Mundy Twp. project gets state funding in effort to boost local manufacturing

(Courtesy/Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance)

By Kyle Kaminski

April 17, 2024

More than $9 million awarded to a planned development project in Genesee County could provide a big boost to the local economy and help create thousands of new jobs.

MICHIGAN—State funding awarded this week through Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is set to support the redevelopment of about 1,200 acres of land in Mundy Township near Flint, with plans to entice another major manufacturer to set up shop in the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund on Tuesday approved a variety of development projects across the state, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in financial incentives to help support them.

Among the projects picked to receive funding is the ongoing redevelopment of a massive parcel of (mostly) agricultural land in Genesee County, which state officials are eyeing as the future home of a new, advanced manufacturing facility that could help revitalize the area’s manufacturing base. The project was awarded a total of $9.2 million in state funding.

“Through investing in our communities from Detroit to Petoskey, we are strengthening Michigan’s economy by setting up our communities for success,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Here’s the deal:

In recent years, the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance has contemplated a litany of plans for the 1,200-acre swathe of farmland in Mundy Township—known as the Advanced Manufacturing District—including for engineering, robotics, or another “high-tech” manufacturing operation.

Mundy Twp. project gets state funding in effort to boost local manufacturing

(Courtesy/Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance)

Officials are still exploring the potential uses and marketing the “megasite”—namely to see which companies would make the biggest investments and create the most jobs in the community. But with newfound state support, those plans are inching closer to reality.

“Today represents a significant step forward in our efforts to attract an employer that would bring thousands of new jobs to our community,” said Alliance Director Tyler Rossmaessler, who labeled the project as “an incredible opportunity for Genesee County and our entire state.”

With the state support, Whitmer’s administration is hoping the project will help mark a manufacturing comeback story for the Flint region, which has reportedly seen a decades-long economic decline that’s only been exacerbated by the water crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bringing such a project to Genesee County would help us reverse decades of job loss and sluggish population, allow us to create thousands of jobs and get millions of dollars flowing into the local economy and the region and the state,” Rossmaessler told reporters this week.

The manufacturing jobs that would be likely to come to the megasite would also reportedly include positions that would be well-paying, but not necessarily require a college education.

“Such a project will offer opportunities for our young people so they won’t have to move away to find good-paying jobs,” said Kristy Cantleberry of Esquire Property Group told Bridge Michigan.

What’s coming?

That’s to be determined—but the development site could be attractive to a wide array of industries, including for electric vehicle battery development and semiconductor manufacturing.

This week, Rossmaessler told Bridge Michigan that the redevelopment is only being marketed to companies that can create “at least 2,000 direct jobs and invest $2 billion or more.”

The land is the state’s most development-ready, large-scale site after Ford Motor Co. took the megasite in Marshall for an electric vehicle battery plant and plans for a megasite in Eagle Township near Lansing were shelved due to local opposition, reports Crain’s Detroit Business.

In part because of the property’s proximity to the Motor City and other major manufacturers, officials have said the site “has everything an advanced manufacturer would need to thrive”—including access to highways, railroads, and the nearby Bishop International Airport.

What’s next?

This state funding announced this week comes from the state’s Strategic Site Readiness Program, which provides grants, loans, and other assistance to help prepare land for redevelopment, attract investments from big-name companies, and ultimately create more jobs.

State officials said the funding will help the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance to “maintain control over the existing parcels of land” and “further bolster their capacity to attract investment.”

The cash can also be used to buy more adjacent land and develop infrastructure near the site.

Whatever takes shape on the land is expected to help the local community “grow as a thriving hub for Michigan’s core economic industries,” state officials said in a press release this week.

“These projects have the potential to transform spaces and people through the opportunities they provide, underscoring our commitment to ensure that everyone can ‘make it in Michigan’ and our state thrives for years to come,” Whitmer said in a statement announcing the funding.

The manufacturing district at the northern edge of Mundy Township previously received more than $6 million in state funding to help get the site ready for development. Township officials also added new zoning to allow for a new manufacturing facility, but have said that they’re otherwise not involved in the ongoing development project, reports Bridge Michigan.

READ MORE: Federal investments turn Michigan into ‘manufacturing powerhouse’

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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.

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