©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Five companies to invest $26.3 million, add 195 jobs in West Michigan

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kathy Fagan


LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced that five companies were approved for incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund through the Michigan Business Development and Community Revitalization Programs to support their expansions in the state. The projects are expected to generate up to $26.3 million in investments and add 195 new jobs in Michigan.   

“These five companies are demonstrating that Michigan can compete with any state in the country as a great place to grow a business, said Michael A. Finney, MEDC President and CEO. These projects will strengthen and further revitalize the West Michigan region and help growing companies in a variety of industries generate new job opportunities.”   

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved incentives for the following projects:   

Arcadia Brewing Company, a microbrewery, winemaker and restaurant, and Enmar, LLC, a real estate holding company, plan to redevelop and locate into a new 30,000 square-foot pub, production facility, brew house and eatery on 2.6 acres of riverfront property in the City of Kalamazoo. Arcadia Brewing Company has been awarded a $575,000 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant based on capital investment of up to $2.3 million. Enmar, LLC has been awarded a $425,000 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant based on capital investment of up to $3.2 million. The project is expected to create 42 permanent jobs. The City of Kalamazoo is offering financial and infrastructure support to the project.   

ArcticAx US, a molecular diagnostic company that commercializes genetic markers for the testing of diseases, has been awarded a $220,000 Business Development Program incentive to open a new operation in the City of Grand Rapids. The facility will be used initiallyfor patient testing of the company’s Macula Risk product, a test that can determine whether an individual is at risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration, which causes partial or total blindness. The company expects to invest up to $1.9 million and create 28 new jobs as a result of the project. The City of Grand Rapids will consider a property tax abatement to support the project. 

Blue Star 2, LLC is part of Prairie Real Estate Group, a commercial real estate development and management company. Blue Star 2 has been awarded a $595,000 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to completely renovate and lease the building located at 376 Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor. The finished space will include commercial and/or retail space and loft style apartments. The project is expected to create approximately 20 permanent full-time jobs, with a total capital investment of up to $2.4 million.   

Ionia Ventures, LLC, under the direction of 616 Development, a real-estate firm focusing on revitalizing unused spaces in downtown Grand Rapids, has been awarded a $361,500 Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to rehabilitate two buildings in downtown Grand Rapids.  The project will transform the properties into one mixed-use building that will include a restaurant on the first floor, office space on the second floor and apartments on the top three floors.  The project is expected to create 35 permanent full time jobs, and a capital investment of more than $6 million.   

Quality Edge, Inc., a manufacturer of aluminum and steel residential building products such as soffits, fascia, drip edges, gutter protection and siding, has been awarded a $310,000 Business Development Program incentive to expand its operations to include a new metal roof product line in the City of Walker. The company proposes to invest up to $10.5 million and create an additional 70 new jobs as a result of the expansion. The City of Walker has offered a $149,000 12-year tax abatement in support of the project.   

Signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in December, the Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.    

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.   

The Michigan Business Development Program replaces the state’s previous MEGA program that was a feature of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax restructuring legislation approved and signed into law by Snyder in May 2011.   

The Michigan Community Revitalization Program provides grants, loans, or other economic assistance of up to $10 million to projects that will revitalize regional urban areas, act as a catalyst for additional investment in a community, reuse vacant or historic buildings and promote mixed use and sustainable development.   

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership serving as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, focuses on helping grow Michigan's economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganBusiness.org