Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Paul Krepps, MEDC
Better Access to Help Former Performance Auto Site Realize Potential
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced state assistance to increase the height of a Benton Harbor bridge, a move that paves the way for redevelopment of several properties on the Paw Paw River including the former Performance Automotive manufacturing site. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved state and local brownfield tax capture valued at $1.8 million to support the bridge project.
"There is significant economic opportunity, just waiting to happen, on this riverfront," Granholm said. "Raising the bridge will allow larger boats again on the Paw Paw River making these sites more desirable for investors and leading to new job and recreational possibilities."
The former Performance Auto site property is located near the intersection of West Main Street and Riverview Drive. Whirlpool Corporation is partnering with the city of Benton Harbor, the local economic development organization, Cornerstone Alliance and developers on strategies to enhance the economic potential of the entire region.
"This project holds a lot of potential for Benton Harbor's economy, especially with Whirlpool and Cornerstone supporting the effort," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "We look forward to working with everyone involved as these development strategies take shape, with the goal of creating new jobs in the community."
The Benton Harbor project is among 10 economic development projects announced by the Governor today. In all, they are expected to create and retain a total of 9,983 Michigan jobs, including 2,229 directly by company expansions and redevelopments.
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused plan for achieving a powerhouse economy. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 53,857 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
Cornerstone Alliance Chairman James E. Tomczyk said, "The brownfield credits will help unlock a significant amount of developable land resulting in the creation of jobs and additional tax base for the local community and the entire region. Through partnering with the local government units and the MEDC, the proposed project will truly impact the future of Michigan's Great Southwest."
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.