Category Archives: Economic Development

Barracuda Networks to invest $2.3 million, create 115 jobs in Ann Arbor

LANSING – Barracuda Networks Inc., the network and data security provider, is expanding in Ann Arbor with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund and Ann Arbor Spark, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced. The project will generate a total capital investment of $2.3 million and create 115 new jobs.

Barracuda plans an expansion of its manufacturing operations in Ann Arbor, where it builds computer terminals and peripheral equipment. The project is expected to generate $2.3 million in capital investment and create 115 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Georgia and California.

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Mason County Sets Broadband Initiative

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Broadband Committee has partnered with the community engagement program of the nonprofit Connected Nation to develop a plan to improve access to high speed Internet in the county.

The initial step to developing a comprehensive, county-oriented plan will consist of a short survey for agriculture producers, business organizations and owners, healthcare facilities, schools, and residents. This will help the broadband committee members understand the unique needs in Mason County.

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Business Expansions Win State Aid, To Create 203 Jobs

LANSING — An animal health company is expanding in the Kalamazoo area with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

That expansion, along with four other business expansion projects that also received MSF approval, will generate a total private investment of more than $71.5 million and create 203 jobs in Michigan.

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State Support OK’d For Business Expansions, Flint Incubator

LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved three grants to create a new business incubator in Flint and build new manufacturing plants in the Grand Rapids area and Port Huron.

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Ford To Invest $1.2B At Three Michigan Plants

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. says it will invest $1.2 billion at three Michigan plants, among other things, financing the return of the Ford Ranger midsized pickup and the Bronco midsized SUV.

The largest part of the investment, $850 million, will take place at the home of assembly of those two models, the Michgian Assembly Plant in Wayne.

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New investment, more jobs coming to Flint

LANSING — State officials have announced financial support for an expansion of a Huntington Bank call center in Flint that will result in the creation of 60 new jobs and a $5.4 million investment.

The Huntington complex is on Saginaw Street across from the University of Michigan-Flint campus.

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Southfield celebrates progress, LTU partnership at State of the City

SOUTHFIELD – About 300 people got a peek at the future of Lawrence Technological University and the rest of Southfield and Lathrup Village at the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City luncheon, featuring Southfield Mayor Ken Siver and Lathrup Village Mayor Frank Brock Jr.

The venue was the spectacularly remodeled former Southfield Holiday Inn, the iconic circular hotel on Telegraph Road just south of I-696. It’s scheduled to reopen in April as a 192-room Best Western Premier after a $3.6 million remodeling by a New Zealand-based hospitality firm.

The Epicurean Restaurant Group, which formerly operated Detroit’s Coach Insignia restaurant atop the Renaissance Center, will handle food at the new Best Western, and provided the food for Monday’s event.

Siver lauded Lawrence Tech’s role in the city’s continuing redevelopment, especially the Southfield City Centre project, which seeks to create a walkable, mixed-use downtown area along Evergreen Road from 10 Mile Road north to the Southfield municipal complex.

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State Aid OK’d For $29.8M In Business Expansions

LANSING — Three business expansions that will generate nearly $29.8 million in total investment and create 148 jobs in Michigan have received Michigan Strategic Fund approval for support, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

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ACE’17 entrepreneurial event coming Jan. 26

SOUTHFIELD — The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship 2017, better known as ACE’17, will be held at the Westin Southfield on Thursday, Jan. 26 from noon to 7 p.m.

This annual celebration of all things entrepreneurial draws hundreds of attendees for education and connection with the Michigan startup ecosystem. Each ACE features an exciting community of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners. Southfield Mayor Ken Siver will provide opening remarks. More than 500 people are expected for ACE’17.

The program will feature presentations and conversations on managing business innovation centers, opportunities for entrepreneurs in autonomous vehicles, mobile marketing strategies, capital attraction, support services available to entrepreneurs, a mini “Failure Lab,” and more.

Also featured this year will be the ACE’17 Challenge, a competition among early-stage companies for $20,000 in cash and prizes. The winner will be chosen by ACE attendees, investors, sponsors and support organizations, who will vote with “ACE dollars” for their most investable companies.

The Westin Southfield is located at 1500 Town Center.

Online registration at the regular price of $25 is available through Monday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. Walk-up registrations are welcome at a price of $40. For online registration, and more information on the program, visit For an audio preview of the event with Miche Rayment, co-chair of ACE’17, visit this link.

Lawrence Technological University is a managing partner of the event. The lead sponsor is the city of Southfield, while the partner sponsor is the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Co-event sponsors include Amy Cell LLC, Automation Alley, Bamboo Detroit, The Hire Effect, the LTU Collaboratory, and the Michigan Angel Fund. The Crowdlink sponsor is the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. Contributing sponsors include BlueWater Angels, Brinks Guilson & Lione, the Build Institute, Collective Metrics, Constant Contact, the Central Michigan University Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, Dawdy Imagery & Design, Failure Lab, Lenawee Now, the Michigan Business Incubator Association,, the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute, Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, the Michigan Corporate Relations Network, Start Garden, the MTEC SmartZone Business Accelerator, the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaw, ArborMoon, and TechTown Detroit.

Participating companies in the ACE’17 Challenge include AIRS – Advanced Interactive Response System (Newaygo); Airway Innovations (Grand Rapids); Brightable (Clawson); Business Link (Ypsilanti); Clingfish Products (Ann Arbor); ContentOro (Ann Arbor); Coupon Wallet (Sterling Heights); Deeptalk (Ann Arbor); Epic Technology Solutions (Flint); epiSCI (Ann Arbor); Equipment Tracking Solutions (Walled Lake); Fathom (Holland); Infinitekey (Holland); Interactive (Grand Rapids); LivePicture LLC (Sterling Heights); Map-N-Tour (Midland); Mi Padrino (Jackson); MyAaliyah (Detroit); Navel Novelties (Sylvan Lake); Nirmal for Disruptive Eating (Ypsilanti); Oakland Aquaponics (Clarkston); OPS Solutions LLC (Novi); Orindi Ventures (Holland); PayLow Rate (Detroit); re-Contour LLC (Royal Oak); Ring Cam (Holland); Sci-Zone (Holland); SciTech Development LLC (Grosse Pointe Farms); Selestial Soap (Traverse City); SignOn (Detroit); SPLT (Ann Arbor); StabiLux (Houghton); The SafetySit (East Lansing); and TwoScoreTwo (Ann Arbor).

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Former GM Land In Lansing To Be Rebuilt As Auto Hub

LANSING — RACER Trust, the company charged with selling off assets of pre-bankruptcy General Motors, announced an agreement to sell nearly 260 acres of industrial land in Lansing, Lansing Township and Delta Township.

The buyer, NorthPoint Development, plans to build a mix of warehouse, manufacturing and distribution buildings on the land, primarily for companies in the automotive sector.

Riverside, Mo.-based NorthPoint has developed and is managing more than 28 million square feet of industrial property in eight states.

“NorthPoint Development has rapidly emerged as a national leader in the construction of facilities that play an important role in the making and moving of critical supply- chain components,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “NorthPoint projects have resulted in hundreds of jobs and created new economic vitality and opportunities for a growing number of communities. We’re excited by the vision NorthPoint has for our Lansing-area properties, and to know that the redevelopment of these properties will be in such capable hands.”

The purchase agreements between RACER Trust and NorthPoint cover all of RACER’s Lansing-area properties, known as Lansing Plants 2, 3, 5 and 6. The Plants 2 and 3 properties are in Lansing Township, the Plant 5 property is in Delta Township and the Plant 6 property is in Lansing. Together, the properties comprise 259.6 acres. There will be an extended period in which NorthPoint undertakes due diligence and planning and seeks approvals for its projects before the sales close and construction begins.

NorthPoint previously purchased RACER Trust properties in Kansas City, Kan., and Lordstown, Ohio, also for development as manufacturing-related centers.

Said Chad Meyer, president and COO of NorthPoint Development: “We’ve long recognized the potential of these properties for redevelopment and reuse and we look forward to working with community partners and industrial users who can benefit from the strong infrastructure, logistics advantages and strong workforce the area has to offer.”

All development activity will be coordinated with ongoing environmental cleanup, which remains the responsibility of RACER Trust under the oversight of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. RACER Trust will work closely with NorthPoint to integrate remediation work with site development.

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