The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) in Lansing announced Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of a wide range of new projects, that, in total, could create 1,869 jobs and generate more than $550 million in investment in the state.
Projects include three Magna expansions in southeast Michigan, a Utah-based electric vehicle manufacturer bringing its headquarters and 300 high-wage jobs to Auburn Hills, community revitalization projects in Chelsea and the village of Shelby, infrastructure and placemaking improvements around the state, and actions that grow opportunities for Michigan’s small manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
Three expansions by Magna International Inc. are expected to generate a capital investment of more than $526 million and create 1,569 jobs, further boosting Michigan’s leadership in future mobility.
Magna is mobility technology company and one of the largest suppliers in the automotive industry. It makes everything from seats to powertrains and is the only auto supplier to build complete vehicles.
Magna’s products include body, chassis, exterior, seating, powertrain, active driver assistance, electronics, mechatronics, mirrors, lighting, and roof systems. The products the company manufactures can be found on most vehicles today. Michigan is Magna’s U.S. corporate home and the state with their largest U.S. footprint. Magna operates 32 facilities in Michigan and employs more than 10,000 Michiganders.
The company today announced three expansion projects in Michigan, including:
Magna Electric Vehicle Structures-Michigan Inc., St. Clair – The company has recently secured a new contract to supply battery trays for electric propulsion vehicles produced in the Midwest. To house the new business, Magna will need to expand at its St. Clair facility, where it will create an additional 920 jobs and make an additional investment of $426.6 million.
To support this project, the MSF approved an amendment to the company’s previously approved Michigan Business Development Program grant from $1.5 million to $7.5 million and a 15-year, 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment (SESA) exemption for the company valued at up to $6.3 million for its $287.5 million eligible investment.
Magna Powertrain of America, Shelby Township – The company has been awarded new business from an existing customer to manufacture internal components for battery trays of electric vehicles and plans to lease an existing facility in Shelby Township, where it will invest $96.1 million and create 159 jobs, supported by a $1.3 million MBDP grant.
Magna Seating of America, Highland Park – The company plans to bring in new assembly equipment for the frame lines and redeploy equipment from its sub-supplier at its facility in Highland Park. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3.7 million and create 490 jobs, supported by a $2.9 million MBDP grant.
“With our unmatched capabilities across our product areas, we continue to work with our customers to help them meet their mobility needs,” says Eric Wilds, chief marketing and sales officer at Magna. “We are excited to be able to bring new business, more investment and additional jobs to Michigan and we thank the state for its support.”
Historic Renovation in downtown Chelsea
Chelsea Rockwell plans to renovate a long-vacant three-story historic building in downtown Chelsea. The Chelsea Rockwell building was constructed in 1909 and operated as a stove manufacturing warehouse and was used over the decades for other industrial uses.
When completed, the project will include 51 market-rate apartments, supported by a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.8 million and is expected to serve as a catalyst for additional revitalization in the community and bring walkability and increased foot traffic to downtown Chelsea.
The Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also received MSF approval of $239,891 in state tax capture for the reimbursement of brownfield activities at the site. The city of Chelsea is supporting the project through the approval of the local tax capture and a Commercial Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $658,000.
A $463,140 Brownfield Grant has also been awarded by EGLE. The city of Chelsea is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
“The city of Chelsea is excited to learn about the $1.5 million MCRP Performance-based Grant Award awarded to the Chelsea Rockwell project,” says Roy Atkinson, Chelsea city manager. “This project will renovate a long-time vacant former industrial building into 51 residential rental units, activate over 43,000 square feet of space in downtown Chelsea and result in a total capital investment of over $8.8 million. The city and the community are looking forward to this project.”
Support for placemaking projects around Michigan will boost economic vitality in communities impacted by COVID-19
Public Gathering Spaces
Seven local units of government around Michigan have been awarded a total $4.8 million in grant funding for the expansion or creation of public gathering spaces in their communities.
Approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund to support MEDC’s strategic focus on innovative placemaking and continue to help communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the Public Gathering Spaces Initiative utilizes $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars to support investments that support the creation and expansion of public gathering spaces that allow residents to gather, relax, celebrate, and commemorate safely together.
The cities of Big Rapids, Ionia, McBain, Roscommon, the villages of Calumet, Kingsley, and Shelby received grant funding of $1 million, $440,000, $750,000, $919,780, $280,000, $1 million, and $415,290 respectively.
The township of Shelby has been awarded $2.2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Peterson Farms Housing Infrastructure project in Oceana County. Peterson Farms, established in 1984 as a tart cherry growing operation in Shelby, is the market leader in the U.S. of processing Midwest-grown fruits. The company employs more than 1,000 people and is the largest employer in Oceana County.
Peterson Farms recently constructed nine apartment buildings with 52 rental units in Shelby to provide available and affordable housing to its workers. The apartments offer amenities including park areas, free transportation services, and daycare. The apartments currently use a private well system, which has been deemed at risk of contamination by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, & Energy.
To retain the affordable housing and provide safe water to its residents, the township of Shelby is requesting the CDBG funds to extend the municipal water service to the housing units. The project will include a 2.71-mile water main extension and a booster station, at an estimated total cost of $3.1 million. Under the national objective criteria, the project is required to lease 27 of the 52 units to low- to moderate-income individuals.
“The Shelby Township board is extremely thankful for the partnership with MEDC, EGLE, and MDARD. This partnership came together to create a solution to support the largest employer in Oceana County and provides a solution for low- and moderate-income housing in a rural county,” says Marilyn Glovser, Shelby Township board member. “This housing contributes significantly to the economic impact of both the County and Michigan agriculture.”
The MSF also approved $14.7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Water-Related Infrastructure (WRI) grants for nine communities to make water-related infrastructure improvements.
The purpose of the program is to accelerate economic development and assist low- and moderate-income communities in making necessary health and safety improvements or upgrades to their existing water, sewer, and wastewater public infrastructure systems.
Communities will use the grants to improve or replace water lines, water mains,] and related facilities, wastewater treatment plants, and sanitary and storm sewer lines and related facilities.
Under the national objective criteria, projects were required to be located in CDBG low- to moderate-income communities and contribute a minimum cash match of 10 percent of total project costs.
The communities receiving grants are Clare, Evart, Dowagiac, Hillsdale, Imlay City, Iron River, Lapeer, Reading, and Reed City.
In addition, MSF approved up to $450,000 in CDBG funds to provide administrative services to assist the communities with the compliance and administrative requirements of the awards.