©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan Strategic Fund approves additional funding for American Center for Mobility, business expansions, community revitalization projects, more

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kathy Achtenberg

FCA US investing $1.5 billion in Sterling Heights, new manufacturing company bringing 380 jobs to Flint  

LANSING– A wide range of projects including additional funding for the American Center for Mobility, several business expansions and community revitalization projects around the state, and support for entrepreneurship received Michigan Strategic Fund approval today, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced. 

The projects include a $1.5 billion investment by FCA in its Sterling Heights operations and a new manufacturing facility locating in Flint that will create 380 jobs. 

“The investment approved today will bring up to 400 new jobs to Flint, in an innovative venture that turns recycling into auto parts,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The state will continue to support the city during its water recovery, and in addition will remain involved in long-term economic development. I’m very pleased to see this manufacturing plant established within the city, and hope it is the first of many new employers to invest in Flint. 

“The approval of additional funding for the American Center for Mobility will further establish Michigan’s leadership in testing connected and intelligent vehicle technology and strengthen Michigan’s economy as we move forward.” 

MSF today approved a $17 million investment from the Investment Fund to the Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership toward finalizing the acquisition of land at Willow Run, and facilitate the design, construction costs and operations for the completion of Phase I of the connected and automated vehicle facility to be developed and operated by the American Center for Mobility. The center, located at the Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township, will help accelerate advanced mobility vehicle development safety while bringing economic opportunity to southeast Michigan and the United States. The project is a multi-layered initiative among the Michigan Strategic Fund, Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality,MEDC, and many county and local authorities.  ACM’s board of directors includes members designated by the University of Michigan, Business Leaders for Michigan and Ann Arbor SPARK 

Last week, MEDC and RACER Trust announced a purchase agreement for the acquisition of land at Willow Run. At its March 2016 meeting, MSF approved a $2,999,900 million performance-based grant and a $100 equity investment to the Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership. More information on the American Center for Mobility can be found at www.acmwillowrun.org.To learn more about the future of mobility and why it’s important to Michigan, visit here: https://youtu.be/EkxOWjyuOZ0. 


The following projects are expected to generate in total nearly $1.7 billion in total investment and create 512 jobs in Michigan: 

C3 Venture Flint, LLC is a newly formed organization established by experienced automotive and real estate veterans that will recycle plastics into auto parts. C3 will further incubate several other job creation business lines in the fields of clean air, water, energy and soil with a focus on recycling and up cycling of industrial materials. The company will establish its U.S. headquarters in the city of Flint to house operations. The project is expected to generate nearly $9.7 million in capital investment and create 380 qualified new jobs, resulting in a $5.7 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based loan which has the ability to convert to a grant based on job creation milestones. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in California and Indiana. The Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce is supporting the project in the form staff time. For more information about careers with C3 Venture Flint, contact Sherry Goble via email at sgoble@gstmiworks.orgor phone at 810 233-5974 ext. 353. 

FCA US LLC will invest $1.48 billion in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to produce the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck. The FCA US investment comes after the company reviewed other possible Midwest production locations. As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved an alternative exemption from the State Essential Services Assessment for the Auburn Hills-based automaker valued at $11.3 million. The exclusion serves as an incentive for projects that result in significant investment in eligible manufacturing personal property. FCA US has invested $8.2 billion and created nearly 25,000 jobs in the U.S. since 2009. 

The city of Ferndale Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $2,241,384 in local and school tax capture for Ferndale Haus Lofts, a new, mixed-use development with integrated parking at the former Save-A-Lot site in downtown Ferndale. The completed project will consist of approximately 90 market-rate apartments and will include approximately 10,800 square feet of retail/office space. The project will demolish a vacant and underutilized site that is currently an eyesore, bringing much needed residential space and increased economic activity to the downtown area. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $17.9 million and create approximately 14 full-time equivalent jobs. The tax capture will be used for brownfield alleviation activities at the site, including asbestos abatement, demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.  

601 West LLC plans to redevelop a vacant site to construct two mixed use buildings for commercial and residential space in downtown Grand Rapids at the intersection of Lake Michigan Drive and Seward Avenue. The completed project will be a five-story mixed-used building and an adjacent three-story mixed use building. The project will result in ground floor commercial space, market rate apartments for lease and underground parking on the site. This project is located immediately adjacent to Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus where there is significant pressure for additional residential units. The project will generate a total capital investment of $19 million and create 15 permanent full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $2.9 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan.  

In addition, the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has received MSF approval for $3,674,190 in local and school tax capture for the project. The funds will be used alleviate brownfield conditions at the site and prepare it for construction, including asbestos and lead removal, demolition, site preparation activities and infrastructure improvements.  

Kent County received approval of an MSF Designated Renaissance Zone for 15 years for the Switch, Ltd. Data Center located at the former Steelcase Inc. pyramid in Gaines Charter Township. Founded in 2000, Switch is a privately held company headquartered in Las Vegas that operates and develops industry-leading, carrier-neutral, multi-tenant data center properties. Its customers include eBay, PayPal, Shutterfly, MGM, Intuit and Box. The company evaluated locations on the east coast to open its eastern U.S. data center campus and selected the pyramid site in Gaines Charter Township. The campus, SUPERNAP Grand Rapids, will be the largest colocation data center in the eastern U.S., with an expected total private investment of nearly $151.2 million and the creation of 103 jobs.  

Michigan was chosen over competing sites in numerous other states, many of which offered sales and use tax exemptions and/or property tax abatements. The Renaissance Zone designation in Kent County will be used to abate personal property taxes. The company has agreed to pay Kent County and Gaines Charter Township an amount equal to all real property taxes for the duration of the designation. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Switch, Ltd. Data Center should visit https://www.supernap.com/careers.html. 

In addition, MSF approved the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Life Science Innovation Hub for University of Michigan Medical School Fast Forward Medical Innovation. MSF also approved $2 million, matched with $2 million by UM, in MTRAC funding to support technology transfer for the commercialization of competitive edge life science technologies. 

“Today’s projects, including providing additional funding for the American Center for Mobility, business expansions and important revitalization projects in downtown Ferndale and Grand Rapids, will fuel new economic activity across Michigan, strengthen communities, and create well-paying jobs for our residents,” MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said. 

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 101,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.