Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Paul Krepps, MEDC
Grant to Spur $2.3 Million in Investment, Create 35 Jobs
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $700,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to support a downtown redevelopment project in Grand Haven which is expected to create 35 new jobs. The grant, made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will help finance the redevelopment of underutilized properties into office and retail space and is expected to result in private investment of $2.3 million.
"CDBG funding is one of the most flexible economic development tools we have to promote downtown revitalization and job creation," Granholm said. "This grant will help Grand Haven make the best use of this downtown property while adding an additional asset to the community."
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused seven-point plan for economic growth. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 23,500 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
Grand Haven plans to use the funding to help finance the acquisition and redevelopment of three downtown properties. The city will also contribute an additional $100,000 to help fund the project. Two development companies, Onemarket Properties and 22 Washington, LLC have agreed to develop commercial buildings to house retail and office space on two of the sites. The city will build a public parking lot on the third site to service the needs of the new businesses.
"Our overall plans for a strong economic future include an emphasis on the revitalization of the downtown in terms of public and private investment and this project brings us closer on both fronts," said Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis. "This is just a start - all signs point to an incredible new vitality in our already beautiful downtown district."
"Sufficient parking is essential to successful and sustainable downtown development," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "This funding will help Grand Haven increase its commercial capacity and provide the necessary parking to accommodate the growth."
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.
The MEDC is able to award up to 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.
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.