Michigan Commits $87.5M To Strengthen, Accelerate Site Readiness Efforts

Projects from across Michigan will receive support from the Strategic Site Readiness Program to prepare sites for investment. More than half of the awards will go toward site preparation on existing brownfield sites.

Today, more than $87.5 million in grant funding was awarded to 18 projects across Michigan through the state’s Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP). Through the SSRP funding and collaboration with local, regional and energy partners, communities across Michigan now have increased economic development opportunities to support their business development efforts.

“These grants will fund 18 projects across Michigan, preparing us to win more manufacturing projects creating thousands of good-paying jobs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Together, with a strong, bipartisan economic development toolkit, we are competing with other states and nations to bring home supply chains of cars, chips, and clean energy. We will get it done while making communities across Michigan—from big cities to small towns—better places to live, work, and invest. Let’s move some dirt!”

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) received more than 70 applications totaling $420 million in requested funding, which is more than four times the SSRP allocation. Funding was awarded in nine of the state’s 10 prosperity regions, representing at least one grant for every region that submitted applications. Of the 18 awardees, 10 are brownfield sites that will receive 49 percent of the award funding; the remaining awardees are greenfield sites throughout the state.

Michigan Site Readiness
(Source: MEDC)

The remaining funds of the full $100 million SSRP allocation will support applications requiring more time and evaluation, additional needs that may come up later in the year, and to have funds available to support sites that enter the site readiness certification program, scheduled to be launched this fiscal year.

Due to high demand on the limited funds, the MEDC has submitted a list of applications that self-identified as brownfields to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to review for potential assistance.

“With a resetting of the industrial landscape currently underway in the U.S., the communities and economic development agencies that are proactively preparing industrial sites and training the workforce of tomorrow will be the winners in this race — the outcome of which will determine which states and regions will lead in economic and equitable prosperity over the next 20-30 years,” said Maureen Krauss, President and CEO of Detroit Regional Partnership. “The approval by the MSF Board in the Strategic Site Readiness Program is paramount to Michigan’s success, and the Detroit Regional Partnership is aligned with the MEDC through our Verified Industrial Properties Program (VIP by DRP) to support our region’s commitment to ready more sites, to help Michigan win its share of the critical job creation projects.”

“On behalf of the MEDC, it is exciting to be able to support local communities in their business development efforts as they bring forth sites of all sizes to prepare for economic development opportunities in their region,” commented Terri Fitzpatrick, MEDC Executive Vice President and Chief Real Estate and Global Attraction Officer. “Thanks to Governor Whitmer and the Michigan legislature’s continued efforts to attract business developments and grow the state’s economy, these site readiness projects across Michigan will create meaningful impact throughout our state. While this is a good start, the demand remains substantial and will require continued funding for years to come.”

A Closer Look

Here’s a closer look at some of the SSRP projects across the state:

City of Hancock, Region 1

The development of an industrial park in Hancock, MI will help expand and diversify the economy in the Houghton/Hancock area, fitting with the strategic plan in Region 1. This new park builds on the success of the nearly full Industrial Airpark at the Houghton County Memorial Airport. This project will complete necessary infrastructure improvements, increasing capacity in electric, gas and water at the site and will remove the last hurdle to the site opening for business later this year.

“On behalf of the City of Hancock, we are thrilled to be awarded funding from the MEDC Strategic Site Readiness Program for our 40-acre Hancock Business and Technology Park,” said Mary Babcock, City Manager, City of Hancock. “This crucial funding will pave the way for the creation of shovel-ready sites, fostering new opportunities for businesses to flourish and grow. As a small community with limited resources, this support is a significant step forward — a game changer not just for Hancock but for our neighboring communities as well.

Strategic Site Readiness Program Awardees

(By Prosperity Region)
Region 1
      • Hancock Business & Technology Park, City of Hancock: $969,352
Region 3
      • Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority Small/Medium Hangar Infrastructure, Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority: $500,000
Region 4
      • Muskegon Heights Industrial Parks – West & East, Muskegon Area First (brownfield site): $121,200
      • Covenant Business Park, The Right Place: $17,500,000
Region 5
      • 3 Mile and Wilder Road, Bay Future (brownfield site): $4,161,500
Region 6
      • Flint Commerce Center, Flint Genesee Economic Alliance (brownfield site): $5,900,000
      • Corunna – Parmenter Rd, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership: $435,000
Region 7
      • Lansing RACER Trust Plant 6 Site, City of Lansing (brownfield site): $18,975,000
      • Delhi College Road Site, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (brownfield site): $6,500,000
Region 8
      • Southwest Michigan Commerce Park, Southwest Michigan First (brownfield site): $2,106,000
      • Hartford Industrial Site, Market Van Buren (brownfield site): $467,250
      • Benton Harbor Data and Tech Park, a partnership between Cornerstone Alliance and developer Franklin Partners (brownfield site): $3,600,000
Region 9
      • AICP – Lot 14, City of Saline: $15,350
      • LAC Site, Monroe County Business Alliance: $82,310
      • Latson Innovation Interchange Technology & Industrial Park, Ann Arbor SPARK: $6,500,000
      • Pleasant Valley Development, Ann Arbor SPARK (brownfield site): $604,000
Region 10
      • 440 Acres in Van Buren Township (Ecorse and Belleville Roads), Detroit Aerotropolis: $18,600,000
      • DET Crosswind Runway, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (brownfield site): $510,000
The Right Place, Region 4

The Covenant Business Park site is one of the premier sites in west Michigan in terms of infrastructure, freeway access and community support for a project. Bringing utilities to this site is critical to the marketability of the site and the proposed structure includes 50% of total project costs coming from non‐MEDC funds and includes a contribution from the property owner. Infrastructure improvements include increasing utility capacity to the site. The Right Place will work with the developer on funding gaps.

“It’s been our long-standing desire to see this site become a hub of good-paying job opportunities, and this grant funding will help make that a reality,” said Jerry Hale, Supervisor of Lowell Township. “This will not only cement the Lowell area as a top destination for companies looking to expand in West Michigan but will catalyze additional quality of life amenities like public recreation space and housing options. Plus, this will certainly have a positive impact on the local businesses in the area, including in Downtown Lowell.”

Flint Genesee Economic Alliance, Region 6

As the former Buick City site in Flint, the Flint Commerce Center is a major brownfield site that has been submitted to many potential employers. This project will significantly improve the marketability of the site by mitigating some of the serious risks identified by potential users who have chosen other sites. Site preparation includes removal of underground utilities, concrete slabs and foundations, and updating the sewer system.

“Brownfield redevelopment is not an easy task, but it is crucial to the success of communities like Flint, and we are grateful that our partners at the State of Michigan understand this,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance. “When complete, the Flint Commerce Center will create new jobs, attract new business, generate new tax revenue, and — equally important — create a new narrative for a property that has been underutilized for far too long. The Strategic Site Readiness Program is critical in achieving this success as it will support infrastructure improvements that are necessary in attracting new business and investment to this site, city, and region.”

City of Lansing – Region 7

The Lansing RACER Trust Plant 6 site is a brownfield site that is poised to be one of the most impactful projects of all the state’s redevelopment. Currently limited by a number of risks from a site selector’s perspective, this project will help the City of Lansing study those issues and make the site more marketable. Site preparation includes removal of underground utilities, demolishing old structures, site due diligence and developing remediation plans for future use of the site.

Michigan Site Readiness
The Lansing RACER Trust Plant 6 site. (Source: MEDC)

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“Lansing is an advanced manufacturing community, and we are proud of that heritage,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “Repurposing the old GM Fischer Body plant site, now owned by RACER Trust, is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Lansing. This is space that can be used for a variety of manufacturing options, but it is costly to clean up the property and prep it for re-use. I am tremendously thankful for the dollars being provided by Governor Whitmer and the MSF Board to make this important site ready and marketable for many exciting, new opportunities here in Lansing.”

“Our top priority for the region is to promote development by filling in the gaps,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO at LEAP. “We are thrilled to see the initiation of development on this challenging urban industrial site, and we are committed to supporting the city of Lansing in this endeavor.”

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