Next Michigan designation, business and community projects, travel website RFP gain state approval

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Projects are expected to generate $340 million in new investments, create 431 jobs

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of five economic development actions including the Superior Trade Zone as the state’s newest Next Michigan Development Corporation, business expansion and community improvement projects and a Request for Proposals for the redesign of the official Travel Michigan website, The projects are expected to generate as much as $340 million in new investments that could create or retain 431 jobs.

“The MSF today took action to bring new jobs across the state, in Northern Michigan and the Lansing area and metro Detroit,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “We are experiencing an increasing economic momentum thanks to Michigan’s improved business climate and infrastructure. We are seeing the result in more job opportunities and better lives for our residents.”

Superior Trade Zone Next Michigan Development Corporation – The Superior Trade Zone is an interlocal partnership agreement among the following communities: Counties of Delta and Marquette; Cites of Escanaba, Gladstone, and Marquette; and Townships of Bark River, Chocolay, Ely, Ford River, Forsyth, Garden, Ishpeming, Maple Ridge, Nahma, Richmond, and Wells. 

As a Next Michigan Development Corporation, the Superior Trade Zone will leverage and promote business development actions that focus on the assets and logistics infrastructure unique to the region, including land located near the Delta County Airport Industrial Park and the Telkyte Industrial Park located at the former Air Force base in Marquette County. The Superior Trade Zone may utilize incentives allowed with the designation as well as its natural resources, agricultural, mining, and tourism industries, and trade opportunities that occur with Canada.

Michigan Business Development Program:

Detroit Diesel Corporation, a member of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines for the commercial truck market. The company plans to make significant investment in plant upgrades and new machinery and equipment for a new medium-duty engine line at its facility in Redford Township, investing up to $208 million and creating 245 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $1.3 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Mexico and Germany. Redford Township has offered support to the project in the form of business retention and marketing/promotional assistance. 

Brownfield Work Plan:

MSF approved $4,133,214 in local and school tax capture for the County of Charlevoix Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to redevelop assets owned by St. Marys Cement Inc. in the Township of Charlevoix. The project will consist of alleviating brownfield conditions at the site and demolishing and removing existing outmoded structures and equipment. St. Marys Cement currently owns a cement manufacturing plant at the site and is evaluating plans to expand operations and modernize the cement making process in order to increase production capacity. The company is considering, as an expansion alternative, the long-term operation of its plant in Dixon, Illinois. If the Charlevoix site is selected, the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $130 million and create 10 full-time jobs as well as retain 139 jobs.

Community Development Block Grant:

Watertown Charter Township (Clinton County) was awarded $1.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for infrastructure improvements for the Triton Industries, Inc. expansion project. The company, a Lansing-based manufacturer of Manitou pontoon boats, has outgrown its current facility and has identified a building in Watertown Charter Township. The CDBG infrastructure grant will offset the cost of upgrading the sewer capacity to support future job growth. The company plans to invest more than $2.6 million and create 37 jobs. The site in Watertown Township was chosen over a competing site in Indiana. Watertown Charter Township is contributing $169,600 toward the total infrastructure costs. Website Rebuild Request for Proposals:

The Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation issued a Request for Proposals to solicit proposals for the rebuild of the Travel Michigan website, The purpose for the Request for Proposals is to locate a web design and development organization with a proven record of creating custom web solutions. The company selected will be required to assist the MEDC and its partners in creating a new website for 

Technical and price proposals must be submitted to the MSF electronically to [email protected] by Monday, April 27 at 3 p.m. Proposals will not be accepted via U.S. mail or any other delivery method. Prospective bidders may submit questions regarding the RFP via email by Monday, March 30, 2015 at 3 p.m. to [email protected]. The MSF will not respond to questions that are not received by this date and time. In addition, questions that are phoned, faxed or sent through regular mail will not be accepted. Responses to all qualifying questions will be posted on Friday, April 3, 2015 by close of business on the MSF’s website,

Additional details about the RFP will be announced later this week, and the full RFP will be available here: 

“We are moving forward with new business investment and community revitalization that will mean more and better jobs in our state,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “The designation of the Superior Trade Zone is a new economic development tool that enables business expansions in the Upper Peninsula.”

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.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.