Business expansions, community revitalization project bring new private investment and jobs to Michigan

Thursday, September 27, 2018

•Developments in Kalamazoo, Rochester Hills will generate private investment of $69.5 million •Projects underscore strength of state’s manufacturing talent

LANSING, Mich. – Two business expansions and a community revitalization project that will generate a total of $69.5 million in private investment and create 66 jobs have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

“These projects will lead to new business growth, revitalized communities and more and better jobs for our residents. We’re pleased to work with our local partners and support these investments,” said Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“The decision by these companies to expand in Michigan rather than in other states means good jobs for our residents and demonstrates the strength of our state’s manufacturing talent pool,” Mason said.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Amagansett grill.jpg

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, is the leading manufacturer of premium grills, pizza ovens, cabinets and luxury outdoor cooking equipment for residential outdoor kitchens.  Kalamazoo is experiencing consistent growth in North America and is positioning itself to expand further into global markets. As a result, the company plans to expand its operations in Comstock Charter Township by investing $3.1 million in its facilities and boosting its workforce by creating 31 jobs.  As a result, Kalamazoo has been awarded a $200,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over competing sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Nevada.

“Our team of dedicated craftspeople in Kalamazoo, Michigan is growing – and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Scott Kohler, VP Operations, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. “Thanks to our partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Kalamazoo plans to expand its operations in Comstock Charter Township in Kalamazoo County, Michigan and to create new jobs in the market. The support of organizations like MEDC, along with our local community, makes it possible for our company to remain dedicated to quality and craftsmanship, while also planning for a successful future.”

The township has offered a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with the company should apply at [email protected].

“Southwest Michigan First celebrates Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s growth in Comstock Charter Township, as well as the company’s commitment to sustainability by minimizing its carbon footprint in the construction of its facility. Highly sought after by grilling enthusiasts and professional cooks, the global brand’s decision to expand here speaks to our region’s ability to supply highly skilled craftspeople,” said Ron Kitchens, chief operating officer and senior partner of Southwest Michigan First. “We thank our project partners at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the township for their ongoing commitment throughout this effort.”

KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme, Inc., founded in 2010, produces electrical connectors for the global auto industry. The company is a U.S. subsidiary of German-based KOSTAL Group, a global manufacturer of electrical components for auto OEMs and suppliers. KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme, Inc. has grown rapidly since 2011 and plans to construct a new facility in the city of Rochester Hills, investing $57.8 million and creating 32 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $320,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Alabama.

“This investment into local manufacturing and development demonstrates KOSTAL’s strong commitment to the American auto industry,” said President & CEO of KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme, Inc. Holger Lettmann. “We look forward to our increased footprint in Michigan to serve our customers fast and flexible.”

The city of Rochester Hills has offered a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in KOSTAL as an employer or business partner should visit

“Rochester Hills is thrilled that Kostal Kontakt Systeme, Inc has decided to invest, expand and create jobs in our city,” said Mayor Bryan Barnett. “We've been fortunate to build a working relationship with leadership, both here and abroad, and congratulate Kostal Kontakt Systeme on its growth and success and look forward to our future together.”

Main Street Uptown Development LLC plans to construct a new three-story, mixed-use building at 101 E. Main Street in downtown Bay City. The completed project will include commercial space on the first floor and 30 market-rate residential units on the second and third floors. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.6 million and create three full-time equivalent jobs, and is strategically located within walking distance to the YMCA, local restaurants, the riverfront boardwalk and Bay City’s traditional downtown. As a result, the project has been awarded a $575,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The city of Bay City has supported the project through significant infrastructure and aesthetic improvements on the site and in the surrounding area.

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.