Michigan Strategic Fund. Approves Business Expansions, Community Revitalization Projects  

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Projects expected to create nearly $168 million in total investment and create 1,580 jobs statewide has gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF).

“The Michigan Strategic Fund continues to help fuel new economic activity across Michigan, strengthening our communities and creating good jobs for our residents,” says Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF. “These projects will have a catalytic impact in Michigan’s communities, particularly in growing our health care industry and further developing the New Center area in downtown Detroit.”

Having outgrown its current headquarters, Centria Healthcare, a provider of autism therapy services, private duty nursing, and other clinical and customer service for the autism community, plans to establish a new facility in Farmington Hills.

The $16.5 million investment will create 1,200 jobs in the next five years and has resulted in an $8 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant after Michigan was chosen over competing sites in New Mexico and Texas. The City of Farmington Hills has also offered assistance with recruiting in support of the project.

“We are pleased to welcome Centria Healthcare to the city of Farmington Hills,” says Mayor Ken Massey. “Our city is known for providing businesses with a positive environment for growth and for helping to recruit highly qualified local employees.”

Specifically, Centria currently provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism and operates in Michigan, Texas, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and New Jersey. Founded in 2009, Centria also provides in-home, private duty, specialized nursing to children and adults with medically complex health conditions including rehabilitation for injuries.

“While there were generous and very attractive packages to relocate, Centria’s home is in Michigan,” says Scott Barry, Centria’s co-founder and CEO. “There is no doubt that we are a Pure Michigan company dedicated to serving more children and families, and at the same time growing Michigan’s economy by developing, retaining, and attracting a new generation of talent in Michigan’s growing health care industry.”

DEG Development Co. is also proposing construction of two new speculative industrial warehouse buildings in Grand Rapids. The facilities would be 70,150 square feet and 126,750 square feet respectively and located on a 9.3-acre site at 1810 Turner Ave.

The project will include an estimated private investment of $12.3 million, including brownfield improvement costs and construction is expected to generate an estimated 140 new jobs with average wages of $24 per hour.

The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and DEG Development Co. have received approval for local and tax capture of $1.1 million, including an estimated $563,731 in school tax capture for MSF eligible brownfield improvements including lead and asbestos removal, demolition of existing structures, site preparation, and creation of new sidewalks and storm water infrastructure.

Pistons Performance and Henry Ford Health System also plan to construct a new 343,000-square foot mixed use development in the New Center areas of downtown Detroit that will include medical offices and health center space, as well as ground floor retail and restaurant space and practice facilities and office space for the Detroit Pistons.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $107 million and create 40 jobs. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has received MSF approval of local and school tax capture for nearly $16 million for the alleviation of brownfield conditions and to prepare the proposed project site for development.

Iron Ridge Holdings also plans to redevelop 13 acres of property in Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge into a mixed-use campus through a combination of new construction and rehabilitation of existing buildings.

The vacant industrial building located at 660 E. 10 Mile Rd. will be transformed into three buildings including market space, a beer garden, and brewery. The remainder of the five rehabilitated buildings will include office and retail space, a fitness center, and a fire suppression company. 75 new residential apartments will also be completed during the redevelopment and the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $32 million and create 200 new jobs.

The County of Oakland Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of local and school tax capture values at $3.5 million for the alleviation of brownfield conditions and to prepare the site for redevelopment.

MSF also approved a total of $2.6 million for the University Technology and Commercialization Programs including $1.3 million for the University of Michigan Technology Transfer Network and $1.4 million for U-M’s Michigan Corporate Relations Network.

Since 2011, MSF has provided funding to accelerate technology transfer from Michigan’s higher education institutions to the private sector for commercialization. With matching funds, both U-M programs will support collaboration with all universities statewide to provide mentors in residence, IP invention support, student internships, and research projects.

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