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• New grocery store on Flint’s north side will bring access to fresh foods to local residents • Support for Ford Ion Park demonstrates state’s commitment to leadership in electric vehicle R&D and manufacturing • Former Northland Mall in Southfield to be renovated into new mixed-use project, including new Hudson City Market • New much-needed spec industrial facility, community revitalization projects around state win MSF approval
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund approval for a wide range of projects, including a new global battery center, an urban grocery store in Flint, a new logistics park in Highland Park and community revitalization projects in Southfield, Grayling and Zeeland along with other actions that will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy. The projects supported today represent a total capital investment of nearly $700 million in communities across the state.
“Today’s actions show our continued focus on jumpstarting Michigan’s economy by supporting our residents, building on our state’s automotive strengths, and supporting vibrant communities across Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “Through these significant investments, we can position the state for future prosperity and build back our economy stronger than ever before.”
New spec industrial building will bring in-demand, move-in ready facility, help attract new businesses to Highland Park
The Means Logistics Park Redevelopment Project will redevelop an underutilized 20-acre site and construct a new 446,500-square-foot speculative light industrial/warehouse distribution facility in the city of Highland Park. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $38 million, and when the facility is fully leased it will have the potential to support efforts that could employ up to 300 full-time equivalent workers. In addition, the project will bring high-quality, readily-available space that can be used to attract businesses to the region. Completion of the project will also bring additional investment and tax revenue to the neighborhood and city.
The City of Highland Park Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $5.7 million in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site, making it suitable for redevelopment. The city of Highland Park is supporting the project through the local portion of the brownfield work plan valued at $8.9 million. Highland Park is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
Market analysis has repeatedly shown that move-in ready sites in the 200,000- to 500,000- square-foot range are in demand. Currently, there are no vacant facilities like the Means Logistics Park larger than 160,000 square feet available in metro Detroit.
Community Revitalization Projects Create Vibrant Communities, Attract Talent
The Former Northland Mall Redevelopment Project seeks to develop 14 new mixed-use buildings, including a new city market, on the site of the former Northland Mall in the city of Southfield. The project will also include the rehabilitation and reactivation of a portion of the existing mall, and the new buildings will be constructed throughout the site, filling in much of the existing massive parking lot. Much-needed workforce housing will be provided throughout the development and nine of the buildings will include commercial and retail space.
As part of the project, the former J.L. Hudson Co. store located at the mall, once the largest branch department store in the world, will be returned to use as the Hudson City Market, a food-and-goods marketplace that will be filled with dining and entertainment options. The project will also include public infrastructure improvements, including lighting, sidewalks, and more.
The overall project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $402.5 million, ultimately supporting the creation of the 500 new, full-time equivalent jobs, and will revitalize an underutilized site into high-quality commercial space and housing. The project will improve density and walkability in the area and is expected to serve as a catalyst for future development.
The City of Southfield Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $26 million in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. In addition, the city is contributing the local portion of the work plan valued at $35.4 million. The project is at a priority redevelopment site for the city of Southfield, which is making a total commitment of approximately $49.3 million in direct support to the project. This consists of predevelopment activities totaling $22.8 million which includes previously completed eligible activities totaling $4.1 million. The city has also agreed to provide future funding for eligible activities completed by the developer estimated at approximately $20.1 million and $2.3 million in future city eligible activity costs. The city of Southfield is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program.
“We are thrilled to be moving the Northland redevelopment project further closer to fruition,” said Southfield Mayor Dr. Ken Siver. “Northland City Center, LLC’s vision for this property closely aligns with the city’s and we are confident that they will exceed all expectations. We are collectively grateful to the state of Michigan for the economic development incentives that will help to make it a reality. I believe that this dynamic and forward-thinking mixed-use redevelopment will be a major economic driver for the entire state of Michigan and serve as a model for other communities across the country.”
GL Rentals, LLC plans to construct a new two-story, mixed-use building in the heart of downtown Zeeland. The project will be an addition to an existing building and when completed, will include commercial space on the first floor that will allow for the expansion of a longstanding small business, as well as residential apartment space on the second floor. The project is the second phase of a two-phase project of redeveloping underutilized and vacant lots in downtown Zeeland. The first phase, located at 244 E. Main Ave., was successfully completed and resulted in office space and residential units.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1.9 million and will bring needed housing and increased vibrancy to a vacant site in downtown Zeeland. The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a $500,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Zeeland is supporting the project with a 10-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $102,267. The city of Zeeland is also engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
Sawmill Lofts, LLC plans to replace two vacant buildings in downtown Grayling with a new, five-story mixed-use development. The project will include 42 residential rental apartments including studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as commercial space on the first floor and will also include the improvement of public space through new sidewalks and improved streetscape features.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $11.1 million and will bring much-needed housing to the heart of downtown Grayling. In 2015, the MSF supported the attraction of a new particleboard manufacturing plant for Arauco North America, which was expected to result in the creation of 250 new jobs for the area. The new jobs created a housing shortage to an area that was already experiencing an increased demand. This project will not only help revitalize Grayling’s residential rental market, it will also bring new density and walkability to the downtown and serve as a catalyst for future economic activity.
The MSF today approved a $4.4 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based equity investment in support of the project. In addition, the Crawford County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $527,123 in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. The city is supporting the project with the local portion of the brownfield work plan estimated at $756,266, as well as a 15-year Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax abatement valued at approximately $955,027. The city also donated an adjacent parcel of property to provide parking space for future residential and commercial tenants. The city of Grayling is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
North Flint Food Market will bring healthy foods options to area residents
The North Flint Food Market project will result in a new co-op urban grocery store development located at the corner of Pierson and Clio Roads on the north side of Flint. When completed, the project will include a full-service grocery store intended to provide reliable access to fresh foods to residents of the community. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $7 million and create 27 permanent, full-time equivalent jobs, and will promote walkable communities by filling in long-vacant space, which will drive additional foot traffic to the area. The project also addresses the food desert currently being experienced on the north end of Flint.
The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $1.25 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Flint is providing $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds in support of the project. Flint is engaged with MEDC’s RRC program.
To read the full announcement on the North Flint Food Market, visit here.
Support for new battery center of excellence underscores Michigan’s leadership in advanced mobility and manufacturing
Ford Motor Company has proposed to invest approximately $100 million to create its state-of-the-art battery research facility, Ion Park, at an existing facility in Romulus. This investment would include the purchase and renovation of the existing building on the site to support product development and manufacturing process research related to vehicle battery applications. To support this investment, the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a transfer of the existing Renaissance Zone to Ford. Today's action allows the company to utilize the Renaissance Zone support for the remaining four years of the designation. The Zone has been in effect since January 1, 2011 and is set to expire December 31, 2025.
To read the full announcement on Ford’s investment in Romulus, visit here.
The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved Request For Proposal factors and members of the JEC for the Broadband Infrastructure Mapping Project.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed that broadband connectivity is critical in accessing telework opportunities, telehealth, and distance learning. This project will create a field-validated map(s) of the State of Michigan’s broadband infrastructure assets located in public easements and availability capable of delivering high-speed connections. The map(s) will be useable by the CDBG program, communities, regions, the state, and internet service providers as a first step in making informed decisions regarding the efficient expansion of broadband service throughout the state. The project will require highly skilled personnel to travel, record and map an estimated 65,000 road miles including rural areas of the state. This project will be able to validate, document, and ultimately map all broadband infrastructure assets capable of delivering high-capacity broadband service.
“The projects approved by the MSF Board today reflect our commitment to taking a holistic, people-first approach to economic development while securing Michigan’s leadership in the industries that will drive our economy into the future,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “Our economic momentum here in Michigan continues to gain speed as we build back an economy that is more diversified, resilient and equitable than ever before.”
For more information visit michiganbusiness.org/broadband.
In addition, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved the following items:
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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