Local Projects Get States Help

August 17, 2004
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LANSING — Gov. Jennifer Granholm today announced that as many as 1,300 new jobs will be created in Grand Rapids as a result of assistance provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

The MEDC approved a total of more than $10.3 million in Single Business Tax (SBT) credits to benefit three economic development projects including the expansion and consolidation of Steelcase and the redevelopment of two contaminated brownfield sites in the city’s downtown.

“These projects show Michigan is competing and winning in the fight for new business investment and jobs”, Granholm said. “The fact Steelcase chose Michigan over Mexico for this new plant is a testament to the skills and work ethic of Michigan workers.”

These three projects are among six that the governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create a total of 1,413 Michigan jobs.

The Grand Rapids projects are:

  • HP3 LLC will utilize a brownfield SBT credit valued at up to $5.9 million to help redevelop contaminated property near the corner of Pearl Street and Campau Avenue. The developer, a division of Alticor Inc., plans to construct a 300-to-400-room hotel complex on the site that will support Grand Rapids’ new DeVos Place Convention Center. The project is expected to create 250 new jobs and will generate at least $59.3 million in private investment.

  • Mid Towne Village LLC will redevelop a six-acre pocket of blighted housing in Grand Rapids and replace it with a mixed-use development consisting of commercial, office, residential and parking space. The project is expected to generate $39 million in private investment and create 350 jobs. In addition to the brownfield SBT credit valued at $2 million, the project recently received approval through the MEDC to capture more than $3.4 million in state and local taxes to recoup brownfield clean-up costs.

  • Steelcase Inc. has chosen to consolidate its wood plant operations in Michigan over competing sites due to an SBT credit valued at more than $2.4 million. The company plans to invest $3.4 million to transfer operations from North Carolina and Indiana facilities to its existing wood plant in Grand Rapids. A University of Michigan economic analysis estimates that 350 indirect Michigan jobs will be created as a result of increased economic activity associated with the expansion, in addition to the 350 jobs created directly by the company. The project is expected to generate more than $324 million in personal income for Michigan workers over the life of the tax credit.

“We are particularly pleased to retain such important investment in greater Grand Rapids, both in our urban core and one of our central industries,” said The Right Place Inc. President Birgit Klohs. “With increasingly competitive locations readily available in Mexico and southern states, this continued investment speaks highly of the work force, incentives, and opportunities our region has to offer.”

The city of Grand Rapids and the Downtown Development Authority have committed approximately $6.3 million in local incentives to assist the brownfield projects through tax abatements and tax increment financing incentives. Gaines Township will support the Steelcase consolidation with a tax abatement valued at approximately $96,000 over four years.

“The Grand Rapids area is on a roll,” said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. “The economic challenges of the recent past have been replaced by business growth, job creation and a series of excellent downtown redevelopment projects.”

In her 2004 State of the State address, Granholm announced her plan to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Thus far this year, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 25,063 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.    

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