Business expansion, three community development projects bring new investment, jobs to Michigan

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

• Residential and commercial glass/glazing company locating fabricating operations in Comstock Township, creating 20 jobs • Community development projects in Alpena, Boyne City, St. Johns to revitalize underutilized spaces, add vibrancy to downtown



LANSING, Mich. – Four projects expected to generate a total investment of $6.6 million and create 36 jobs in Michigan have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

“We’re continuing to facilitate business growth, revitalize communities and create and more and better jobs for our residents. It is through the effort of public-private partnerships that today’s projects are taking place, and we’re pleased to support those collaborations,” 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 Forman Glass to expand its fabrication operations to Michigan rather than in another state further emphasizes the strength of Michigan’s business environment,” Mason said.

Forman Glass, LLC, headquartered in Comstock Township, is a residential and commercial glass and glazing company providing both commercial and residential clients with many services and solutions, from design conception to occupation. The company has outgrown its current facility in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where it manufactures window and entrance frames for both its Michigan and Indiana customers. The company plans to relocate its current fabrication operations from Ft. Wayne to Comstock Township, where it will construct a new 25,200-square-foot facility that will include warehousing, fabrication and front office space. The project is expected to generate 20 new, highly-skilled jobs and a capital investment of nearly $2 million, resulting in a $100,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) performance-based grant.

“The location of our fabricating facility in Comstock Township will allow us to be close to our customer base and to tap into the highly skilled workforce of Southwest Michigan,” said Richard Phillips, president of Forman Glass. “We’re grateful to Comstock Township, the MEDC and Southwest Michigan First for their guidance as we worked through the process and made this expansion a reality.”

Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Indiana. Comstock Township has offered property tax abatement in support of the project. For information on Forman Glass, visit

The Forman Glass expansion was approved under the Micro MBDP tool, approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund on April 23. The Micro MBDP is designed to promote business growth especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The Micro MBDP will provide grants, loans, or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that have fewer job creation numbers than required by the original MBDP guidelines.

“Southwest Michigan First welcomes Forman Glass to our region. We look forward to the expansion of employment opportunities and manufacturing expertise that these 20 new jobs will bring to Comstock Township,” said Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer and senior partner of Southwest Michigan First. “We thank our partners at Forman Glass, Comstock Township and Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their support throughout this combined project effort.”

The city of Boyne City has been awarded a $408,415 Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) performance-based grant for conversion of the Veteran’s Park Pavilion into a multi-use public space. This renovated space will be 8,000 square feet and will include a commercial kitchen, public seating area, public restrooms and mechanical updates permitting the pavilion for use year-round. The project is intended to facilitate a growing cottage industry in the Boyne City area, providing entrepreneurs a space to create and sell their products while also supporting the city’s farmers market operations. This new pavilion in conjunction with other recent public improvements will make Veteran’s Park a focal point of downtown Boyne City. The project has received local support in matching funds raised from the city of Boyne City, Boyne’s Main Street program, the farmers market, the U.S. Dairy Association, community foundations, Charlevoix County, service clubs and private donors. The city expects this project to result in a capital investment of $816,830.

Canute Properties, LLC, plans to historically redevelop an obsolete building in downtown Alpena into a mixed-use building with commercial and residential space. The commercial space will consist of two new businesses, Red Brick Tap & Barrel restaurant and bar and a commercial incubator kitchen. The second floor will consist of five market-rate residential apartments and a rooftop patio. The project is expected to generate total capital investment of nearly $1.5 million and create 13 full-time equivalent jobs, and will revitalize a functionally obsolete building while bringing new residents and economic activity to the downtown. As a result, the project has been awarded a $622,939 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The city of Alpena is supporting the project with a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone abatement valued at $44,748, and the Alpena Downtown Development Authority is providing $20,000 in grant funds for façade improvements.

FCM Development, LLC, plans to rehabilitate the obsolete FC Mason Building in St. Johns into a mixed-use development. The site will consist of 40 residential units, one commercial space, and a greenspace. FCM has partnered with Consumers Energy to remedy site contamination which was cause for vacancy. The project is expected to generate total capital investment of nearly $2.5 million and create three jobs, while also revitalizing St. Johns by bringing new residents and economic activity to the downtown area. As a result, the project has been awarded a $429,534 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. Local support includes an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $148,243. In addition, the city of St. Johns supports the project as a partner in the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program.

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.