Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Economic Development Projects Spur Nearly $107 Million in Investment
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today six major economic development projects that are expected to create 1,511 new Michigan jobs and spur nearly $107 million in private investment. Expansions by Cobasys, Guardian Fiberglass, Material Sciences Corp. and Spartan Chassis, Inc. as well as brownfield rehab projects in the cities of Cheboygan and Grand Haven are receiving assistance offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
"Michigan is starting to grow its way out of the challenges of the recent past to become an economic powerhouse in the 21st century," the Governor said. "Our well-trained workforce and attractive incentives have helped us weather the storm. I look forward to announcing more investment and job creation as the year unfolds."
Cobasys, Orion Township: The company will invest an estimated $1.5 million to complete an office building and purchase new equipment as it consolidates three plants currently operating in Troy to a single 70,000-square-foot facility in Orion Township. The company, which chose Michigan over Ohio, designs, manufactures and sells Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery systems for the emerging hybrid electric vehicle market. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs in the first year, and a total of 150 jobs within five years.
Guardian Fiberglass, Albion: The company will invest $26.5 million to expand its manufacturing operations in Albion. It is hoped that an SBT credit valued at more than $1.5 million will convince the company to expand in Michigan instead of at a competing site in Texas. A subsidiary of Guardian Industries in Auburn Hills, the Albion facility manufactures fiberglass insulation for residential and commercial buildings. The expansion will create a total of 288 jobs including 150 directly by the company. Guardian Industries currently employs 1,543 in the state including 224 at the Albion facility.
Material Sciences Corp. (MSC), Plymouth Township: The Illinois-based company plans to invest $17.4 million to establish a 54,000-square-foot technical center in Plymouth Township instead of at a competing site in Ohio. MSC specializes in developing solutions that help reduce noise and heat problems related to the operation of automotive, appliance, office furniture, heating and cooling and electronics products. The expansion is expected to create six new positions in the first year of the project for a total of 17 by 2014. In addition, the company will relocate 24 current employees in Farmington Hills to the new facility.
Spartan Chassis, Inc., Charlotte: The company, a manufacturer of custom chassis for motor homes, fire trucks and other specialty vehicles, plans to invest $7.3 million to expand its operations in Charlotte instead of Kentucky. The project will permit the community's largest employer to grow its current product line in response to the company's recent contracts with Fleetwood RV and Newmar Corporation. The expansion is expected to create a total of 1,056 jobs, 415 directly by the company.
Cheboygan will redevelop four parcels of blighted property on the Cheboygan riverfront near the corner of Pine and Main Streets. J & D Investments of Cheboygan, LLC plans to acquire and transform the site into a mixed-use development to include retail and office space and a full-service marina with a boat storage facility. The city will use tax capture valued at $247,250 for demolition and asbestos contamination clean up. The new development, to be known as Mariner Village, is expected to create 28 new jobs and give rise to more than $4.1 million in private investment.
Grand Haven plans to redevelop 19 acres of vacant, contaminated property near the corner of Jackson Street and Beacon Boulevard for mixed-use development consisting of multi-family housing, commercial, retail and office space. The city will utilize state and local tax capture valued at more than $10.4 million for improvements including construction of a public boardwalk along the river as well as water, sewer and road upgrades. The city owns the property and is in the process of obtaining a developer for the project which is expected to spur $50 million in private investment.
"These are all great projects," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Their diversity and number indicates the flexibility and efficacy of the economic development tools we have at our disposal."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.