New business expansions, community improvement projects gain state approval

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four companies to invest $145 million, add 755 jobs

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of two business expansions and two community improvement projects that are expected to generate more than $145 million in new investments and create 755 jobs.

“Today’s MSF actions will further drive Michigan’s comeback by generating new job opportunities for our families and businesses,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “They will help to revitalize our communities, lead to new investment in our cities and demonstrate, once again, that Michigan’s workforce ranks among the world’s very best.”

Michigan Business Development Program: 

Sakthi Automotive Group USA, Inc. is a division of the Sakthi Group, one of the fastest growing business groups in South India. The company is a major supplier to automotive OEMs of safety critical automotive components including steering knuckles, control arms, brake drums, brake discs, hubs, brake calipers and carriers. In 2012 Sakthi Automotive received a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant to establish its first North American manufacturing operation in the city of Detroit. The company now plans to expand into the production of lightweight aluminum castings that will support the fuel efficiency initiatives of global auto OEMs. The expansion is expected to include the acquisition and renovation of several buildings near the company’s existing facility that will be used for manufacturing, machining, advanced worker training and employee wellness programs. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $31.8 million and create 350 jobs, resulting in a $3.5 million MBDP performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina. MEDC and the city of Detroit will also recommend the approval of an MSF-designated Renaissance Zone for the expansion at a later date. The city has also offered support to the project in the form of proposed property tax abatement.

To watch a video on the Sakthi project, visit here: Individuals interested in career opportunities with Sakthi Automotive should visit

Community Development Block Grant: 

St. Clair County was awarded $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for on-the-job training needed for the SMR Automotive Systems USA, Inc. expansion project in the city of Marysville. SMR Automotive, a Tier 1 automotive supplier of rear vision systems, has outgrown its current facility and plans to purchase additional space adjacent to its location in Marysville, investing nearly $18.7 million and creating 200 jobs. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in S. Carolina, Alabama and Missouri, where labor and training costs would be lower and which are geographically closer to several of the company’s largest OEM customers. The CDBG funds will be used to offset the increased labor and training costs in Michigan. The city of Marysville will support the project through a 12-year property tax abatement valued at nearly $1.9 million. Individuals interested in career opportunities with SMR Automotive should email resumes to Laura Petz at [email protected].

Michigan Community Revitalization Program/Brownfield Work Plan: 

Moso Village, LLC plans to redevelop five parcels of land in downtown Sturgis into a new two-story building that will include commercial, retail, restaurant and residential space. The project will be the first significant new construction in downtown Sturgis in nearly 50 years. The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $6.7 million and create 25 jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant.

In addition, the City of Sturgis Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval for $1,969,950 in brownfield tax increment financing for remediation, demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. Included in the $1.9 million total, the City is also supporting the project through more than $1 million in local taxes through tax-increment financing, and the St. Joseph County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has pledged up to $32,000 toward the project.

Brownfield Work Plan: 

MSF approved $28,880,350 in local and school tax capture for the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to redevelop property in downtown Grand Rapids. The site will be used to accommodate future private development to include a multi-story, mixed use structure and parking deck in addition to a new Michigan State University Research Center, a state of the art biomedical research facility that will generate at least $88 million in investment and create 180 high wage jobs. The project has also been awarded a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The tax increment revenue will be used for demolition, site preparation and infrastructure improvements including the 600-space parking structure.

The MSF board also approved the establishment of an escrow agreement for the New International Trade Crossing that will allow disbursement of funds for activities related to the project.

“Today’s projects, including a major business expansion in Detroit and a transformational renovation project in downtown Sturgis, will fuel new economic activity that will show benefits across Michigan,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “These investments offer strong evidence of Michigan’s improving economy and the success of our strategy to help companies grow here.”

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.