Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Redevelopments Will Create New Retail and Housing Opportunities
Governor Jennifer Granholm announced today that $376,261 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding has been offered to Saginaw County to help revitalize two downtown Saginaw properties as part of the Michigan Downtown Gateways program. In total, the projects are expected to create 77 new jobs and $6.6 million in private investment.
The funding is being made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which administers the CDBG program in the state.
"Supporting the growth of our downtowns is absolutely essential if we want to attract the high-tech jobs that will drive the 21st century economy," Granholm said. "This funding will draw jobs and housing to the heart of Saginaw, as well as retail opportunities to serve as a catalyst for further revitalization."
The two grants to Saginaw County totaling $376, 261 will support the following projects:
Denha Foodland Corporation plans to redevelop and expand its existing supermarket located at 1122 East Genesee. To support the project, Saginaw County will use a $153,761 CDBG grant for demolition, street and curb improvements and site preparation for construction of a 30,000-square-foot building. The project is expected to result in 27 new jobs and $1.6 million in private investment.
The Fort Saginaw LLC will redevelop the former Ippel Building at the corner of Court Street and Michigan Avenue. The new 48,000-square-foot mixed-use facility to contain office and retail space includes a proposed oyster bar, coffee shop and bakery. The county will use a $222,500 CDBG grant to strengthen the below-surface walls of the building in preparation for redevelopment. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs and $5 million in private investment.
"This is a great example of cooperation between the county of Saginaw, city of Saginaw and state of Michigan to revitalize areas of the city that we have targeted for investment," said Saginaw's Interim City Manager Cecil A. Collins, Jr. "Projects such as these are further evidence of the turnaround taking place in our city. We truly appreciate the Governor's focus on redeveloping core cities like Saginaw."
Grant recipients are selected primarily on their overall eligibility and the impact the project will have on the community. Priority is given to projects that are ready to begin construction, have sufficient local matching funding and have completed preliminary cost estimates.
Michigan Downtown Gateways funding may be used for public infrastructure improvements in support of specific projects that will result in the creation of jobs and private investment in downtown commercial centers or along major arteries leading into downtowns. Approved projects are required to have a minimum 10 percent local match, a 2:1 ratio of private to public investment and be located within a designated Downtown Development Authority.
"The redevelopment of these properties will have a lasting effect on downtown Saginaw's economy," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Like a snowball rolling downhill, these types of projects often lead to further investment."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state's Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to provide grants to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships-typically those with populations less than 50,000-for economic development, community development and housing projects. Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
The MEDC, 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.