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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Expansion of complete metal solutions company in Wright Township expected to generate $7 million in investment ‚óŹ Community revitalization projects in Cheboygan, Kalamazoo, Linden will revitalize underutilized spaces, bring vibrancy to downtowns

Photo courtesy of DeWys Manufacturing

Photo courtesy of DeWys Manufacturing

LANSING, Mich. – Four projects expected to generate a total investment of $17.9 million and create 73 jobs in Michigan 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 DeWys Manufacturing to expand in Michigan rather than in another state means good jobs for our residents and demonstrates the strength of our state’s manufacturing and engineering talent pool,” Mason said.

DeWys Manufacturing, Inc., founded in 1977 in West Michigan, is a complete metal solutions company focused on precision sheet metal fabrication, powder coating, product assembly and contract manufacturing. The company serves a wide range of industries including office furniture, power generation, life sciences, medical equipment and commercial equipment. DeWys Manufacturing has quickly outgrown its current main facility and plans to consolidate two other location into its existing facility in Wright Township (Ottawa County). This project is expected to generate a total private investment of $7 million over three years, while creating 41 critical jobs and career opportunities. As a result, the company has been awarded a $267,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“The grant provides additional leverage to expand in our state,” said DeWys Manufacturing CEO Jon DeWys.

Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Memphis, TN. Wright Township is proposing a property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with DeWys Manufacturing and team member education at its DeWys University should visit

“The earlier a company reaches out, the better we can help problem solve, make connections and streamline the expansion process,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Congratulations to DeWys Manufacturing on their growth, to Wright Township on the great manufacturing jobs being created locally, and to the partners involved who creatively identified solutions to enable this expansion in West Michigan.”

Cheboygan Main Street LLC plans to redevelop a functionally obsolete building in the heart of downtown Cheboygan into approximately 5,880 square feet of a new mixed-use development. The project will redevelop the commercial space into three new businesses including the first-ever Stormy Kromer retail store, a theater and lounge along with a chocolate shop. The second story will be renovated into three market-rate residential apartments. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment in the amount of $902,800 and create seven permanent full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $417,500 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant.

Local support for the project includes a Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at approximately $38,280, along with $2,000 for façade improvements from the city of Cheboygan Downtown Development Authority. The city of Cheboygan is engaged with the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program and has recently been chosen as a select level Michigan Main Street Community.

Jim Gilmore, Jr. Foundation plans to renovate an underutilized three-story building in downtown Kalamazoo that was originally constructed in 1844 as an opera house. The project will enhance first-floor office and retail space and convert the upper two floors to residential space, adding 26 studio and one-bedroom apartments to the core of downtown. Additionally, the project will make streetscape improvements, including the addition of a snowmelt system to the public sidewalks. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $5.5 million and will activate currently vacant space, adding vibrancy and increasing the taxable value of this downtown property. The MSF today approved a $487,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project.

In addition, the City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $423,459 in local and school tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. The city of Kalamazoo is certified with MEDC’s RRC program.

Wax Real Estate Holdings LCC plans to redevelop the Union Block in downtown Linden. The project will revitalize the vacant and contaminated site into a new two-story commercial building containing four commercial and office units. The building, as designed, would address underserved markets such as retail and office space and serve as a catalyst for further growth. The project is expected to result in a total capital investment in the amount of $4.5 million along with the creation of approximately 25 permanent full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $723,975 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant.

Local support for the project includes the approval of a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $289,058 by the city of Linden. The city of Linden is engaged with the MEDC’s 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.