New Projects Bring $200M Investment, Hundreds of Jobs to Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visits a construction site in Cass County. (Governor Gretchen Whitmer via Facebook)

By Kyle Kaminski

March 2, 2023

Several newly announced redevelopment projects are poised to support hundreds of new jobs in Michigan, as well as build housing, remove blight, and create commercial spaces.

MICHIGAN—They just keep coming.

Several redevelopment projects—thanks to grants and state tax support from the Michigan Strategic Fund—are set to create or retain another 400-plus jobs and generate more than $200 million in investment, all right here in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week.

The newly announced projects include the redevelopment or renovation of otherwise underused properties to remove blight and build more affordable housing and commercial space—including properties in Taylor, Marquette, Hancock, Flint, Muskegon, Alma, Petoskey, and Wyandotte. 

“From redeveloping a manufacturing building in Taylor, bringing a grocery store to downtown Hanock, and building a mixed-use YMCA in Flint, these projects will continue growing our economy,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a release. “Together, we are putting Michiganders first by fostering strong, long-term economic opportunity in every region of our state.” 

Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming:

Metro 94 Commerce Center Redevelopment Project

This project involves the redevelopment of about 70 acres of a former landfill in the city of Taylor, located east of Inkster Road, north of I-94, and south of Beverly Road. It includes the construction of a multi-tenant industrial building for light manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. The project is set to result in a total private investment of $40 million, and when fully occupied, could result in the creation of up to 185 full-time jobs. Though supported by local and state tax incentives, more than $10 million is expected to be added to the site’s taxable property when it’s complete. State officials said the property will be vital to retaining existing companies in the state as they grow, and also offers opportunities to attract new companies to Michigan.

“This site has been contaminated for decades,” Taylor Mayor Timothy Woolley said in a press release. “This new development gives us a chance to bring good development, business opportunities, additional jobs and tax base to the community while cleaning the site up properly.”

Demolition of Former Marquette General Hospital

The city of Marquette scored an $8 million state development grant to help demolish the blighted buildings at the former Marquette General Hospital, and remediate any potential environmental contamination that may be found on the property in order to get it ready for redevelopment. With close proximity to Northern Michigan University, the site has been identified as an attractive location for much-needed housing and other amenities—like retail and other commercial space— that would complement the local neighborhood. Officials also envision greenspace and walkways on the site to better connect the project to the campus.

“No city block should go to waste,” state Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) said in a press release. “Now is the time for Michigan to invest in a brighter future for the Upper Peninsula, and I’m eager to see these state resources used to help  the city move forward.” 

New Food Cooperative in Downtown Hancock

Keweenaw Cooperative Inc. plans to transform a vacant car dealership in downtown Hancock into the new location of the Keweenaw Co-op Market—a full deli with indoor and outdoor seating, fresh produce, meat, dairy, frozen food and more. Once completed, the co-op is set to retain 28 jobs in the area and provide healthy food options in what is considered a food desert.

“We look forward to providing improved access to the healthy, fresh, local and organic foods that our region needs and deserves,” Co-op General Manager Curt Webb said in a press release. 

Flint YMCA is Moving

Developers plan to construct a five-story, mixed-use development that will serve as the new location of the Flint YMCA on a vacant property in downtown Flint. In addition to the YMCA, the building is also set to include a medical rehabilitation facility, office space, and 50 apartments. At least 30% of the apartments will be made available specifically for residents with low incomes. The existing YMCA on 3rd Street will be demolished, and that site will also be redeveloped.

“The downtown YMCA will bring new activities for young people to our urban core,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “Opportunities like swimming, especially, are few and far between in the city, and this resource will help build stronger, healthier surrounding neighborhoods for Flint families.” 

Facelift for Muskegon’s Waterfront

Developers plan to totally transform 35 vacant acres of industrial waterfront property along W. Western Avenue into a new 172-slip marina—as well as a new three-story, mixed-use building with retail and restaurant space, and another, four-story, 55-unit residential condo building. The project is also set to include electric vehicle charging stations and solar boardwalks, as well as various public infrastructure improvements to nearby public parks, sidewalks and roadways.

Once completed, the project is expected to serve as an inviting, new greenspace area with waterfront activities, in addition to a new source of tax revenue for the local community. Officials expect the project will create 100 full-time jobs and generate a total investment of $85 million.

Housing En Route to Alma

A historic building in downtown Alma is set to be redeveloped into 14 apartments and two storefronts—creating four full-time jobs and generating a total investment of $4.2 million. State officials said the project will grow the density of downtown Alma, and foster local walkability.

New Digs for Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District

Developers plan to rework two vacant buildings in downtown Petoskey into two new commercial spaces and six apartment units. All told, the project is set to create six full-time jobs and generate a total private investment of $3.6 million. State officials said the redevelopment project will also include facade renovations in order to match the character of the Gaslight District. 

Old Wyandotte City Hall Gets New Life

Developers are investing $9.7 million to rehabilitate the vacant, two-story building on Biddle Avenue in downtown Wyandotte. The project will include the construction of three additional floors, resulting in a mixed-use development that includes 35 apartments, as well as retail spaces and a rooftop restaurant. Once complete, it’s set to create 60 new full-time jobs.

“For 13 years 3131 Biddle, Wyandotte’s former City Hall building, has sat blighted and vacant in the center of our downtown district,” Rise Above Ventures CEO Ron Thomas said in a press release. “As a developer, it is the highest honor to be entrusted with such a pivotal project.”

Added state Sen. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton): “With the redevelopment of the Federal Building, Wyandotte will have even more new opportunities for rental units, retail, and restaurant space downtown. I was proud to support this project, and it’s an excellent example of how we can continue to revitalize Downriver’s downtowns and urban corridors.”

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Politics

Local News

Related Stories
Share This