Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Bridget Beckman, MEDC
Companies investing more than $489.2 million to grow in state
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is helping seven companies grow in Michigan and is backing two downtown brownfield redevelopment projects. Combined, the nine projects are expected to create 7,556 new jobs, retain 86 jobs and generate over $489.2 million in new investment in the state.
“Despite these tough economic times, our aggressive economic strategy is generating results for communities across Michigan, and we will continue to go anywhere and do anything to bring new jobs to our state,” Granholm said. “Companies in every industry, from high-tech solar manufacturers to insurance providers, are choosing to invest in Michigan because of our world-class workforce.”
The nine projects announced today are:
Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems Corporation –The designer, developer and manufacturer of military vehicles plans to invest more than $5.4 million to expand its facility in Charter Township of Orion. The expansion is expected to create 520 new Michigan jobs, including 223 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board today approved a state tax credit valued at $5.6 million over 10 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in South Carolina. In addition, the MEDC will provide up to $171,750 in job training funds through the Economic Development Job Training program. The Charter Township of Orion is considering a 12-year tax abatement valued at $2.3 million to support the project.
United Solar Ovonic LLC – The whollyowned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER) plans to make a $220 million investment in its new, high-tech solar cell manufacturing facility in Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Industrial Park. The project is estimated to create up to 350 new jobs at United Solar. The company also has the option to invest another $220 million and build a second manufacturing facility with the potential for 350 additional jobs in the same location. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $17.3 million over 20 years to win the company’s expansion over competing sites nationwide. Additional support through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and approval of a Renaissance Zone are under consideration.To support the project, the city of Battle Creek is supporting the approval of the Renaissance Zone and has proposed up to a 30percent match of potential CDBG funding. In addition, the city is considering a 12-year property tax abatement. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that increased economic activity created by the new facilities will create 3,062 spin-off jobs throughout the state, in addition to the 700 potential jobs created directly by United Solar.
Morley Companies Inc. – The company provides services to a diverse group of Fortune 500 clients including: group travel, business theater, interactive, research, exhibits, displays and experiences, and performance improvement. Morley plans to invest $1.7 million at its facility in Saginaw Township to support a high-tech project that involves maintaining database information, generating client-derived statistics, associated reporting and call center data capture activities. The initial project is expected to create 90 new Michigan jobs for Morley and up to 350 total new jobs in Michigan at Morley headquarters in Saginaw Township. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2.8 million over five years to win the company’s investment over competing sites in Canada, Oregon and Texas. To support the project, Saginaw, Bay, and Midland Michigan Works! will make available up to $20,000 in incumbent worker training funds.
NetEnrich – The California-based IT service provider plans to launch new operations in Washtenaw County. The company will invest $2.7 million in a new R&D and network operations center in Washtenaw County. The project is expected to create 435 new Michigan jobs, including 225 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3.9 million over 10 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in Florida and South Carolina. Ann Arbor SPARK will facilitate local support from the community where NetEnrich decides to locate.
Reino Linen Service Inc. –The Ohio-based company that provides laundry services to more than 20 hospitals and 100 clinics and doctors’ offices plans to invest $11.5 million to launch its Michigan operations in Brownstown Township. The project is expected to create 445 new Michigan jobs, including 315 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $603,000 over five yearsto help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Ohio. Brownstown Township plans to offer the company reduced permit fees and other public infrastructure improvements to support the project.
JCIM US, LLC – The supplier of interior automotive components to OEMs plans to consolidate operations and expand facilities in Frenchtown Township, Romulus, Lansing and Port Huron, at expected costs of approximately $4 million. The expansion is expected to create 325 new jobs at these facilities. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional1,124 spin-off jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3.37 million over 10 years to help convince the company to expand these named facilities in Michigan over competing sites in Kentucky and Alabama. To support the project, the cities of Romulus, Lansing, Frenchtown and Port Huron will transfer property tax abatements.
Hagerty Insurance Agency Inc.– Headquartered in Traverse City for over 40 years, Hagerty is the leading insurer of collector cars and wooden boats in the United States. The company plans to invest more than $7 million to expand its operation next to the current facility in Traverse City. The expansion is expected to create 386 new Michigan jobs, including 226 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2.2 million to assist the company in retaining its expansion in Michigan, instead of competitive proposals by the City of Phoenix and the state of Arizona. In addition, the MEDC has proposed up to $150,000 in job training funds through the Economic Development Job Training program. The MEGA Board also approved an amended Brownfield work plan, allowing for $3.9 million in state and local tax capture for the construction of a publicly owned parking deck by the city of Traverse City. This 410-space public parking facility will create the opportunity for Hagerty to expand its headquarters and create these new jobs. The city of Traverse City and the Grand Traverse County Brownfield Authority will provide $6.8 million towards the construction of the public parking structure to support this project.
City of Sturgis – State and local tax capture valued at more than $1.7 million will support the proposed Kirsch Lofts project, which will completely renovate and restore a vacant building near the Sturgis Municipal wells Superfund site. The two-phase development will include condos, commercial space and parking. The project will generate $8.6 million in new capital investment and up to 100 new jobs.
Mason County – State and local tax capture valued at $504,638 will support a proposed project to construct the new K.E. Wilson Building at the corner of Robert and Loomis streets in downtown Ludington. The mixed-use, five-story, 45,000-square-foot retail development will generate $8.3 million in new capital investment and create 40 new jobs. The project will also retain 86 jobs.
“These job-creating company expansions and brownfield redevelopment projects are the result of successful collaboration and teamwork with our economic development partners around the state to bring these projects to Michigan against some very intense national and international competition,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.
In her 2008 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 286,000 jobs 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. For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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