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MSFB Approves Nearly $500M In Capital Investment Projects

July 5, 2022

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board (MSFB) approved community revitalization loans and grants to the tune of nearly $500 million for projects and businesses in Muskegon, Detroit, Sault Sainte Marie and Kentwood Tuesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hailed the moves from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as a boost to Michigan’s business and a boon for jobs across the state.

“We will continue to put Michiganders first by investing in our talented manufacturing workforce, helping our communities build thriving downtowns and economies, and providing opportunities for innovated businesses to grow and thrive here in our state,” Whitmer said.

Superior Foods Company, located in Kentwood, received an increase in collateral by $1.25 million as the wholesale food processor seeks an increase in bank credit.

“Through the enhanced borrowing of our inventory assets, we have been able to fund growth opportunities that would not have been available through traditional asset-based line of credit facilities and formulas,” Superior Foods Chief Financial Officer Keane Blaszczyinskisaid.

The increase in credit line from $10 million to $13 million from Macatawa Bank comes as the company is increasing its ready-to-eat meal and seafood production.

“It’s apparent that due to increasing sales volume, and the need to keep larger inventories due to supply chain demands, Superior Foods needed a much larger working capital line,” Michigan Development Corporation Capital Project and Portfolio Manager Amber Westendorp said.

The company is expected to triple its capacity with a 26,000 square-foot building expansion and add 30 employees in the next six months.  The company already has 268 employees.

Global Life Sciences Solutions USA, a U.K.-based biological research company, planned to create a Muskegon-based manufacturing plant to create resin used in medicines.  The plant is expected to create 200 jobs.

MSFB approved a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, a $1.5 million Jobs Ready Michigan grant and a five-year 100-percent State Essential Services Assessment exemption worth $2.7 million.

“Thanks to bipartisan legislative support of critical business attraction tools like the Michigan Business Development Program, we are empowering MEDC to compete for every project and every job,” Whitmer said.

Battle Creek was awarded a $7.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan Tuesday from the MSFB to help continued renovation of downtown, even as the worldwide headquarters for Kellogg packs up.

50 Capital Ave Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Battle Creek Unlimited, said it would use the money to help renovate the 15-story former McCamly Plaza Hotel in downtown into a 239-room DoubleTree by Hilton.  The Battle Creek Enquirer reported the makeover for the vacant hotel is expected to run $59 million. 

“The renovated hotel will be a unique workforce training facility in the heart of our community that will provide job opportunities for countless residents,” Battle Creek Unlimited President Joe Sobieralski said.

McCamly Plaza Hotel shut down in November 2019 and Battle Creek Unlimited, a nonprofit economic development organization for the city, took over in 2020 after a lawsuit against the previous owners.

“We see this as a project that addresses an industry that has been most hard hit by the pandemic,” Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleurysaid.

The project has raised $16 million from local sources including the city, Calhoun County, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kellogg Company.

Battle Creek is also looking at the worldwide headquarters of Kellogg, a company founded and based in the city, moving to Chicago.  The city will still be home to the cereal and snack divisions.

MSFB also approved more than $4 million in funding and brownfield development for a mixed-use redevelopment project in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Detroit.

The Bagley + 16th project was approved for a $3,7 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan and state tax capture of $647,991 to the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority as reimbursement.

“This is such an amazing neighborhood, and we are grateful for the relationships and partnerships we have developed with the Hubbard Richard residents, community organizations and our funding partners,” said Woodborn Partners President Clifford Brown.

Woodborn is the developer and Brown said it is the fourth building it has renovated in Detroit.

The MSFB released $1.3 million in a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to the Sault Sainte Marie Downtown Development Authority to renovate a historic building in downtown into market-rate apartments.

The Sault Sainte Marie Historic Commercial District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2020.

“Today’s approves will continue to grow Michigan’s economy by creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders while expanding our leadership in the life sciences and agribusiness sectors,” Whitmer said.

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