©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Governor Announces Over 6,900 New Michigan Jobs

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bridget Beckman
(517) 335-4590 beckmanb1@michigan.org

Companies Investing More than $231 Million to Grow in State

LANSING– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is helping 13 companiesgrow in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Troy, Novi, Clawson, Allegan, Lowell, Midland, Auburn Hills, Huron Township, and Gibraltar.  In addition, the MEDC is backing five redevelopment projects in Lansing, East Lansing, Flint, and Redford Township. Combined, the projects are expected to create 6,917 new jobs and generate $231.2 million in new investment in the state.

"Theseinvestments are great news for communities and job-seekers throughout our state,” Granholm said. “The companies that are choosing to invest here are critical to our effort to diversify Michigan’s economy, and we will continue to go anywhere and do anything to bring new jobs like these to Michigan.”

Severalof the projects are the result of changes to the state’s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Act approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor this year.  The 18 projects announced today are:

  • ForeSee Results Inc. – A company that uses online voice of customer data to help organizations around the globe increasesales, loyalty, and Web site value, is looking to expand its operations in Michigan and locate its new North American headquarters in southeast Michigan over competing sites on the east and west coasts.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3.2 million over seven years to win the company’s expansion.  The company is considering sites in Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties.  The company plans to invest approximately $6.6 million in the project that is expected to create up to 638 Michigan jobs, including 275 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that the project will generate an additional 363 indirect jobs.
  • Evergreen Solar Inc. – The manufacturer of solar power panels has chosen Midland over a competing site in another state to establish a new facility that will create string for the company’s proprietary, low-cost String Ribbon™ wafer technology.  The project, pending final permit approval by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, is expected to generate approximately $55.2 million in new capital investment and up to 596 new Michigan jobs, including 101 directly by the company over the next five years.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 495 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.8 million over 10 years to win the company’s expansion.  The city of Midland has approved a 12-year abatement worth $3.9 million to support the project. 
  • Echo Global Logistics Inc.Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $12.6 million over 10 years to encourage the Chicago-based IT logistics company to launch new operations under consideration in Troy. In addition, the MEDC has offered up to $400,000 in job-training assistance through the economic development job training program.  To support the project, Oakland County has proposed assistance with employee recruitment and assessment and potential Workforce Investment Act funding of up to $50,000.  The project, pending company approval, is expected to generate $4.2 million in new capital investment and create 1,777 new jobs, including up to 950 directly by the company. An economic analysis conductedby the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 827 indirect jobs.
  • Gibbs Technologies Inc.– Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valuedat $5.9 million over 10 years to encourage the developer of amphibious vehicles to establish a planning and R&D facility under consideration in Auburn Hills over a competing site in Alabama.  The project, pending company approval, has the potential to generate up to $13 million in new capital investmentand create up to 521 new jobs, including 250 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 271 indirect jobs.  The city of Auburn Hills has approved an eight-year abatement worth $15,250 to support the project.
  • Harman Becker Automotive Systems Inc.– The world’s largest supplier of high-end automotive audio and infotainment systems plans to consolidate its North America acoustic development group from two out-of-state locations to a location in Novi.  The company plans to invest up to $10 million in the project, which will include a new facility in Novi with offices, labs and R&D areas.  The project is expected to create 275 new jobs, including 135 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 140 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2.5 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in the U.S. and Europe.  To support the project, the city of Novi has proposed an expedited review and inspection process along with funding towards publicinfrastructure improvements. Harman Becker is a unit of Harman International Industries Inc., which provides audio and infotainment systems for the consumer, automotive and professional markets.
  • International Bancard Corporation –The financial transaction service provider plans to invest $2.1 million to relocate fromRoyal Oak into a larger facility in Clawson.  The project is expected to create 325 new jobs, including 150 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the expansion will generate an additional 175 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.1 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in other states.  In addition, the MEDC has offered up to $50,000 in job-training assistance through the economic development job training program.  To support the project, the city of Clawson has proposed waiving all building and planning fees and making landscape improvements to the site.
  • MyInsuranceExpert.com (RSA) –The financial planning and benefits service provider plans to relocate and expand its Internet-based individual health and life insurance venture, MyInsuranceExpert.com from Farmington Hills to Troy.  The company plans to invest $1.8 million in the project and expects to create 621 new jobs, including 337 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 284 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3 million during the next five years to win the project over a competing site in Florida.  To support the project, the city of Troy has proposed a $20,000 contribution and combination of services through the city’s Downtown Development Authority.
  • Technology Associates Inc.DBA Ranal Inc. – The engineering service provider plans to invest $2.5 million to expand its operations in Auburn Hills.  The project is expected to create 167 new jobs, including 84 directly by the company.  An economic analysisconducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 83 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.1 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in India, Canada and Germany.  To support the project, Oakland County has proposed up to $75,000 in training funds under the Workforce Investment Act.  
  • SteelTool & Engineering Co.– The manufacturer and engineering provider of precision component parts for military and commercial aircraft jet engines plans to invest $3.5 million to consolidate operations in Taylor and Wyandotte into a facility in Gibraltar.  The project is expectedto create 112 new jobs, including 50 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that the project will generate an additional 62 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $535,000 over seven years to win the project over a competing site in Indiana.  The city of Gibraltar has proposed a 12-year abatement to support the project.
  • MichiganInstitute of Aeronautics Inc.– The Belleville-based postsecondary institution and one of the largest aviation maintenance technician schools in the nation plans to expand and locate its Power Technology Institute in Huron Township.  The Power Technology Institute, with 103 students currently, expects to grow to over 600 students over the next five years. The institute focuses on alternative energy and trains students to become technicians and dispatchers.  The project is expected to create 145 new jobs, including 103 directly by the institute.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will create 42 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $847,000 over five years to win the project over a competing site in Texas.  To support the project, Wayne County has proposed to make $7 million worth of improvements on Sibley Road., including new lanes with traffic signals.
  • AttwoodCorporationThe marine parts and accessories supplier plans to consolidate its Lancaster, Texas, manufacturing operations into an existingfacility in Lowell (Kent County), where it has 114 employees.  The $1.8 million project is expected to create 87 new jobs in the community, including 50 directly by the company.  An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 37 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $452,000 over seven years to help convince the company to invest in Michigan over a competing site in Georgia.  The city of Lowell has approved a 12-year property tax abatement worth over $1 millionto support the expansion.
  • GraphicPackaging International Inc. –The provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to multinational food, beverage, and other consumer products companies plans to invest $27 million to expand its existing folding carton plant in Kalamazoo.  The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Corporation, a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company(NYSE:GPK), currently employs 701 people in Michigan.  The project is expected to create 377 new jobs, including up to 160 jobs directly by the company.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2,961,000 over 12 years to help win the project over acompeting site in Ohio.  The city of Kalamazoo has indicated it will recommend 12-year real and personal property abatements worth an estimated $1.5 million in support of the expansion.
  • Perrigo Company- This global healthcare supplier develops, manufacturers and distributes over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals. The $3-billion Michigan-based company will invest $10.5 million in operating and training facilities at its global headquarters in Allegan. The project is expected to create 1,039 new jobs, including 400 directly by the company over the next five years, Perrigo currently has 2,569 employees in Michigan. Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $8.4 million over 12 years to help Michigan win the expansion over the New York City/New Jersey area. To support the project, the city of Allegan anticipates approval of real and personal property tax abatements over 12 years with an estimated value of $1.4 million.
  • In EastLansing, StrathmoreDevelopment Company through affiliateCity Center Two Project LLCwill use a state brownfield tax credit valuedat $10 million and state and local tax capture totaling $57.8 million for Phase One of a large-scale development on 5.46 acres bordered by Grand River Avenue, Abbot and Evergreen roads and Albert Street.  The overall mixed-use project will include a total of six new commercial and residential buildings, a pedestrian overpass, and 520-space parking deck comprising 585,000 square feet and representing capital investment of $84 million.  Phase One consists of a 10-story mixed-use building on three acres to include retail, restaurant and hotel, office space, residential apartments and a performing arts center.  It is anticipated that Phase One will create the first 150 of 237 new jobs projected for the entire project.
  • A $10 million state brownfieldtax credit and $33.3 million in state and local tax capture will support conversion of the Ottawa Power Station on the Grand River between Ottawa Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Lansing by Phoenix Development Partners LLC into a new world headquarters campus housing the Accident Fund Insurance Company.  The project, announced October 2007, entails demolition and site clean-up making way for development of a seven-acre site including a river’s edge park, transformation of the power station into 10 stories of Class A office space, a building addition of five stories, and a five-to-six-story parking deck.  The $182 million project will bring 500 new jobs downtown.
  • The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use $428,322 in local and school tax capture for the renovation, alteration and improvement of the Cedar Street Elementary School in the Old Town area of downtown Lansing, and will be supported by $4 million private investment.  The first floor will house a retail tenant, the second a medical office and physical therapy facilities, and the third floor and roof a membership-based fitness center and gym. The project will expand usable space from the current 13,000 square feet to 20,000 and include surface parking and landscaping.  It will be submitted for a gold ranking (the second-highest level) by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.
  • In RedfordTownship,Southfield developer JNCC LLCwill use a state brownfield tax credit valued at $4.6 million to build 188 units of single-family housing, 150 senior independent living units and 20 multi-family condo units on 50 acres at the site of the old Catholic Central High School.  Average unit price is estimated at $165,000.  The new Shamrock Village will be located along Breakfast Drive south of Lyndon Street and east of Inkster Road between 7 Mile and Grand River.  The $74-million project will be constructed in six phases between 2008 and 2015.
  • Themixed-use historic rehab of the Durant Hotel in downtown Flint by developer 607 East Second Ave LLC (a joint venture of Genesee County Land Bank and Karp and Associates) will be supported by a $5.8 million state brownfield tax credit.  The landmark eight-story hotel built in 1920 and named for William C. Durant, founder of General Motors, has been vacant since 1973.  It will be redeveloped, after all funding sources are approved, into 111 multi-family residential apartments and 14,000 square feet of commercial space.  Total building square footage is 156,000.  The project is expected to create 16 new jobs and will have an eligible investment between $16 million and $29 million.  The project was originally announced in September of 2007.  

“All of these projectsare the result of successful state and local collaboration and teamwork with our economic development partners around the state to bring these projects to Michigan against some very stiff competition,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.

In her2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century.  Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 248,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.           

The Michigan EconomicDevelopment 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.  For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.  

                                                                                               

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