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Tuesday, July 28, 2020
• Bridgewater Interiors expansion in Detroit, Delta Township builds on state’s automotive industry, brings new pathway jobs to state • Community revitalization projects in Detroit leverage vital federal dollars to bring new opportunities for economic growth, local vitality • Additional CARES Act funding approved for community development projects around Michigan
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a business expansion by a Tier 1 auto supplier and two community revitalization projects, actions that signal continued economic recovery in Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The MSF Board also approved amendments to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program guidelines to be able to utilize $41.9 million in federal CDBG CARES Act funding.
“These projects are helping to lay the groundwork for Michigan’s economic recovery, and demonstrate our continued support for the businesses and community projects that will secure the long-term economic health of our state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The expansion by Bridgewater Interiors means good jobs for our residents and further solidifies our state’s continued leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and mobility.”
Business Growth Brings News Jobs to Detroit, Delta Township
The Michigan Strategic Fund approved an expansion by Bridgewater Interiors, LLC, an automotive seating manufacturing company specializing in just-in-time manufacturing, sequencing and delivery of complete seat systems for various OEMs in the automotive industry. The company is a joint venture between Adient and Epsilon Technologies. In 1998, Bridgewater was founded with one facility in Detroit. As a certified Minority Business Enterprise under the Michigan and National Minority Supplier Development Councils, and as a company that embraces workforce diversity, Bridgewater reports that more than 65 percent of its employees are racial minorities. The company’s Michigan locations are in Detroit, Warren, and Lansing, with more than 1,800 total employees.
Bridgewater is expecting increased demand from several key customers and plans to increase capacity primarily in the city of Detroit and Delta Township. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of approximately $15 million and create up to 400 jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant.
The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting a business in the target industry of mobility and auto manufacturing. In addition, a majority of the jobs created as a result of the project will be entry-level positions, bringing new opportunities to area residents and offering a path to higher-wage jobs.
“Founded in Michigan over 20 years ago, Bridgewater Interiors is pleased to have the opportunity to continue its business growth across the state with this important and extensive project,” said Bridgewater President and CEO Ron Hall. “We highly value our relationship with MEDC, and this collaboration will again enable us to bring good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to many Michiganders.”
Delta Township has offered staff time and resources in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Bridgewater Interiors should visit https://adient.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/External/1/refreshFacet/318c8bb6f553100021d223d9780d30be
Community Revitalization Projects Create Vibrant Communities, Attract Talent
The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved two community revitalization projects in Detroit that are helping to create the vibrant communities that attract talent through innovative placemaking. By contributing to traditional downtown districts and revitalizing public space in geographically disadvantaged areas, these projects are helping to establish attractive places to live, work and play.
The 511 Woodward project will rehabilitate a vacant, obsolete four-story building into a mixed-use retail and office development in the heart of downtown Detroit. When completed, one floor of the building will be occupied by the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a local nonprofit organization that supports workforce development and creative talent. The project will also include public improvements along Woodward Avenue. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $18 million and create 101 full-time equivalent jobs, increasing urban density and providing new commercial attractions for Detroit residents. The project also meets MEDC’s strategic goals of developing attractive places in a geographically disadvantaged area and transforming underutilized properties into product, viable mixed-use developments.
The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a brownfield work plan including state tax capture valued at $1,491,728 to be used for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. Local support of the project includes local participation in the brownfield work plan, valued at $72,414. The development team is also seeking a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act abatement, valued at approximately $846,407. The city of Detroit is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
Jefferson Larned Development Company LLC plans to develop vacant property and the surrounding right of way with a new grocery store and infrastructure improvements along the East Jefferson Corridor of Detroit. When completed, the Jefferson Larned Development Project will consist of a 42,000-square-foot Meijer store and a surface parking lot. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $15.6 million and create 72 full-time equivalent jobs, and will provide healthy food options to area residents, promote walkability, and lead to increased economic activity in the community. The project also aligns with MEDC’s strategic goals of transforming underutilized properties into vibrant areas and developing attractive places and attracting talent through innovative placemaking.
The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a brownfield work plan including state tax capture valued at $573,144 to be used for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. Local support of the project includes local participation in the brownfield work plan, valued at $986,856.
Additional Federal Funding Available to Support Response Efforts to COVID-19
The MSF also approved the 2019 Program Year Action Plan second amendment for the Community Development Block Grant program, which includes incorporating an additional $41.9 million in federal CDBG Coronavirus Response funds into the program to be used for CARES Act CDBG eligible activities.
In May, the MSF Board approved MEDC staff to amend the CDBG PY19 Action Plan to add $20.5 million in COVID funding, which MEDC announced last week will be available to 77 counties across Michigan that didn’t already receive direct CDBG funding from HUD. The funding will allow counties to be reimbursed for unbudgeted expenditures used to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. These counties are also able to request reimbursement for eligible costs incurred by eligible cities, villages, and townships within their jurisdiction. Examples of eligible expenditures include PPE, sanitation equipment, COVID-19 testing, setup of quarantine sites and overtime or hazard pay related to COVID-19 response. These counties are also able to request reimbursement for eligible costs incurred by the eligible cities, villages, and townships within their jurisdiction.
The MSF board also adopted amended program guidelines to the recently approved Michigan Small Business Restart Program, announced earlier in July. The amendment updates the resolution in the Restart program guidelines to reflect recent legislation, House Bill 5265, pending Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.
The amendment request allows for those small businesses that received grants through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund in March, to now be eligible for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program grants. The combined total of both grants cannot be in excess of $20,000.
The deadline for applications is expected to be extended beyond Aug. 5 as a result of today’s action. Additional information on the program will be announced in the coming days.
More than $135 million in federal funds have been deployed by MEDC within the past week, through Michigan Strategic Fund authorization, to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts of communities, small businesses, nonprofits, farms and food processors across the state. In addition to the CDBG CARES Act funding, MEDC announced the following programs:
To date, the MEDC has launched 19 COVID-19 relief and recovery programs supporting more than 3,400 businesses in the state and helping to retain more than 14,700 jobs across all 83 counties. To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for economic reopening efforts as well as businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.
“Today’s projects represent Michigan’s continued commitment to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our state and local communities and showcase the resiliency and ingenuity of our economy and our workforce, despite a global pandemic,” said Mark A. Burton, CEO of the MEDC. “We continue to use every resource possible, including critical federal dollars, to ensure our communities, businesses and workforce across the state are able to not only recover from the effects of this crisis, but be in a position to thrive long term.”
To learn more about MEDC’s COVID-19 response programs and the impact they are having on economic recovery efforts, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19response. Other resources for businesses across Michigan struggling with economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 virus can be found online at michiganbusiness.org/covid19. The MEDC has also developed a FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities at michiganbusiness.org/covid19-faq.
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 www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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