©2017 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

News-Business

Ford Motor Co. to invest $2 billion, add 800 jobs; Flint opens entrepreneurial hub

More than $2.2 billion in new investment with up to 965 jobs and support for a new innovation center in Flint are among the key projects approved today by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“The wide range of projects approved today – including major investments by Ford and community revitalization projects in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint –will serve as catalysts for further economic growth and attract new jobs to these areas,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Today’s actions further demonstrate our commitment to Michigan’s future with more jobs and better lives for all Michiganders.”

“Collectively, these projects will have major impacts on the automotive and agribusiness industries in Michigan,” said Steve Arwood, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which is the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm. MEDC administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF. “We are encouraged at the private sector’s commitment to the continuing – and successful – community development in Detroit and innovative approach to support entrepreneurial endeavors in Flint.”

Approved today by the Michigan Strategic Fund:

Ford Motor Company plans to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant to create a manufacturing innovation center capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles. Ford and Mustang are currently built at the plant. The company also plans to manufacture a new autonomous vehicle, a new full electric small SUV and a hybrid Mustang. Ford also anticipates the construction of a new data center. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1 billion and create up to 700 jobs, resulting in a $10 million Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Mexico and other locations. The city of Flat Rock has offered property tax abatement in support of the project.

In addition, MSF approved an exemption from the personal property tax for the automaker valued at $10.4 million over 15 years. The exclusion, referred to as the State Essential Services Assessment (SESA) Exemption, serves as an incentive for projects with more than $25 million in eligible manufacturing personal property.

Ford also plans to invest in new manufacturing equipment and tooling related to the manufacture of two new vehicles at its Michigan Assembly Plant in the city of Wayne. In addition, the company plans to invest in new machinery and equipment to manufacture engine components at its Romeo Engine Plant, some of which will be supplied to the new vehicles produced at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The projects are expected to generate a total capital investment of $1 billion and create 100 new jobs. An additional 3,600 jobs will be retained at the Wayne facility. As a result, the company has been awarded a $2 million MBDP performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites around the world. The city of Wayne is providing expedited permit assistance in support of the project.

MSF also approved a 15-year SESA exemption valued at $7.25 million in the city of Wayne, and a 15-year SESA exemption valued at $1.3 million in the village of Romeo.

Individuals interested in careers with Ford should visit http://corporate.ford.com/careers.html?gnav=footer-aboutford.

Ferris Wheel Innovation Center

100K Ideas at the Ferris Wheel Innovation Center in the city of Flint will be the first entrepreneurial platform of its kind to serve the Flint region. Located in the historic Ferris building in the heart of downtown Flint, 100K Ideas will put a new spin on the way inventors and entrepreneurs approach the startup process by offering a “one-stop-shop” to support them from concept to commercialization. Offering a full spectrum of services to all individuals and companies with a product, software, service or social venture at any stage in the business cycle, 100K Ideas support will include idea validation, concept ideation, product development, prototyping, capitalization, market development, operations management and business formation.

MSF today approved a $1.5 million grant to 100K Ideas at the Ferris Wheel Innovation Center, which is expected to spur economic growth and further revitalize Flint, creating 30 full-time equivalent jobs. Funds originally allocated to the Michigan Business Development Program will be used for this grant. SkyPoint Ventures along with other community stakeholders are contributing a total of $3 million in matching funds toward the project.

As part of the Ferris Wheel project, SkyPoint Ventures and Flint Ferris Building LLC will rehabilitate the vacant, seven-story Ferris Building in downtown Flint where the innovation center will be housed. MSF today approved a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant that will contribute toward a total capital investment of more than $6.1 million. When the project is completed, it is anticipated it will create 10 full-time equivalent jobs. The City of Flint has approved a Commercial Rehabilitation Act exemption valued at $70,000 and the City of Flint Downtown Development Authority has awarded an infrastructure improvement grant of $35,000.

Continental Dairy Facilities LLC and fairlife LLC

Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC and fairlife LLC are two separate dairy processing companies that are located at the same 100-acre dairy processing plant in the city of Coopersville. The companies are expanding due to significant growth and are in need of additional capacity in the wastewater treatment system. The expansion will include new products and production lines, which will generate a capital investment of $173 million and the creation of 52 new jobs. This growth is requiring a $3.7 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment system. The MSF authorized a $2,407,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the creation of 52 jobs, which will be used to offset the cost of onsite infrastructure improvements. The City of Coopersville has offered support to the project through a $1.1 million upgrade to its own waste water treatment plant.

City Modern project

City Modern 440, Alfred Street LLC and Brush Park Development Company Phase I LLC plan to redevelop an 8.4-acre site in the Brush Park Historic District in the city of Detroit. The City Modern project will include the restoration of three existing historic structures and the construction of approximately 24 new buildings. The finished project will include 408 units of residential housing, retail space, and public green space throughout the project area. The project will bring much-needed residential space and will redevelop a long-vacant property into an attractive and viable neighborhood. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $43 million and create 26 jobs, resulting in a $7.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan. 

In addition, MSF approved local and school tax capture in the amount of $15,796,867 for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. The City of Detroit has approved a Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax exemption for a portion of the project valued at $1.8 million over a 10-year period. The project also includes a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone on approximately 100 units.

Selden Partners LLC, New Center Council Inc. and AG Selden LLC

Selden Partners LLC, New Center Council Inc. and AG Selden LLC plan to redevelop the property known as the Casket Company building located at 664 Selden Street in Midtown Detroit. The project will include the rehabilitation of the existing building into a mixed-use development and the construction of a two-floor addition with residential space. The completed project will also include a destination restaurant and creative accelerator space. The project is expected to generate total capital investment of more than $7.2 million and create 65 full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation. The project will bring much-needed residential space to the area and will reactivate a long-vacant building into an inviting and attractive community asset. The City of Detroit is supporting the project with an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax exemption valued at $1,199,485 over a 12-year period.

Lofts on Wealthy

The City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $970,250 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the Lofts on Wealthy LLC project in Grand Rapids. Lofts on Wealthy plans to rehabilitate and repurpose the existing vacant building located in the historic Wealthy Street Corridor into a mixed-use development that will include retail and community space on the ground floor and 75 market-rate apartments on the upper floors. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $14 million and create 12 full-time equivalent jobs. The tax capture will be used for lead and asbestos abatement, demolition activities, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

“Today’s projects will fuel new economic activity that will show benefits across Michigan,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “These investments offer strong evidence of Michigan’s improving economy and the success of our strategy to help companies grow here.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.michiganbusiness.org For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook,Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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