©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

MEDC Assists in Development of Michigan's Core Communities

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

January 16, 2000

Contact: Kathleen McMahon
(517) 335-4590

MEDC Assists in Development of Michigan’s Core Communities
More Than $9 Million Awarded From the Core Communities Fund to Seven Development Projects

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) awarded more than $9 million in Core Communities Funds to assist seven development projects in six Michigan communities.

Funding these projects will generate more than $110 million in private sector investment.The MEDC received 19 proposals for funding requesting $47.8 million.Many of the awards are in the form of loans to leverage the fund’s resources for future projects.

“This fund was designed to revitalize Michigan’s traditional centers of commerce,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The projects approved today will help some of the largest communities in Michigan improve their infrastructure.It is our hope that these investments will make our core communities more livable and reduce pressures on sprawl.”

Eighty-eight core communities and those municipalities awarded a SmartZone designation are eligible to apply for Core Communities Funds.Following an extensive evaluation by the MEDC, these seven projects were chosen for the first quarter of funding:

  • City of Battle Creek($1,044,000): The award will support the expansion of the Fort Custer Industrial Park.Fort Custer Industrial Park encompasses a total of 3,000 acres on the west side of Battle Creek.As a result of its past success, the park’s inventory of available fully serviced industrial sites will be reduced substantially by the end of 2001.The community will use the funds to make infrastructure improvements to a 62-acre area within the park.The infrastructure improvements include road, storm sewer and water main construction.
  • City of Detroit($1,000,000):The City currently retains title to approximately 43,000 parcels within its municipal boundaries. Unfortunately, many of the parcels have a defective title.This title difficulty has proven to be a substantial impediment to redevelopment efforts within the City.The funding will support a new initiative to implement a comprehensive, systematic approach to clearing title disputes.It is estimated that 1,800 parcels will be cleared over a one-year period.
  • City of Detroit($2,500,000): The award will assist the City of Detroit in developing a new I-94 Industrial Park.The project will result in the location of new industrial facilities in an area of the City that has experienced disinvestment due to a lack of suitable development sites.The funding will be used to demolish structures standing in the project area and for infrastructure needs.The funding will help to significantly increase the number of marketable industrial properties.The industrial park will be home to approximately 2.2 million square feet of new, modern industrial facilities and will generate an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 jobs within the designated I-94 Renaissance Zone.
  • City of Grand Rapids ($2,500,000): North of downtown Grand Rapids, along the east side of the Grand River, is a 114 acre area of primarily older industrial buildings.For a number of years, much of the area was vacant or underutilized as a result of obsolete multi-story industrial buildings and environmentally contaminated properties.The City of Grand Rapids will use the funds for further development of the Monroe North District.The Core Communities funds will help spur riverfront redevelopment north of the new Convention Center.The funds will assist in building a 500-space public parking facility to replace existing parking on the waterfront sites and expand parking capacity.A portion of the funds will be used for improvements to adjacent sidewalks and streets.
  • City of Kalamazoo ($1,000,000): The award will support the construction of a new 29,000 square foot grocery store and retail complex on the former Kalamazoo Label site and a freestanding daycare facility on the former Lockshore Dairy site.The $5 million project, which is expected to create 30 jobs, will include land acquisition, building demolition and removal and infrastructure improvements.
  • City of Lansing($770,000): The award will assist the City in acquiring the Boys Training School Property from the State of Michigan to initiate private development.The plan is to develop market rate housing on the site with an emphasis on home ownership.The 24.6-acre site has been vacant and unused for more than 30 years.It is estimated that over $30 million in private investment would be made to complete the project.
  • City of Saginaw($325,000):The City of Saginaw will use the funding for part of a $6.5 million riverfront development project.The project includes acquiring an abandoned industrial packaging facility along the Saginaw River and building a two-story, 60,000 square foot office building.The Core Communities Funds will be used to acquire property and demolish structures.

Established through a $50 million appropriation from the State Legislature, the Core Communities Fund’s goals include:

  • Promoting private investment and job creation;
  • Encouraging mixed-used development in our central cities;
  • Redeveloping or reusing obsolete building or non-marketable sites;
  • Effectively competing for interstate and international projects;
  • Developing Certified Business or Technology Parks; and
  • Enhancing the quality of life and strengthening the economic base while reducing urban sprawl.

Funding is available for projects in one of the three categories:

  • Economic Development:These projects must involve the creation of new, full-time jobs as a result of the improvements or development of a certified business park.
  • Community Product Development:These projects are indirectly associated with a private development project and will help create an environment for successful projects and contribute to the community’s quality of life.
  • Certified Technology Parks:Funds can be used for communities that have been awarded a SmartZone designation to finance or expedite the zone’s development.

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.