©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Agricultural Renaissance Zone Designated in Grand Rapids

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Jennifer Kopp-Owens
(517) 335-4590

Keebler Plant Retained Due to New Zone

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture announced the designation of a 22-acre Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone in the city of Grand Rapids today.The State Administrative Board recently approved the designation of the zone that is home to the Keebler agricultural processing facility.

The 15-year tax-free designation is expected to retain 390 jobs, create 43 new jobs and spur $35 million in private investment by the Keebler Company.

“Renaissance Zones have proven to be an excellent tool for economic development in Michigan,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The benefits offered by the zones are often the deciding factor for companies to locate and grow in Michigan.”

Keebler is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kellogg Company.The Grand Rapids plant processes and produces toaster pastries and cookies.Before the Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone was discussed, Kellogg had planned to close the plant to cut costs when the company acquired Keebler in March 2001.Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones are geographical areas designated as tax-free for eligible agricultural processing companies who plan to build a new facility or significantly improve an existing facility within the zone.

The MEDC is responsible for reviewing and recommending the Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones and coordinating proposals with the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

"This zone designation has proven instrumental in helping the state retain this important food processor and not only maintain, but expand, a significant market for Michigan farmers," said Dan Wyant, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture."Kellogg's Keebler plant currently purchases more than $12 million of Michigan agricultural commodities, including flour, sugar and fruit fillings, annually.This investment will help fuel the state's agriculture economy by maintaining diversified markets and ensuring the plant's role in adding value to these commodities."

There are currently four Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones throughout the state in Hart, Lake Odessa, Shelby and the latest designation in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.