Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Area Developments Expected to Create 719 New Jobs, 130 Downtown Condos
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced two major developments in the Grand Rapids area that will create a total of 719 new jobs. The projects include expansions of Emerald Graphics in Kentwood and Cascade Township, and the redevelopment of a vacant former school into housing and commercial space in downtown Grand Rapids. Assisted by more than $5.1 million in Single Business Tax credits and brownfield tax capture approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the projects are expected to generate more than $21.5 million in private investment.
"This is excellent news for the entire region," Granholm said. "These projects are an indication that west Michigan is overcoming some of its recent economic challenges by creating good paying jobs and reusing vacant properties to attract increased investment to the area."
Parkland Investments Inc. will use a $1 million brownfield SBT credit and state and local tax capture valued at more than $1 million to redevelop the former West Middle School and Union High School in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids into housing and commercial space. The developer will invest more than $12.5 million to renovate and restore the approximately 200-square-foot building located at 615 Turner NW into 130 condominium units with the possibility of additional commercial space. The city of Grand Rapids has approved local tax capture valued at more than $618,000 to support the project.
"Greater Grand Rapids is a center for manufacturing excellence specifically because companies like these continue to invest and grow here," Right Place, Inc. President Birgit Klohs said. "As we continue to foster emerging clusters in life sciences, information technology, alternate materials, and aerospace, our advanced manufacturing companies will play a critical role in providing not only high-quality jobs, but also goods and services for these new markets."
The Grand Rapids area expansions and brownfield rehab are among 13 economic development projects the Governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create and retain a total of 7,120 Michigan jobs, including 3,196 directly by company expansions and redevelopments.
"The Grand Rapids area has much to offer businesses that are looking to expand," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "The top-notch workforce, good business climate and progressive downtown development policies make the area a great place to invest and call home."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 31,464jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
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.