FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2022
Governor Whitmer Announces New Investments to Create Nearly 700 Jobs and Boost Economic Momentum Across Michigan
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce the approval of projects by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), including the expansion of operations of a global producer of aluminum in Cassopolis, the redevelopment of the former GM Warren transmission plant, a community revitalization project in Bay City, and other actions that will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy. The projects approved today represent a total capital investment of $330 million and could create nearly 700 jobs.
“Today’s investment will help us continue to grow Michigan’s economy by creating well-paying jobs for Michigan residents, building on our leadership in mobility, expanding our inventory development-ready facilities and supporting vibrant communities,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan is on the move. Our unemployment rate is 4.4% and we have added 174,000 jobs year over year. Investments like today’s are a testament to what’s possible when we work together to put the people of Michigan first, grow our talented manufacturing workforce, help communities build thriving downtowns, and deliver growth opportunities for innovative companies. Let’s keep growing our economy, creating well-paying jobs and getting things done.
New company brings $150 million in investment and 67 jobs to Cassopolis
Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, LLC recycles aluminum into new aluminum extrusion ingots for a variety of uses. The company’s parent company, Norsk Hydro ASA, is one of the world’s largest aluminum companies with 140 locations in 40 countries.
Hydro plans to build a new facility in the village of Cassopolis where it will bring a new line of products to support the electric vehicle market as well as other applications. The facility will be the first manufacturing operation to be located in the Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology (SMART) Park in Cassopolis. Part of the project will include a new rail spur that will also allow other SMART Park businesses to ship and receive their own materials.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $150 million and create up to 67 new well-paying jobs, supported by $1.5 million in community development block grants. According to the federal requirement, at least 51% of jobs must be filled by people with low or moderate incomes. The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a 15-year state essential services assessment exemption worth $1.7 million in support of the project. Michigan was chosen over competing sites from Indiana, Kentucky and Texas.
“Hydro is pleased to bring its innovative recycling technology to Cassopolis and looks forward to providing new, long-term career opportunities for area residents,” said Trond Gjellesvik, president of Hydro Aluminum Metals USA. “We appreciate the warm welcome we received from the Village of Cassopolis as well as our partners at Midwest Energy & Communications, and we thank the Village and the State of Michigan for their support of our new facility.”
The project will bring 67 above-average-wage manufacturing jobs to a geographically disadvantaged area of the state. The Village of Cassopolis has also approved a property tax reduction in support of the project. Those interested in a career with Hydro should visit https://jobs.hydro.com/Hydro/job/Cassopolis-is-Hiring-MI-49031/790679601.
New spec industrial building will bring in-demand move-in-ready facilities, help attract new business to Metro Detroit
The Warren Transmission Redevelopment Project will redevelop 117 acres that previously housed the former General Motors Warren Transmission Plant in the town of Warren. The project will include the construction of three new 1.4 million square foot buildings that will support tenants in the light industrial, manufacturing, sub-assembly and distribution sectors. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $180 million and, when fully occupied, could result in the creation of 600 full-time equivalent jobs.
“We are honored to partner with the Michigan Strategic Fund, Macomb County and the City of Warren to return the Warren Transmission site to production. We understand the importance and expertise it will take to deliver a successful project,” said Marc Werner, Regional Vice President at NorthPoint Development. “The City of Warren has been instrumental in working with NorthPoint to provide us with opportunities to help us provide pro-business solutions for the community.”
The City of Warren Brownfields Redevelopment Authority today received approval from MSF for a state tax garnishment worth $7,271,381 to be used to reimburse brownfields activities on the site. The city is supporting the project through a local tax abatement worth $10.8 million and a 12-year property tax abatement worth $12.6 million .
The activation of 1.4 million square feet of industrial space is key to addressing the shortage of space in Metro Detroit and across the state. Market analysis has repeatedly shown that move-in ready sites in the 200,000 to 500,000 square foot range are in demand. Supporting this type of ownership remains critical to retaining existing businesses in the state as they grow and provides opportunities to attract new businesses here in Michigan.
“There’s so much interest in the Detroit area, we just need more move-in ready sites,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “Warren ownership gives companies access to the kind of talent, infrastructure and supply chain they need to thrive. This project reflects the creative redevelopment needed to return industrial sites to productive use and better position this region to attract jobs and investment.
The community revitalization project will renovate two historic buildings in downtown Bay City into needed housing, a reactivated food court
The 1108 Water Street project will redevelop two historic buildings adjacent to downtown Bay City. When complete, the development will include first floor space to be occupied by North Peak Brewing Company and Kilkenny Irish Pub, with three loft-style apartments on the second floor.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4.8 million and lead to the creation of 30 full-time equivalent jobs. When completed, it will contribute to the vibrancy, density and walkability of historic downtown Bay City. The project will use historic federal tax credits to restore two buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and revitalize underutilized properties into much-needed housing as well as reactivate a former vacant restaurant.
The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a $1.5 million performance-based grant for Michigan’s Community Revitalization Program. Bay City is supporting the project through a 12-year program Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act property tax abatement valued at $871,787. Bay City is engaged with MEDC Communities Ready for Redevelopment Program.
“The City is very happy to see this project come to fruition. This project will bring even more vibrancy to our downtown and help maintain the positive energy we see in Bay City,” said Bay City Economic Development Project Manager, Sara Dimitroff. “The developer has so much passion for our region and wants to be a local and regional partner and we are delighted to partner with him and MEDC to ensure this project succeeds.”
“We love our great state of Michigan and can’t imagine working anywhere else. That said, some projects don’t always work without additional support,” said Jon Carlson, 3Mission Design and Development Lead. “We are fortunate to have the MEDC in our corner to consider projects that not only create jobs immediately, but also help transform communities by redeveloping our beautiful historic downtowns. Thank you MEDC!”
Industry 4.0 funding, grant administrator approval
MSF also approved a $3 million grant to support Industry 4.0 awareness and preparedness and increase technology adoption with six MSF-approved nonprofits to administer grant funding across the state. The grant program will provide assistance to small manufacturers seeking to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and, in turn, make transformational changes to operations, processes and culture.
“MSF’s actions today reinforce our commitment to providing long-term economic growth for all Michigan residents by underscoring the continued strength of our state’s talented workforce and our leadership positions in the advanced manufacturing and future mobility,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chairman of the Board of MSF. “We are grateful to the governor, lawmakers and local authorities for their continued support of our efforts. These projects reflect our commitment to working to seize the opportunities that ensure Michigan becomes an even better place for each of our more than 10 million friends and neighbors to live, work, visit, play and create a future.
City Club Apartments Redevelopment Project – The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has sought approval for a Brownfield Act 381 work plan, including $6,936,818 in school taxes to reimburse the development team for eligible business expenses associated with the City Club Apartments in Detroit. Given that the project work plan does not demonstrate financial need and is inconsistent with program guidelines and requirements, the MSF board voted today to reject the application based on staff recommendations. of the MEDC.