©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Governor Announces 9,000 New Michigan Jobs, Companies Investing $468.3 Million to Grow in State

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bridget Beckman, MEDC
(517) 335-4590 beckmanb1@michigan.org

LANSING– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has approved projects around the state, including one of the largest life sciences investments in Michigan’s history.  MPI Research Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive preclinical research and development services, will invest in Mattawan and Kalamazoo. Other projects include BAE Systems in Sterling Heights, Von Weise Inc. in Eaton Rapids, and two brownfield redevelopment projects in Grand Rapids and Huron Township. Combined, the projects are expected to create and retain a total of 9,013 jobs and involve approximately $468.3 million in new capital investment in the state.

“We worked hard to win these investments for Michigan, and we will continue to go anywhere and do anything to bring new jobs to our state,” Granholm said.  “These companies are growing jobs here because our state has an outstanding workforce, a competitive business climate, and a great place to do business.”

The five projects announced today are:

  • MPI Research Inc.:The provider of comprehensive preclinical research and development services is planning a $330 million expansion in Mattawan and Kalamazoo.  The project is expected to create 3,300 new jobs at the company and an additional 3,300 spin-off jobs. MPI will invest approximately $300 million to expand its facility in Mattawan and $30 million to launch new operations in Kalamazoo at two buildings donated by Pfizer on E. Lovell and Portage streets contingent upon final agreements between Pfizer, the city of Kalamazoo and MPI Research.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a state tax credit valued at $86 million over 15 years to secure the company’s investment.  The MEDC supports a Renaissance Zone designation, as well as a $2 million, 21st Century Jobs Fund grant to Western Michigan for redevelopment activities at the Kalamazoo site. Through the transportation economic development fund, the Michigan Department of Transportation will provide funding for improvements at or near the I-94 interchange that are necessary to accommodate the traffic generated by MPI’s expansion.  Local match requirements will be provided by the village of Mattawan. The city of Kalamazoo will contribute $150,000 toward environmental due diligence and infrastructure analysis.
  • BAE Systems: The global defense and aerospace companyis launching a $58.4 million expansion project for its Land & Armaments operating group in Sterling Heights.  The project is expected to create 460 new engineering and high-tech jobs at the company and an additional 559 spin-off jobs.  BAE Systems plans to convert an existing large industrial property in the city into a state-of-the-art prototyping and test facility.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a state tax credit valued at $22.1 million over 14 years to secure the company’s investment.  In addition, the MEDC has approved a $460,000 Economic Development Job Training grant to train new hires.  The city of Sterling Heights has proposed a 12-year abatement worth $4.6 million to support the project.
  • Von Weise Inc.: The global manufacturer of gear motors, linear actuators, blowers, starters and other industrial applications plans to relocate its Indiana and Missouri operations to its facility in Eaton Rapids.  The company will transfer approximately $4 million worth of equipment to Eaton Rapids and will invest $3.3 million in new equipment over the next five years.  The expansion will create 364 new Michigan jobs, including 159 directly by the company.  Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board today approved a state tax credit valued at more than $1.1 million over seven years to win the company’s investment.  In addition, the MEDC is expected to approve an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant for machinery and equipment purchase.  Eaton Rapids has approved a 12-year abatement valued at approximately $139,000 to support the project.
  • WayneCounty Brownfield Redevelopment Authority: State and local tax capture will be used by Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to support the development of the $72 million Pinnacle Race Course on 240 acres at Interstate 275 near Sibley Road in HuronTownship.  Ground was broken April 4 for Phase 1 of what will be Michigan’s only thoroughbred racetrack when it begins racing July 18.  When completed, Pinnacle will feature two tracks, grandstands, picnic area, clubhouse, horse barns and grooms’ quarters.  Total capacity is estimated at 8,000, with 1,200 horse stalls located on site.  Future growth on the remaining 80 acres of the site will consist of retail and/or commercial development.  The project is expected to create over 1,000 jobs. 
  • City of Grand Rapids: State and local tax capture valued at $207,277 will assist Third Coast Development Partners LLC in the construction of a single-story, 22,000-square-foot structure at the former Bishop’s Furniture site at 1697 Michigan Street in Grand Rapids.  It will be leased to Spectrum Health for a child care and development center, allowing the hospital to merge current child development activities from two separate locations in the metro area.  The new center is expected to generate $4.6 million private investment and retain 30 jobs.

"All of these projects are the result of successful state and local collaboration and teamwork with our economic development partners around the state to bring these projects to Michigan against some very stiff competition,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century.  Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 235,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.           

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.  For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.  


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