Thursday, February 03, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
New $3 Million Commercial Development Planned for Downtown
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $620,000 in community funding has been awarded to the city of Douglas to make public improvements in support of a new $3 million office/retail development downtown. The project is expected to create 31 new jobs.
"This development will be a great addition to Douglas' already charming downtown," Granholm said. "Attracting jobs and private investment to the center of our communities is a major part of creating cool cities across Michigan."
The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
Douglas will use the funding for street reconstruction and storm sewer improvements along Center Street to accommodate the construction of the new building. Douglas Development Partners will invest $3 million on the project. The Douglas Downtown Development Authority will contribute an additional $124,000 toward engineering costs.
"The City Council and DDA were especially pleased to hear the news of the funding award for the infrastructure improvements for downtown Douglas," said Mayor Matt Balmer. "The funds will help enhance the local economy and provide growth opportunities for the city."
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 and loans 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.
"Sufficient public infrastructure is vital to ongoing downtown revitalization," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "In addition to creating new jobs directly, this development will also provide a catalyst for further development."
The MEDC is able to award approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced her plan to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. In 2004 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 54,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. Overall during 2004, the Governor announced the creation or retention of some 130,000 jobs by all state agencies.
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.