A Highland Park assembly plant for automotive supplier Faurecia and an affordable housing redevelopment in Detroit were two of the projects announced Tuesday that received grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund. The seven total projects are expected to generate $690 million in total investment and support the creation or retention of 1,065 jobs in Michigan.
Faurecia will open operations in Highland Park, where it will assemble automotive seats, seat frames, foam cushions, and seat covers. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $10.7 million and create 500 jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Franklin, Ohio. The city of Highland Park is supporting the project by providing a job fair to support immediate hiring needs. Individuals interested in careers with Faurecia should visit here.
“This is a boost for Highland Park as auto suppliers continue to see the value of locating and expanding in Wayne County,” says Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “I applaud Faurecia’s commitment to working with Michigan Works to ensure that preference is given to hiring Wayne County residents for these new seating assembly operations.”
RainCheck Development plans to rehabilitate a vacant two-story building into 38 apartments, with eight being reserved as affordable units, in Detroit. The 40 Hague redevelopment project will activate the two-story former Packard Automotive showroom and service center in Detroit’s North End neighborhood. Two adjacent surface lots also will see investment with the southern lot serving as parking for residents, and the western parking lot will be converted to a fenced park for use by residents.
The project will result in a more walkable community along the Woodward corridor. The project is expected to result in a total capital investment of $8.1 million along with the creation of one full-time equivalent job, resulting in a $1.4 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan.
In addition, the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of a Brownfield Act 381 Work Plan including local and school tax capture for MSF eligible activities in the amount of $561,538.
“As we work to enable long-term economic opportunity across Michigan, these projects will lead to new business growth, revitalized communities and more high-wage jobs for our residents,” says Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC. “These projects emphasize MEDC’s continued commitment to empowering all regions of our state, from rural areas to urban cores.
“Today’s good news must be met with a reality check, however. Next year’s proposed budget for MEDC business attraction and community revitalization that was reported out last week by the conference committee would hamstring the positive economic impact delivered through projects like these. In fact, the entire slate of projects on today’s agenda – or investments of similar size and scope – would be at risk of not being funded under next year’s proposed budget proposed by the Legislature.”
Other projects receiving MEDC support include and expansion of insurance broker Acrisure Inc.’s headquarters in Grand Rapids, redevelopment of a vacant brownfield to expand Graphic Packaging International’s operations in Kalamazoo, and the rehabilitation of the historic Farnum Building by Allegan Property in Lansing.
Benton Harbor Flats’ plans to redevelop a functionally obsolete building into a mixed-use project in downtown Benton Harbor and Eastern Elementary’s plans to rehabilitate a historic, four-story school building located in Grand Rapids also received MEDC assistance.
Acrisure plans to expand its future world headquarters in the city of Grand Rapids. The company will lease space in downtown Grand Rapids and plans to build a new facility that will accommodate the company’s projected growth. The project will include relocating 280 employees to downtown Grand Rapids. The expansion will involve the creation of 400 new jobs paying 125 percent of the regional wage average and a total capital investment of $33 million in Grand Rapids, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, as well as a Good Jobs for Michigan withholding tax capture for up to 10 years valued at $6 million. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Illinois, New York, and Indiana.
“The decision by Acrisure to not just expand, but to establish its global headquarters in Grand Rapids highlights Michigan’s growing professional and corporate services industry and underscores the strength of Michigan’s business climate and talented workforce. We’re pleased to work with our local partners to support this investment,” Mason says.
Graphic Packaging International is expanding and plans to redevelop a vacant brownfield site in Kalamazoo and Charter Township of Kalamazoo adjacent to the existing GPI mill. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $600 million and will significantly increase the company’s manufacturing output of coated recycled paperboard in Kalamazoo. MSF Monday approved a 15-year 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at up to $7,281,250 in support of the project. In addition, the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of local and school tax capture valued at $21,064,391 that will be used to alleviate brownfield conditions and prepare the site for redevelopment.
Allegan Property plans to rehabilitate the historic Farnum Building located in downtown Lansing. The project will include interior renovations of the 11-story, 90,000-square-foot Farnum office building. Additionally, the project involves extensive asbestos abatement activities and renovations to return the building to a functional Class A office space in the heart of Michigan’s capital city where office space is greatly needed. The project is expected to result in a total capital investment of $20 million along with the creation and retention of approximately 140 full-time equivalent jobs. The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of a Brownfield Act 381 Work Plan including local and school tax capture for MSF eligible activities in the amount of $2,823,450.
Benton Harbor Flats plans to redevelop a functionally obsolete building into a mixed-use project in downtown Benton Harbor. The project will activate a vacant two-story building located at a prominent intersection that links downtown and the Arts District to the harbor area. The project is anticipated to include 16 market-rate residential apartments, commercial space, and the restoration of the original brick façade. The project is expected to result in a total capital investment of $3.6 million along with the creation of approximately 22 full-time equivalent jobs. The MSF approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project.
Eastern Elementary LDHA plans to rehabilitate a historic, four-story school building located in the Highland Park neighborhood of the city of Grand Rapids. The project will redevelop the vacant building into nonprofit office space, a leasing office, gym, and 50 mixed-income housing units. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $14.6 million and create approximately two permanent full-time equivalent jobs.
MSF approved an award in the amount of $3.55 million, of which $2.05 million will be used to purchase Michigan State Housing Development Authority tax-exempt bonds to allow MSHDA to provide a lower interest rate to the applicant. The remaining $1.5 million of the MSF award will be used to provide a cash flow-based loan to the development.