Michigan Strategic Fund Approves Projects Expected to Generate $235.3M, Create 554 Jobs

The Michigan Strategic Fund Tuesday approved projects expected to generate $235.3 million in total investment and support the creation of 554 jobs in Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
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AKASOL Inc. battery
AKASOL Inc., which makes lithium-ion battery systems, is opening a manufacturing facility in metro Detroit, generating a total private investment of $40 million. // Photo courtesy of AKASOL Inc.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Tuesday approved projects expected to generate $235.3 million in total investment and support the creation of 554 jobs in Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“These projects will lead to new business growth, revitalized communities and more and better jobs for our residents,” says Jeff Mason, CEO of the corporation. “The decision by these two companies to not just expand but establish a first North American facility here and a second U.S. headquarters underscores our business-friendly environment and talented workforce. We’re pleased to work with our local partners to support these investments.”

AKASOL Inc., a subsidiary of AKASOL AG, a German developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery systems for buses; commercial, rail, and industrial vehicles; ships; and boats, plans to establish a battery system manufacturing facility in metro Detroit. The project is expected to generate total private investment of $40 million and create 224 jobs. The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $2.24 million Michigan Business Development Program grant in support of the project, and the Michigan site was chosen over a competing site in Georgia.

Job opportunities with the company are listed here.

In the past three years, 39 Germany companies have chosen Michigan for 43 projects, creating 4,624 jobs and investing a total of $1.25 billion in the state. Germany was Michigan’s top investing country during that time in terms of private investment and job creation. Of the projects, 11 were automotive related.

AKASOL’s production facility in Langen, Germany is Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery system production plant for commercial vehicles and is currently capable of producing battery systems for up to 1,500 fully electric buses or 3,000 medium-sized commercial vehicles each year. AKASOL serves Daimler, Alstom, Bombardier, and Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

“The decision by AKASOL to establish its first North American facility here underscores the strength of Michigan’s advanced manufacturing industry and robust supply chain,” says Mason. “We welcome AKASOL’s commitment to Michigan and we look forward to working with the company for years to come as it continues to grow and create jobs here.”

KLA, a California-based provider of process control and process-enabling solutions across the electronics industry, recently opened its new research and development center in Ann Arbor. The location was selected from more than 350 potential sites in North America. Announced in October 2018, the project was expected to generate a total private investment of more than $70 million and create 500 jobs over the following five years. As a result of the investment, the company received fund approval of Good Jobs for Michigan withholding tax capture for up to eight years and a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

The company is planning an additional expansion of the project at its new facility in Ann Arbor Charter Township. The project is expected to generate $80 million in private investment and create 100 jobs. The fund approved an amendment to the company’s original grant agreement that will increase the $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant previously awarded to $2.5 million. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over sites in other states. Ann Arbor Charter Township has agreed to provide staff, financial, or economic assistance in support of the project.

“Since choosing Ann Arbor last year, KLA has proven to be a committed, thoughtful, and engaging part of the tech community here, and we’re looking forward to their continued growth,” says Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Those interested in careers with the company can find more information here.

The new research and development center will be a boost to the semiconductor ecosystem in Michigan. The company partners with automotive companies and semiconductor chip manufacturers to improve chip quality and help reduce reliability failures.

In other news, Cadillac Lofts plans to construct a new four-story, mixed-use building at the 1.3-acre site of an abandoned grocery store in downtown Cadillac. The building will include commercial, residential, and common space.

The first phase of the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of nearly $9.3 million and create 30 full-time equivalent jobs. The fund approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the first phase. The city of Cadillac has approved a 15-year Neighborhood Enterprise Zone exemption valued at $476,000 and a 12-year Commercial Redevelopment Act exemption valued at $78,000.

The city of Cadillac Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received fund approval of $840,335 in local and school tax capture for the remediation of brownfield conditions at the site. The city previously secured $831,864 in Community Development Block Grant funding to remove all the blighted structures on the site and a $134,000 grant through the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to assist with on-site environmental clean-up activities. Cadillac is engaged with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

In addition, GPC Adams, a single-purpose entity of Sterling Group, plans to construct a new 20-story, mixed-use building following the removal of a vacant office building near Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit. The city of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received fund approval of $16.7 million in local and school tax capture for brownfield activities at the site. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $105.3 million and create 200 permanent, full-time equivalent jobs.

When completed, the development is expected to create space for Chemical Bank’s new headquarters. The city of Detroit has approved a Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax exemption valued at $10,486,000 in support of the project. Detroit is engaged with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness, and community development. Its focus is to grow the state’s economy.

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