Projects approved today by Michigan Strategic Fund to drive long-term economic growth across Michigan

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

• General Motors investing $7 billion in Lansing, Orion Township, underscoring state’s leadership in electric vehicle R&D and manufacturing • Business expansions bring $314 million in investment to Bay City, Midland • Former Eastland Mall in Harper Woods to be redeveloped into in-demand spec industrial facility • New programs approved to provide support to small, underserved businesses

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund approval for a range of projects, including transformational projects by General Motors, redevelopment of the former Eastland Mall in Harper Woods, business expansions by Dow in Midland and Wilkinson Minerals in Bay City, and other actions that will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy. The projects supported today represent a total capital investment of more than $7.4 billion in Michigan and nearly 6,000 new and retained direct jobs in the state.

“This is a historic day for our state as we secure the largest investment in GM’s history right here in Michigan, create generational opportunities for our workforce, and work together to put Michiganders first,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s MSF approvals will help us continue to invest in Michigan’s economy by expanding on our leadership in the future of mobility and electric vehicles, boosting our inventory of site-ready facilities, and creating thousands of jobs for Michiganders. Together, we can continue growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for Michiganders.”

GM’s expansions in Orion Township, Lansing underscores Michigan’s leadership in advanced mobility and manufacturing, creating 4,000 new jobs

General Motor’s historic investment in Michigan, the largest in company history and includes the construction of the third Ultium battery plant in the U.S., will continue to grow the state’s global leadership in electric vehicle and advanced battery production. The combined investment will result in up to 4,000 new jobs and $6.5 billion in investment supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

General Motors plans to expand at its Orion Township facility to convert part of the site to the production of EV trucks. The company will construct several additions to the facility, renovate certain areas and make site improvements over the next three to five years, along with adding machinery, equipment, and special tooling. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4 billion and create 2,300 jobs. The project will also retain 1,000 jobs.

In addition to MSF support, Orion Township approved PA 198 real property tax abatements.

Through a joint venture with LG Energy Solution, GM plans to construct a new high-volume battery cell manufacturing facility in the city of Lansing and Delta Township for the production of its Ultium batteries. The facility will include a cleanroom environment, machinery and equipment that will allow for the high-volume output necessary to produce cells at this capacity. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $2.5 billion and create 1,700 jobs.

To support these transformational investments, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:

  • A Critical Industry Program grant in the amount of $600 million for the creation of up to 4,000 jobs related to the Orion Township and Ultium projects;
  • An 18-year Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone which will require a minimum investment of $1.5 billion with the potential for up to $2.5 billion, estimated to be worth $158 million;
  • A Strategic Site Readiness Program grant in the amount of $66.1 million awarded to the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) for public infrastructure and utility upgrades.

The MEDC also authorized a State Education Tax abatement to be used in conjunction with the locally approved Orion Township abatement in support of the GM expansion.

In addition to these EV-related investments in Michigan, GM also announced today it is retaining an additional 1,000 jobs in the state and investing more than $510 million in its two Lansing-area vehicle assembly plants to upgrade their production capabilities for near term products. Combined, today’s announcement cements the auto manufacturer’s commitment to creating an all-electric future from within Michigan and grows the state’s momentum as a leader in electric vehicle and advanced automotive manufacturing.

The projects are the first to be approved under the new Critical Industry Program and Strategic Site Readiness Program signed into law by Gov. Whitmer in December, competitive programs that invest in business retention and attraction to complement Michigan’s already undeniable strengths as a state.

“Thanks to the bipartisan support of our new economic development programs, we have the tools necessary to immediately attract and win more large-scale investments like this one that put us in a better position to secure high-paying jobs and supplier and other business opportunities for our 10-million-plus friends and neighbors for decades to come,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair Quentin Messer Jr. “As we continue to attract more investments like these, we look forward to building on this work with our legislative partners, the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration, labor and economic development stakeholders to expand the resources for these programs.”

To read the full announcement on GM’s investments, visit here.

Two business expansions bring more than $300 million in investment to Great Lakes Bay Region

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved business expansion projects by longstanding Michigan companies in Midland and Bay City that, taken together, will generate a total capital investment of at least $314 million and create or retain 880 jobs:

Dow, Inc. is headquartered in Midland and operates more than 100 manufacturing and/or R&D sites in more than 30 countries globally. The company delivers a broad range of science-based products for customers in packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow is investing in its operations in order to best position itself for future growth, and plans to modernize its silicones manufacturing and R&D activities at its facility in Midland. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of at least $150 million and retain 800 jobs.

The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a request from the city of Midland for a 15-year MSF Designated Renaissance Zone in support of the project. The city of Midland is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program.

Dow has been committed to serving as an economic driver in the Great Lakes Bay Region since its founding in 1897 through supporting local nonprofits, schools, community activities and more. The company’s ongoing investments in Michigan have had a significant economic impact on the region and on the state, and this project further cements Dow’s presence and future growth in Michigan. Individuals interested in careers with Dow should visit

Founded in 1948 in Mayville, MI, Wilkinson Minerals is a salt brine mining operation and produces calcium chloride solutions. In 2020, the company purchased a vacant and contaminated site in Bay City, one of the few remaining sites in North America where the brine the company utilizes still exists. The Wilkinson Minerals Redevelopment Project will construct a new salt brine mining facility on the site into six buildings that will support operations related to salt brine mining. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $164 million and create 80 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Bay City Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $4.9 million in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site. Bay City is supporting the project through approval of local tax capture valued at $7.3 million. Bay City is engaged with MEDC’s RRC program.

New spec industrial building will bring in-demand, move-in ready facility, help attract new businesses to Metro Detroit

NP Eastland Commerce Center Industrial, LLC plans to redevelop the 81-acre former Eastland Mall site in the city of Harper Woods. The project will result in the construction of three commercial/light industrial buildings encompassing 1 million square feet and will include infrastructure improvements comprised of curb and gutter improvements, sidewalk improvements, and road repair. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $94 million, and when the facility is fully leased it will have the potential to support efforts that could employ up to 550 full-time equivalent workers.

The City of Harper Woods Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $4.7 million in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site, making it suitable for redevelopment. The city of Harper Woods is supporting the project through the local portion of the brownfield work plan valued at $12,668,748 and approval of a Commercial Redevelopment Act tax abatement valued at $12.2 million. The city of Harper Woods is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.

The project will transform an underutilized property into functional, available space critical for ongoing business attraction and expansion efforts in the region. Completion of the project will also bring additional investment, increased worker traffic, and tax revenue to the neighborhood, city, and local businesses. Market analysis has repeatedly shown that large move-in ready sites are in demand in metro Detroit. Supporting this type of property remains critical to retaining existing companies in the state as they grow and offers opportunities to attract new companies here to Michigan.

New programs to provide support to small and very small businesses

The MSF board also approved the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) Michigan Business Growth Fund 2.0 programs and guidelines to access a minimum of $215.7 million in federal funding allocated to Michigan in 2021 through an American Recovery Plan allocation.

The MSF received a total of $79.6 million in funding through the original SSBCI program in July 2011. The majority of that funding was allocated to the Collateral Support Program (“CSP”) and Loan Participation Program (“LPP”), with the focus of these programs being support for manufacturing companies that were negatively impacted by the great recession. As the economy improved the focus of these programs shifted to supporting business expansion, particularly through new construction financing and support for increased working capital availability. As funding is returned to the MSF as SSBCI supported loans are repaid by borrowers, this funding is recycled and used to support new projects. To date, SSBCI funded CSP and LPP projects have used $143 million to support $606 million in new private sector investment.

Michigan’s SSBCI 2.0 programs include new requirements for support to small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI) and to very small businesses, defined as businesses having 10 employees or less to continue to ensure equity in access to capital for businesses across the state. In addition to continuing to support manufacturing and adding an emphasis on SEDI and small business lending, the programs will now offer support for early-stage funding and technical assistance programming.

Approval of the SSBCI 2.0 guidelines allows the MSF to submit its application for its SSBCI funding to the U.S. Treasury. It is anticipated it could be several months before that funding is received and able to begin implementing SSBCI 2.0. For more information on MEDC’s current Capital Access programs, visit here. More information on the SSBCI 2.0 will be provided there when it becomes available.

Industry 4.0 Request for Proposals

The MSF also approved a Request for Proposals from Michigan nonprofits or units of government to administer $3 million in grants to small manufacturers for Industry 4.0 adoption efforts. The RFP will go live on Wednesday, January 26. For more information, visit here.

“With today’s MSF board actions, we continue to create opportunities for future economic wins in Michigan this year and in years to come. Together, today was another milestone in building a Michigan economy that is more diversified, resilient, and equitable than ever before,” Messer said. “GM’s continued vote of confidence in and commitment to Michigan on this historic economic win for our state and its residents will have a tremendous impact on economic opportunity across our state for decades to come.”

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.