Business Expansions, Community Projects Get State Subsidies

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. this week announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of three business expansions and three community development projects that will generate more than $13.6 million in total investment and create 335 jobs around the state.

The business projects approved for subsidies were:

* Great Expressions Dental Centers, which plans to move its headquarters from Bloomfield Hills to Southfield. The new headquarters will also include support center jobs now based in Norcross, Ga. The company operates more than 240 dental care offices in 10 states. The project will generate a total investment of $2.55 million and create 84 jobs, resulting in a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The city of Southfield has offered support to the project in the form of expedited permitting. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Great Expressions Dental should visit greatexpressions.com/careers.

* Magna Seating of America Inc., a subsidiary of Magna International Inc., which plans to add two new production lines in Highland Park to support increased sales. The lines will manufacture complete seating systems, mechanisms and hardware. The project will generate nearly $6 million in total capital investment and create 148 jobs, resulting in a $740,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states. The city of Highland Park is offering staff time and resources in support of the project. For career opportunities with Magna Seating, visit http://www.magna.com/careers.

* SalesPad LLC of Grand Rapids, for a move to a larger headquarters. The expansion will generate a total capital investment of more than $3.8 million and create 91 new jobs, resulting in a $364,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The Right Place has offered support to the project in the form of staff time and resources. To learn about employment opportunities with SalesPad, visit www2.salespad.net/careers.

The community redevelopment projects approved for subsidies were:

* 1030 Plym Park LLC, which plans to renovate a vacant, two-story historic building in  downtown Niles that will serve as the headquarters for UltraCamp, a provider of software for youth camps. The completed project will also include space for retail or commercial businesses. The project will generate a total capital investment of more than $1.1 million and create four jobs related to computer programming and software design. As a result, the project has been awarded a $210,501 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The city of Niles is selling the property to the company at a nominal fee, and the Niles Downtown Development Authority is providing a $59,000 grant for façade improvements.

* Houghton County, which was has been awarded $30,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for a planning study needed for the Houghton County Airpark Sewer Study project. The Houghton County Airpark was constructed in the 1960s and is currently home to 11 companies that employ more than 400 people. Infrastructure improvements are needed to attract new companies to the Airpark, or expand existing companies. The study project will estimate the cost of improvements needed to resolve the current wastewater collection system, which has been determined to be at or over its discharge limits.

* The city of Ludington, which was awarded $96,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for façade improvements needed for two buildings located on Ludington Avenue in downtown Ludington. 129 E. Ludington Ave. is home to the Sandcastles Children’s Museum and will receive funding to conduct façade repairs on the 118-year-old building. The building improvements are expected to help the organization to create five new full time equivalent positions over the next two years. 102 W. Ludington is expected to be home to a new retail business on the ground floor, and the façade grant will help to create three new full time equivalent positions over the next two years. The project is receiving a total of $102,554 in private funds and will create eight jobs. The city of Ludington will contribute $2,000 in Downtown Development Authority funds toward the project.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 94,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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