©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan's Renaissance Zones Attract 76 Projects and 4,500 New Jobs

Friday, October 02, 1998

John Truscott
(517) 335-6397

Program wins two awards for innovationGovernor John Engler announced today that Michigan's Renaissance Zone program has attracted 76 projects and created more than 4,500 jobs in 11 designated "zones" since its inception in January 1997. The zones, which are unique to Michigan, have been designated as virtually tax-free for any business or resident in a zone. "When we came up with the idea for the zones, we knew that cutting taxes would encourage growth. Therefore, eliminating taxes was bound to cause an explosion of growth," said Governor Engler. "And it has. These areas had almost no new jobs or revenue for some time, but armed with the tax-free incentive, they have had no trouble attracting new business." Communities designated as Renaissance Zones include six urban areas (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, Flint, Lansing and Saginaw), three rural areas (Manistee County, Gratiot/Montcalm Counties and Gogebic/Ontonagon/Houghton Counties) and two former military installations (Oscoda, home of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base; and Warren, home of the former Warren Tank Plant). The areas were chosen based on several factors, including evidence of adverse economic and socioeconomic conditions within the area and local public and private commitments to make the plan work. "Renaissance Zones have helped extend the economic strength to these areas that had somehow missed out on the benefits of the state's good Arial," said Engler. "This program shows the kind of creative thinking that has allowed Michigan's economy to flourish beyond the rest of the nation." The Renaissance Zone program, which is administered by the Michigan Jobs Commission, was recognized this summer as one of the nation's successful and innovative approaches to revitalizing blighted areas by both the National Association of State Development Agencies (NASDA) and Harvard University's Innovations in American Government Program. NASDA named the Michigan Jobs Commission co-winner of its annual Hackett Award for the Michigan Renaissance Zone Program, while Harvard University's Innovations in American Government Award Program (IAGAP) chose the program as one of 96 semifinalists for their annual Innovations in American Government Award. IAGAP touted Renaissance Zones as a "novel, exciting, and highly successful approach...to meet pressing public needs." All 11 of the state's Renaissance Zones have received commitments for at least one new investment. Grand Rapids leads all zones with 38 projects to date. The largest project in terms of jobs so far is occurring in the Warren Renaissance Zone, at the site of the former tank plant, where 1,700 jobs are expected. Editor's Note: For a complete list of Renaissance Zones projects please contact the Michigan Jobs Commission, Communications Office at (517) 335-4590.

January 1, 1997 through September 30, 1998
Renaissance Zone Activity
Product or ServiceJobsInvestmentYear

Nuway Paper(Oakbrook Int'l) paper products300$ 20,000,00097
WAVE ceiling suspension systems75$ 10,000,00097
Old World Stone construction materials5$ 100,00098
Product Design Services CNC prototyping12$ 1,000,00098
subtotal (4 projects)392$ 31,100,000

SBF Automotive seat mechanisms for Ford20$ 700,00097
Strong Steel Products scrap metal recovery50$ 14,500,00097
Renaissance Global Logistics export packaging operations400$ 16,650,00097
Prestressed Systems precast concrete manuf.30$ 1,000,00098
Johnson Controls auto parts manufacturing220$ 5,000,00098
subtotal (5 projects)720$ 37,850,000

Rossner Engineering design engineering0$ 850,00097
Genesee Packaging, Inc. packaging/assembly120$ 4,000,00097
Rizzo's Pizza restaurant4$ 85,00097
subtotal (3 projects)124$ 4,935,000

Polymer Products specialty resins,polyester gels10$ 1,000,00097
Fab Tool specialty tooling for auto industry7$ 50,00097
SEED Inc. / Calatico Inc. Yellowstone and Carolinaapts.0$ 242,00097
Radiology Imaging Solutions x-ray sales and repair3$ 40,00097
Home Repair Services non-profit organization2$ 2,000,00097
SEED Inc. / Wealthy St. Theatre theatre and communitycenter2$ 1,960,00097
Ainslie Upholstry upholstry0$ 160,00097
The Hair Net hair salon2$ 10,00097
McGraw Construction commercial building construction5$ 225,00097
Acanthus Antiques antiques2$ 75,00097
St. Mary's Health Service non-profit health clinic20$ 1,500,00097
St. Mary's Health Service non-profit health clinic15$ 1,500,00097
Half Moon Entertainment Center restaurant, nightclub30$ 400,00097
Dwelling Place housing30$ 1,230,00097
Miller Welding Supply commercial3$ 400,00097
Mr. Cornbeef restaurant0$ 10,00097
McDonald's restaurant50$ 500,00097
Allen-White Group (Ferris Hotel) offices5$ 675,00097
John Widdicomb Co. residential furniture mfg.10$ 3,000,00097
Roosevelt Market grocery store16$ 500,00097
Chuck Posthumus Architect architecture firm2$ 25,00097
Spectrum Industries electrodeposition coating100$ 6,500,00097
P.B. Gast janitorial equipment & supplies10$ 1,600,00097
Franklin Metals metals processor and recycler25$ 1,000,00097
Canal Street Foundry, LLC developer400$ 5,000,00097
Ed DeVries Properties developer150$ 3,610,00097
Haviland Enterprises chemical products35$ 10,000,00097
Grand Rapids Housing Comm. assisted housing center0$ 85,00097
Perfit Corporation wholesale auto parts distributor1$ 135,00097
Kregel Inc. publisher/printer1$ 56,00097
KL Lawn Sprinkling lawn sprinkling system installation1$ 150,00098
Hat HMS hat and clothing retailer0$ 35,00098
Old Kent Bank Franklin Street bank branch office0$ 300,00098
Half Moon Two nightclub/banquet hall15$ 275,00098
Pridgeon & Clay metal stamping0$ 125,00098
Madison Square Christian Reformed Church0$ 760,00098
Canal Street Brewing Co. microbrewery and tastingroom8$ 1,300,00098
Peninsular Plating Co. plating and metal finishing30$ 1,300,00098
subtotal (38 projects)990$ 47,733,000

BRD Printing printing7$ 300,00097
subtotal (1 project)7$ 300,000

Pandrol-Jackson railway maintenance machinery30$ 208,00097
Stewart Investment Group residential housing0$ 2,382,66798
Myers Engineering tool and die mfg./rubber molds10$ 300,00098
Metal-Line Inc. machine repair/fabrication25$ 800,00098
Sadler Machine Tool Inc. rebuild industrial machinery10$ 350,00098
Robert Gentz Forest Products wood moldings/landscapetimbers10$ 700,00098
subtotal (6 projects)85$ 4,740,667

Paulstra CRC Corp. (Gratiot) auto component supplier115$ 24,000,00097
National Surface Preparation (M.) steel blasting,scarifying concrete35$ 800,00097
Riverside Plastics (Montcalm) extrudes plastic parts13$ 950,00097
Montcalm Fibre Corp. (Montcalm) fuel pellets50$ 1,800,00097
Mountain Town Mfg. (Gratiot) wood chippers20$ 1,000,00097
Wolverine Worldwide (Montcalm) distribution center100$ 13,000,00097
subtotal (6 projects)333$ 41,550,000

Oscoda(Wurtsmith AFB)
Fletcher Coated Products paper coating10$ 5,000,00097
American International Airways aircraft maintenance20$ 097
subtotal (2 projects)30$ 5,000,000

Michigan Photo commercial photo film finishing8$ 154,50097
Gallade Technologies automotive chassis components30$ 9,000,00097
Health Delivery, Inc. nonprofit medical services12$ 1,500,00097
Browne's Mortuary mortuary services2$ 500,00097
Discount Transmission auto repair firm8$ 100,00097
Spicer Engineering engineering services30$ 1,220,00097
Peerless Environmental environmental services firm10$ 120,00097
subtotal (7projects)100$ 12,594,500

DCT auto supplier1,700$ 6,300,00097
subtotal (1 project)1,700$ 6,300,000

Superior Polymer (Houghton) polymer coatings5$ 150,00097
Rippa Products screw machine products5$ 250,00098
Blizzard Corp. snow & ice removal equipment12$ 700,00098
subtotal (3 projects)22$ 1,100,000
1998 Totals (19 projects)393$ 16,827,667
1997 Total (57 projects)4,110$ 176,375,500
Overall Totals (76 projects)4,503$ 193,203,167