DETROIT, January 15, 2009 — The Wayne County Land Bank has awarded TechTown a $750,000 grant for construction of TechOne, its first business incubator facility. The county gave the funds to TechTown on December 18, 2008, and construction is expected to begin immediately.
“This was an opportunity that we believe will further economic development in this region and ultimately create new jobs,” said Robert Ficano, Wayne County Executive. “We believe that programs like Land Bank and TURBO and venues like TechTown will attract business and investment to Wayne County, which is greatly needed.”
The grant will allow TechTown to complete the renovation of approximately 10,000 square feet of office and laboratory space on the third floor of TechOne, which will make room for at least six new businesses. There is already a waiting list of potential tenants for the new space.
“The action of the Wayne County Economic Development Council demonstrates their commitment to diversifying our economy and growing jobs and businesses in the Detroit area,” TechTown Executive Director Randal Charlton said. ‘TechTown is on the way to becoming a major success story for the city and county. The additional rent generated from the renovated space will move us towards becoming a self-sustaining operation.”
After completing the phase of construction funded by the Lank Bank grant, TechTown will have built out 80 percent of the 100,000-square-foot TechOne facility.
TechOne is just the start of TechTown’s economic revitalization project. “Our aim is to build a business incubator and business attraction center that will meet the economic challenges the city faces,” Charlton said. “When we’ve completed TechOne, we expect to develop two more buildings in the immediate area. Our long-term goal is to create one of the biggest business incubators in the United States.”
Charlton added, “The TechTown board is supported by a range of stakeholders along with Wayne County including the City of Detroit, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University and General Motors Corporation. We’re also supported by foundations including Hudson-Webber, Kresge, and Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow.”
TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential entrepreneurial village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies so as to diversify and strengthen Michigan’s economy in the fields of life sciences, advanced engineering and alternative energy. For more information, visit www.techtownwsu.org