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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 11:29

Sept. 18, 2013: Battle Creek battles back from recession; Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University sign formal agreement; Firstronic LLC to invest in building renovations, machinery, equipment

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Grand Rapids-based ADAC Automotive was awarded a $650,000 performance-based Business Development Program grant to support its plans for a $7.9 million expansion in Muskegon. The expansion will add up to 97 new jobs, according to a statement from the company. The company chose to expand in West Michigan over a competing site in Mexico. The City of Muskegon also plans to offer property tax abatements. The company recently completed an $18 million expansion of its paint facility in Muskegon. [4:50 p.m.]

Firstronic LLC, a Grand Rapids-based manufacturer of electronic components, plans to invest $2.45 million into building renovations, machinery and equipment at its plant at 1655 Michigan Street, according to a press release today from The Right Place Inc. The company received a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The expansion should add 110 jobs at the company’s 35,000-square-foot facility where it currently employs 68 people. The company serves a range of industries, but the expansion should help it continue to grow its focus on the medical device sector. [2:50 p.m.]

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority continues its effort to end homelessness in the state as it plays host to the eighth annual Michigan Homeless Summit starting today in Frankenmuth. Close to 400 homeless service providers from across the state turned out to open the event, according to a release from Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness. With the support of MSHDA, Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness launched in 2006. The organization is looking for ideas to help curb chronic homelessness as it enters its seventh year in a 10-year campaign. [1:30 p.m.]

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Valley State University are partnering over the next year to design a framework plan to improve and expand the coastal water trails between Benton Harbor and Ludington. The plan is focused on improving recreation and tourism along Lake Michigan for kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized watercraft. Grants from the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program (MCZMP), Office of the Great Lakes, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Department of Commerce are funding the $200,000 project. Community meetings will be held at seven primary coastal population centers including, St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, South Haven, Saugatuck/Douglas, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon and Pentwater/Ludington.

Yesterday, officials from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University formally signed a long-awaited affiliation agreement at the WMU campus. The boards of WMU and Cooley approved the proposal earlier this year and now leaders from both schools are looking at future opportunities and initiatives that could leverage each institution's assets.

Battle Creek continues to battle back from the hits it took during the recession. For 2013 alone, the city has attracted more than $300 million in private investment and more than 1,000 new jobs, according to a release from Battle Creek Unlimited. Helping those investment numbers is the city commission’s recent approval a Brownfield Redevelopment plan for the properties at 17 and 25 W. Michigan Ave. Heritage Tower, as it is known to residents, is slated for redevelopment by Grand Rapids-based 616 Development. The total anticipated capital investment in the project is $23.25 million. 616 plans to fill the 150,000-square-foot property with a 43-room boutique hotel, 65 apartments, as well as retail and office space. Below-ground parking spaces are also part of the plan.

Read 1811 times Last modified on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 16:50

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