Snyder: 9 Firms to Invest $81 million, Add 900 Jobs in State


LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder today announced Michigan Strategic Fund action to support nine business expansions expected to generate more than $81 million in investment and add nearly 900 jobs in Michigan.

“The commitment of these companies to grow and create jobs here further reinforces Michigan’s reputation as America’s comeback state,” Snyder said. “It also demonstrates that the improvements we have made to our business climate and infrastructure are producing results. I thank these companies for investing in our future.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:

Michigan Business Development Program incentives

Challenge Manufacturing Co., headquartered in Walker, manufactures engineered metal stampings and modular assemblies for the automotive industry. Challenge plans to expand existing operations in the city of Holland and the city of Walker, investing $10.3 million and adding 180 jobs. As a result of the expansion, Challenge has been awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in the Southeast. The cities of Holland and Walker have offered property tax abatements in support of the project.

Detroit Thermal Systems LLC is a newly formed venture between V. Johnson Enterprises, LLC and Valeo Inc. that has acquired the climate control business from the Ford/ACH facility in Plymouth. Detroit Thermal Systems has leased an existing building in the city of Romulus for a new operation to develop and manufacture high quality climate control systems and components for the automotive industry. The company plans to invest more than $25 million and create more than 300 jobs, resulting in a $750,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Tennessee. The city of Romulus is prepared to recommend a property tax abatement in further support of the project.

Hanwha L&C Alabama LLC manufactures automotive products made of Glass Fiber Mat-reinforced Thermoplastics and Expanded Polypropylene foam. The company has locations in Opelika, Ala., Shelby, N.C. and Fenton, Mich. Hanwha plans to expand its EPP production in a facility in the city of Monroe, investing $12 million and creating 70 jobs. As a result of this expansion, Hanwha has been awarded a $300,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio. The city of Monroe has offered 12-year tax abatements valued at $548,756.

Lyons Consulting Group LLC designs and hosts ecommerce websites for mid-market businesses throughout the United States. LCG plans to create a newly formed unit that will provide additional IT services related to its ecommerce platforms in the city of Ann Arbor, investing a total of $1.1 million and creating a total of 30 jobs. As a result of the expansion, the company has been awarded a $300,000 Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. The city of Ann Arbor has offered a $1,500 financial contribution and $2,000 in staff time for staffing support.

Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of leading brands, including Sharpie®, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate, and Irwin. The company plans to build a state-of-the-art Design Center in the city of Kalamazoo that will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its U.S. product and graphic design capabilities. The company will invest $2.3 million and create 100 design jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Chicago. The city of Kalamazoo has offered tax abatements valued at $164,000.

Community Development Block Grant/Michigan Loan Participation Program

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth was formed in 1856 and features a variety of hospitality products and services, including a restaurant, bakery, 18-hole golf course, and the Splash Village Water Park & Hotel. The company plans to invest at least $15 million to expand Splash Village to add an additional 30,000 square feet to the water park and 26-36 additional hotel rooms, more than doubling the current size of the existing venue. The project will create 69 new full time jobs; at least 35 of these positions will be held by low to moderate income persons. The city of Frankenmuth will work with the company to improve its waste water collection system and make other infrastructure improvements, and will contribute $862,000 from its Downtown Development Authority. As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants funds for the city of Frankenmuth. Zehnder’s also has received $5 million in loan enhancement funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Loan Participation Program.

Michigan Community Revitalization Program incentives

A $70,535 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to 521, LLC to renovate an 88-year-old building in the village of Spring Lake. The completed project will include commercial space on the first floor and an apartment on the second level. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $440,162 and create nine full-time jobs. The village of Spring Lake has offered a $15,000 grant for fire suppression and façade improvements.

A $207,190 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to 1205 W. Fulton, LLC for the Rylee’s Ace Hardware Redevelopment Project in the city of Grand Rapids. The company has demolished a vacant gas station and will redevelop the site into Rylee’s Ace Hardware store, investing $1.2 million and creating five full-time jobs. The city of Grand Rapids has provided financial support in the form of tax increment revenues, an EPA assessment grant and funds from the Local Site Revolving Loan Fund.

Michigan Economic Growth Authority amendment

Martinrea Jonesville LLC develops and manufactures state of the art metal forming and fluid management systems for the automotive and industrial sectors. In January 2011, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a MEGA tax credit for an expansion at the company’s Jonesville location for a maximum of 168 new jobs over a statewide base of 1,026. The company plans to expand in new machinery and equipment to support new business related to the automotive industry. The company is at capacity at its Jonesville location and is expanding into a new facility in the village of North Adams, investing $11.8 million and adding 122 jobs. As a result of this growth, MSF approved an increase in the maximum allowance for new jobs from 168 to 290. The village of North Adams plans to approve 12-year property tax abatements valued at $422,000.