Four business projects expected to generate a total investment of $130.6 million and create 395 jobs across Michigan have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced.
“These projects will lead to new business growth, stronger communities and more and better jobs for our residents. We’re pleased to work with our local partners and support these investments,” said Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.
“These business expansions represent a range of industries, including IT, agribusiness and manufacturing, and reflect the strength and diversity of the state’s business climate. We are proud to work with these companies and our local partners to bring these investments to Michigan,” Mason said.
LLamasoft, Inc., headquartered in Ann Arbor, was established to fill an unmet need in the supply chain management software space. The company specializes in advanced analytics for supply chain design and optimization and serves more than 750 major corporations worldwide. LLamasoft is executing an aggressive strategic expansion plan and is investing in its existing infrastructure, expanding and upgrading its current facility in Ann Arbor to attract and retain the talent it needs to achieve its growth goals. The expansion of its current headquarters will allow for additional software developers, engineers, professional services and sales representatives.
The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $10.7 million and create more than 70 additional jobs, earning the company a $515,790 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Colorado and Texas. The company has already added more than 100 jobs in Michigan since 2016. Ann Arbor SPARK plans to assist the company with finding candidates for the new positions. Individuals interested in careers with LLamasoft should visit https://llamasoft.com/company/careers/.
“LLamasoft has been one of Ann Arbor’s fastest-growing companies for over a decade, and a cornerstone in our tech community,” said Paul Krutko, President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “Their supply chain solutions are recognized around the world, and we’re thrilled to help solidify their future in Michigan through this process.”
Roskam Baking Company, headquartered in Kentwood, is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business that has been making a variety of baking products and snacks since 1923. The company is a contract manufacturer for several major food brands in addition to developing and selling its own branded products.
Roskam is expanding to add a new line of frozen breakfast food production and is also vying for two large co-production contracts with a national food company with plans to add two production lines to its existing Michigan facility. The expansion will involve the creation of 238 new jobs and a total capital investment of $85.2 million in the city of Kentwood, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states where the company has existing facilities.
The Right Place worked in collaboration with Roskam Baking Company and the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region. The Right Place also connected Roskam Baking Company to workforce development resources at West Michigan Works! to assist with worker training.
“This project is an excellent win for our region in terms of jobs, investment, and overall economic impact,” said Eric Icard, senior business development manager and project lead, The Right Place. “West Michigan’s food processing industry is a national leader, and Roskam Baking Company’s decision to continue its growth here is a testament to our region’s strength.”
The city of Kentwood is supportive of Roskam’s decision to expand in the city, which will bring new jobs to the community. The city is considering the approval of a local PA 198 Property Tax Abatement.
“We appreciate Roskam Baking Company’s further investment in the City of Kentwood,” said Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley. “We are proud to see a world-leading food processing company have continued success and bring new jobs to the community.”
Baraga Township has been awarded up to $73,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Selkey Fabricators, LLC expansion project located in Baraga. Selkey Fabricators, incorporated in 2015, specializes in heavy industrial welding and machining. The company plans to purchase new machinery and equipment that will allow it to diversify operations and compete in a higher volume market. The project is expected to generate up to $146,000 in private investment and create six jobs. Without the CDBG assistance, the company would not have been able to move forward with the project.
“Selkey Fabricators LLC is excited to announce the addition of CNC forming and CNC milling to our capabilities. This will improve our ability to serve our existing customers as well as new customers by improving quality and productivity. In addition, this will allow Selkey Fab to expand into other areas of manufacturing such as complex machining, hydraulic tanks, cylinders, and other pressure vessels,” said Selkey Fabricators General Manager Nick Lindemann. “These machines will help the company be more diversified, which will create a much more stable work environment and create new jobs.”
We are pleased to support the increase in jobs and expansion of manufacturing opportunities in our community,” said Baraga Township Supervisor Amy Isaacson. “On behalf of the Township of Baraga, I would like to thank the Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their support in making Selkey Fabricators Diversification Project a reality.”
Bluewater Technologies Group, a national provider of creative technology for events and leading systems integrator, will relocate its headquarters to the city of Novi in the summer of 2020. Celebrating 34 years in business, Bluewater will leverage its new office and warehouse space to showcase its unique and effective communication solutions that help connect people, business, and ideas. The new location will be a ground-up, new construction facility that provides room for future expansion, and will offer many amenities for employees in building and throughout the nearby community.
The expansion will involve the creation of 81 jobs and a private investment of up to $34 million, resulting in a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. In addition to MSF support, the city anticipates approval of a property tax abatement in support of the project. The MEDC also authorized a State Education Tax Abatement to be used in conjunction with the locally approved abatement.
“We believe it’s the intersection of strategy, creativity and innovation that creates the strongest experiences. We are intensely passionate about creating the absolute best experiences possible for our employees, clients and partners. This new facility together with our amazing employees will provide us the foundation to further these objectives; and a workspace that will be our home for years to support the rapid growth we are experiencing in all our business units,” said Bluewater’s Chief Executive Officer John Tracy. “This new building gives us the space and amenities that will help us retain and recruit the very best talent and will go a long way in maintaining a culture that fosters radical, disruptive ideas, is highly collaborative, hardworking and most importantly, fun.”
The city of Novi anticipates approval of a real property tax abatement in support of the project. For more information on careers with Bluewater Technologies Group, Inc., visit www.bluewatertech.com/careers.
“The opportunity to host Bluewater Technologies Group would, once again, place Novi on the map as a leader in high tech headquarters,” said Novi Mayor Bob Gatt. “We are excited about the possibility of bringing an additional 80 plus jobs to the community which will add to the dynamic, multi-talented workforce in Novi.”
The new office and warehouse space will be developed and constructed by Amson Nassar Development, of Birmingham, Mich. Amson Nassar is engaged in all aspects of real estate acquisition, development, construction and management, including several of the most highly acclaimed Class A office, research and technology facilities in Southeast Michigan.
“We are honored to have earned Bluewater Technologies trust and look forward to the completion of another world class headquarters that we hope will exceed expectations,” said Amson Nassar’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner Fadi Nassar. “I want to give special thanks to John Tracy and his team for their incredible leadership throughout the lease and design process thus far, the city of Novi, Oakland County and the MEDC - all of whom made this possible. This 90,000 square feet increases our development, construction and investment portfolio by 930,000 square feet over the past three years alone. We are excited and blessed that we are in the site plan approval for process for an additional 410,000 square feet before the end of this year, with more to come.”
Colliers and CBRE brokered the transactions. Biddison Architecture, GreenTech Engineering and MA Engineering are working on the design.