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a business expansion by a Tier 1 auto supplier and two revitalization projects, all in Detroit. It also took measures to be able to utilize $41.9 million in federal CARES Act funding.
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511 Woodward project
Rendering of the 511 Woodward project. // Photo courtesy of Yamasaki Inc.

The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a business expansion by a Tier 1 auto supplier and two revitalization projects, all in Detroit. It also took measures to be able to utilize $41.9 million in federal CARES Act funding.

Bridgewater Interiors, a Detroit-based automotive seating supplier, has received a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant to increase capacity at its Detroit and Delta Township (just west of Lansing) facilities. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of approximately $15 million and create up to 400 jobs.

“Bridgewater Interiors is pleased to have the opportunity to continue its business growth across the state with this important and extensive project,” says Ron Hall, president and CEO of Bridgewater.

Aa joint venture between Adient and Epsilon Technologies, Bridgewater is a certified minority business enterprise with more than 1,800 employees and locations in Detroit, Delta Township, and Warren.

Individuals interested in careers with Bridgewater Interiors should visit here.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved two community revitalization projects in downtown Detroit that are designed to help to create a more vibrant community that attract talent.

The 511 Woodward project, which will utilize a state tax capture valued at more than $1.49 million and $72,414 in city of Detroit funds, will rehabilitate a vacant, obsolete four-story building immediately east of the Guardian Building into a mixed-use retail and office development in the heart of downtown Detroit.

When completed, one floor of the building will be occupied by the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a local nonprofit organization that supports workforce development and creative talent. Last November, the Elia Group, a Birmingham-based real estate development company, closed on the purchase of 511 Woodward Ave. with the Wayne County Land Bank.

The project also will include public improvements along Woodward Avenue. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $18 million and create 101 full-time equivalent jobs, increasing urban density and providing new commercial attractions for Detroit residents.

Jefferson Larned Development Co. plans to develop vacant property and the surrounding right of way with a new grocery store and infrastructure improvements along the East Jefferson Corridor of Detroit with a state tax capture valued at $573,144 to be used for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site and local support of $986,856.

When completed, the Jefferson Larned Development Project will consist of a 42,000-square-foot Meijer store and a surface parking lot. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $15.6 million, create 72 full-time equivalent jobs, and will provide healthy food options to area residents, promote walkability, and lead to increased economic activity in the community.

“Today’s projects represent Michigan’s continued commitment to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our state and local communities and showcase the resiliency and ingenuity of our economy and our workforce, despite a global pandemic,” says Mark A. Burton, CEO of the MEDC. “We continue to use every resource possible, including critical federal dollars, to ensure our communities, businesses and workforce across the state are able to not only recover from the effects of this crisis, but be in a position to thrive long term.”

The MSF also approved the 2019 Program Year Action Plan second amendment for the Community Development Block Grant program, which includes incorporating an additional $41.9 million in federal CARES Act funds to be used for eligible activities.

The MSF board also adopted amended program guidelines to the recently approved Michigan Small Business Restart Program, announced earlier in July. The amendment updates the resolution in the Restart program guidelines to reflect recent legislation, House Bill 5265, pending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.

The amendment request allows for those small businesses that received grants through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund in March, to now be eligible for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program grants. The combined total of both grants cannot be in excess of $20,000.

The deadline for applications is expected to be extended beyond Aug. 5 as a result of today’s action. Additional information on the program will be announced in the coming days.

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