Investment Projects, Housing Developments will Create Over $1 Billion in Investment and 1,000 Jobs in Michigan

MEDC Communications

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today in applauding Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of projects that will enhance communities and provide housing across the state, positioning Michigan to attract projects and population growth. The projects, expected to generate a total capital investment of over $1 billion and create at least 1,000 jobs in Michigan, underscore the state’s commitment to placemaking efforts across the state.

  • Partnership with Henry Ford Health System, Michigan State University, and Pistons Sports and Entertainment to bring new healthcare campus, affordable housing to Detroit’s New Center neighborhood 
  • MSF Designated Renaissance Zone approved for construction of hotel at former Joe Louis Arena site in downtown Detroit 
  • Strategic Site Readiness Program grant awarded to Flint and Genesee Group Foundation for site readiness activities in Mundy Township 
  • Redevelopment of former Michigan Maple Block Factory adding much-needed workforce housing to city of Petoskey 

“Through investing in our communities from Detroit to Petoskey, we are strengthening Michigan’s economy by setting up our communities for success,” said Governor Whitmer. “These projects have the potential to transform spaces and people through the opportunities they provide, underscoring our commitment to ensure that everyone can ‘Make It in Michigan’ and our state thrives for years to come.” 

“Today’s projects continue to demonstrate Team Michigan’s commitment to the ‘Make It in Michigan’ economic development strategy focusing on People, Places and Projects. These projects support Michiganders and bring vibrancy to our places and communities across the state to attract transformative projects,” said Quentin Messer Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature, the MSF Board, and local officials for their continued support and collaboration. Today’s approved projects represent another set of a beginnings and as Team Michigan, our work endeavors to ensure anyone or any business will ‘Make It in Michigan.’” 



Approved Transformational Brownfield Plan to create reimagined Henry Ford Health academic healthcare campus, residential and commercial space in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood 

The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a Transformational Brownfield Plan (TBP) for a reimagined Henry Ford Health academic healthcare and Detroit Pistons shared campus in Detroit, which will include a new, leading edge medical research center alongside three mixed-use residential and commercial buildings, turning Detroit’s New Center neighborhood into a vibrant and walkable destination community. 

The project is a partnership between Henry Ford Health  (HFH), Michigan State University (MSU) and Pistons Sports & Entertainment, LLC, which requested approval of a TBP incentive package alongside the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and valued at more than $231.7 million.  

The TBP includes more than $773 million in investment within Detroit’s New Center neighborhood and the new construction of an eight-story medical research center, the renovation of the One Ford Place office building into a mixed-use building containing residential and commercial space, new construction of two, six-story, mixed-use buildings containing residential and commercial space, and the new construction of a six-story parking garage. All three residential projects will include affordable housing.   

When completed, the project plans to create 662 residential units and 735 jobs and act as a catalyst for economic revitalization in the New Center neighborhood of Detroit, attracting new talent, businesses, and residents to the region. 

Following the approval, Henry Ford Health, the Detroit Pistons and Michigan State University released the following joint statement: 

“The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved an important investment in the revitalization of Detroit and the health and well-being of its residents. Long-standing Michigan community stewards Henry Ford Health, Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons, and Michigan State University have brought the Future of Health development forward as part of a historic partnership to turn Detroit’s New Center neighborhood into a vibrant, walkable community. Together, we will be delivering the future of healthcare with an expanded state-of-the-art hospital and cutting-edge medical research building, combined with mixed-income residential, commercial, retail and recreational components.  

“Today’s approval lays the groundwork to execute the reimagination of our shared campus, creating meaningful economic opportunity and redefining what health and well-being means for the City of Detroit. We appreciate the Michigan Strategic Fund board for their support and understanding of the transformational effect this development will have on our shared neighborhood and the broader region we serve.” 

“This investment in New Center couldn’t be more welcome. From revamping One Ford Place to building hundreds of new residential units, this project will add resources to better serve the neighborhood, and I’m excited that the household names of Henry Ford Health, MSU, and Pistons Sports & Entertainment are investing in our community. This is the kind of smart redevelopment that supports residents and strengthens cities. I’m thrilled it’s taking place here in Detroit,” said state Rep. Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park), who represents New Center. 



MSF Designated Renaissance Zone approved for construction of new 25-story hotel at former Joe Louis Arena site in Detroit 

The MSF Board also approved an MSF Designated Renaissance Zone (MSFRZ) request for a period of 30 years to support the construction of a new 630,000-square-foot, 25-story, convention-style hotel at the former Joe Louis Arena site in downtown Detroit

The development will generate an anticipated capital investment of up to $396.7 million and the creation of approximately 350 new jobs generated by the hotel. When completed, the hotel will feature 600 hotel rooms, two restaurants, and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a lobby bar, market, and fitness center. 

Atwater & Second Associates, LLC, an affiliate of privately held investment and real estate firm Sterling Group, has been identified as the developer for the project. 

“This hotel, connected to the Huntington Place Convention Center, will make a significant impact towards solving the need for more hotel rooms in Detroit. A connected hotel will serve as an economic catalyst for the City and the State of Michigan by attracting large-scale conventions and events that were previously unattainable,” said Danny Samson, chief development officer at Sterling Group. 

The hotel will be linked to the Huntington Place convention center through a pedestrian bridge, filling a critical void by providing accommodations directly connected to the convention center and attracting future hosting opportunities. 

“17 million visitors came to Southeast Michigan in 2023, but even more meetings, conventions, and events want to be in Detroit,” said Claude Molinari, President and CEO of Visit Detroit. “Building a connected hotel to Huntington Place will increase the number of events and visitors we can host, which will mean more businesses thrive, more Detroiters go to work, and we will all benefit from a more dynamic community.” 

The project is anticipated to commence construction mid-2024, becoming a community asset for the city of Detroit and solidifying future tourism and economic impact to the area. 

“The investment the Sterling Group is making in Detroit means growth for the City,” said Hassan Beydoun, Group Executive of Economic Development in the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office. “However, the greatest value of the project is its ability to unlock the full potential of Huntington Place. There is growing interest in Detroit and this project will ensure that we’re able to capitalize on that momentum.” 


Flint and Genesee Group Foundation awarded Strategic Site Readiness Program funds to support site preparation efforts at the Advanced Manufacturing District of Genesee County in Mundy Township 

The MSF board approved a request from the Flint and Genesee Group Foundation for incentive assistance from the Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) to support land acquisition, extension of land options, and site and infrastructure development activities at the Advanced Manufacturing District (AMD) of Genesee County site in Mundy Township

The $9.2 million in approved SSRP support will enable the Flint and Genesee Group Foundation to maintain control over the existing parcels of land and further bolster their capacity to attract business investment in the area.  

“We applaud the MSF Board for its decision to invest in this incredible opportunity for Genesee County and our entire state,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, the executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance. “Today represents a significant step forward in our efforts to attract an employer that would bring thousands of new jobs to our community. We sincerely appreciate our community stakeholders who voiced support during today’s meeting for this important grant and the potential for a once-in-a-generation project here.”    

The AMD of Genesee County is in the heart of Genesee County, a vibrant community centered around the birthplace of General Motors. The area boasts a rich manufacturing heritage, a ready workforce, strong talent pipelines, renowned local universities, and the infrastructure assets an industrial user requires.  

The development of the AMD aims to lead to the creation of thousands more jobs and billions of dollars of investment in Genesee County, further ensuring the local community will be poised to grow as a thriving hub for Michigan’s core economic industries. 


Redevelopment of former Michigan Maple Block Factory adding much-needed workforce housing to city of Petoskey 

The MSF board also approved support for the redevelopment of the former Michigan Maple Block Factory in Petoskey into an eight-building, 204-unit multifamily development, bringing much-needed workforce housing to the local community.  

After over 100 years at the site, the company closed its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. The site has since been vacant and seen as a priority site for redevelopment. Petoskey received certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC) in 2018. The RRC program is a voluntary technical assistance initiative offered through the MEDC to empower communities in shaping their future by building a strong foundation of planning, zoning, and economic development best practices. 

Along with the redevelopment, the community will benefit from the addition of a bike/walking trail on the site’s east side to connect to downtown, as well as an easement to the City on the south end of the property for a pedestrian bridge to be built over the Bear River, serving as a connection to the North Country Trail. 

“Maple Block Flats will supply much-needed housing for Petoskey and the northern Michigan region as a whole,” said Jeff Smoke, managing director and principal for developer Great Lakes Capital. “This is the definition of a true public/private partnership with a multitude of workforce housing incentives being utilized for a project that would otherwise not be developable. We are fortunate to have the support of EGLE, MEDC, MSDHA, Emmet County Brownfield and Land Bank along with of course the City of Petoskey, who has been a strong supporter of this project since day one.” 

The project will be supported by a $2 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based direct loan and state tax capture for Act 381 eligible activities, including lead and asbestos abatement, demolition, preparation, and infrastructure improvements.  

“The City of Petoskey appreciates the ongoing financial investment of the MEDC to support workforce housing initiatives,” said Petoskey City Manager Shane Horn. “This project converts a vacant, blighted industrial site along the Bear River to much needed housing for Petoskey and Emmet County. This project has moved forward due to a collaborative, solution-based approach of all community stakeholders and state partners. The City looks forward to working with the Great Lakes Capital team in completing the revitalization of this beautiful location.” 

The project is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2026. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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