LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corp. today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of $6 million in funding for entrepreneurship and innovation programs as well as Michigan Business Development and Community Revitalization program incentives to eight companies that are expanding in the state. The eight expansions are expected to generate up to $95.8 million in new capital investments and add 789 new jobs in Michigan.
“Today’s Strategic Fund actions will mean new investments in university programs to commercialize the results of their research and business expansions across Michigan that, taken together, will promote greater economic opportunities for our businesses and citizens,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “These new investments in our state will strengthen our communities and fuel new opportunities for our talented workforce.”
Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Program – The MSF approved $6 million for innovation and entrepreneurship projects through the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Program. M-TRAC is funded by the 21st Century Jobs Fund to create high-tech jobs through commercialization of university research and creation of university spin-offs in focused areas. MTRAC uses the nationally recognized Coulter Process to translate innovations into economic value.
The MSF approved the following awards for research commercialization:
Michigan State University: $1.1 million for agro-biotechnology and bioprocessing.
University of Michigan: $2.4 million for life sciences.
University of Michigan: $150,000 for a pilot project in advanced transportation.
Michigan Technological University: $517,500 for advanced applied materials.
Wayne State University: $100,000 for a commercialization roadmap review (first tranche) with the possibility of receiving an additional $1.1 million upon a revised proposal.
Western Michigan University: $50,000 for a commercialization roadmap review.
Eastern Michigan University: $50,000 for a commercialization roadmap review.
MEDC: $552,000 for an incentive fund to reward the early commercial successes coming out of the M-TRAC programs.
The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved incentives for the following business expansions as well:
- A $1 million Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant has been awarded to 614 First Street Partners LLC to renovate the former Miller Products Corp. factory into headquarters for the Rockford Construction Co. in Grand Rapids. The project will transform the approximately 70,000 square-foot industrial building into corporate offices, a general trades yard and warehouse, commercial retail space for lease, an open-air courtyard, and a community room. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $7.9 million and retain approximately 85 permanent full-time jobs. Grand Rapids has approved a Brownfield Plan to assist in addressing brownfield issues.
- Baker Aerospace Tooling and Machining specializes in producing complex three-dimensional prototype parts and tooling for the aircraft, military and automotive industries. The company plans to expand in Macomb Charter Township, investing $9.9 million and adding 188 jobs. As a result of the expansion, Baker has been awarded an $800,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Florida. Macomb Charter Township has offered a seven-year Tool & Die Recovery Zone valued at $766,000 in support of the project.
- Black & Veatch Corporation is a global engineering, consulting, and construction company specializing in energy, water, and telecommunications. The company has more than 9,000 employees and more than 100 offices worldwide, with 266 employees currently in Michigan. Black & Veatch is expanding its energy and telecommunication services sectors in Ann Arbor. The company plans to invest at least $13.5 million and add 75 jobs, resulting in $435,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Arizona, North Carolina and Minnesota.
- Grand Rapids Downtown Market Holdings LLC is constructing a 25,000 square foot market on multiple parcels in Grand Rapids. The project will include indoor areas for a multi-vendor, year-round fresh food market, and space for a seasonal outdoor farmers’ market and other food services. On-site surface parking will be provided, and machinery and equipment investments are related to outfitting kitchen and retail areas. The project will generate a total capital investment of approximately $30 million and create 295 new jobs. As a result, the project has been awarded a $3 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan. Grand Rapids is offering support to the project in the form of public infrastructure improvements valued at $4.7 million, and the Grand Rapids City Parking Commission has contributed $400,000 to the project.
- Heart of Howell LLC plans to fully renovate three historic properties in downtown Howell to prepare them for retail, office, and commercial space. The project is expected to generate investment of $2.5 million and create 19 full-time jobs. The project has been awarded a Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant of $375,868. The City of Howell is providing support in the form of a DDA Façade Grant valued at $58,000 and a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Abatement valued at $94,196.
- Herbruck Poultry Ranch, Inc. is a family owned egg producer in Ionia County. The company has opportunities to expand its egg production and processing facilities, investing up to $17.2 million and creating 55 jobs. As a result of the expansion, Herbruck has been awarded a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The Lakewood Wastewater Authority is offering to waive the sanitary sewer connection fee of $405,000.
- Parkland Muskegon Inc. plans to renovate one of the only remaining buildings left of the structures that formerly comprised the downtown Muskegon Mall. The eight-story building will be converted into a residential apartment development, along with the construction of two-story addition to provide additional residential units. Improvements will include landscaping and parking lot for residents. The project will generate a total of $10.7 million in total capital investment and create two full time jobs, resulting in a $2 million Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan.
- Two Men And A Truck is the first and largest local moving franchise system in the United States, offering a full range of home and business moving services. The company has the opportunity to grow its number of franchise locations and plans to expand its corporate headquarters in Delhi Township, which will include support departments such as customer care, franchise business consultants, training and development, service desk, and a call center. The project will generate a total capital investment of up to $4 million and create 125 new jobs over the next five years. As a result of the expansion, the company has been awarded a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.
“Today’s projects all mean more jobs and greater economic opportunities for people across Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney said. “In the last two years we have greatly improved Michigan’s business climate and infrastructure, creating new paths to business growth, and these changes are showing strong results.”