2019 Successful Projects in Review

Posted in Blog on January 15, 2020

2019 Successful Projects in Review 

Amanda Murray , Vice President of Business Solutions Lakeshore Advantage
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In 2019, Lakeshore Advantage supported 21 successful expansion, relocation or retention projects throughout Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Of these projects, 81% were existing company expansion projects. And, while we supported a few extremely large projects this year and some attraction projects, in general the growth that we saw, and see year after year, continues to be small incremental growth of existing employers.
 
We had a couple very large projects announced, including Royal Technologies completing a 270,000 square foot manufacturing facility with a $23 million-dollar investment in Jamestown Charter Township and Mead Johnson Nutritionals, who announced a $68 million-dollar investment at their existing facility in the City of Zeeland. These large projects usually take a lot of coordination among all the local service providers and requires local partners to come together and develop the best strategy possible to support these companies through such large projects and make sure their investment, and jobs, stay in Michigan. 
 
However, not all large projects are complex and sometimes it’s in smaller projects where we are able to provide the greatest level of support. This year, we’ve helped companies navigate through complex permitting issues, understand the local tax abatement process, and advocate for local company projects in front of countless city council and township board meetings. 
 
Most of the companies we worked with on projects this year utilized the local industrial property tax exemption, which is a tool a local municipality can use to encourage existing, qualified employers to make new investments in their communities. This tool allows a municipality to reduce the increased property tax for new, real property improvements. 
 
A few of our projects this year were also awarded grant funding through MEDC’s Business Development Program. These grants are performance based and companies must have a strong business case to qualify. 
 
The industries we work in range from tool and die and food processing to software development and composite materials. This range shows that while we have a strong manufacturing base, our local employers don’t just make things, but also innovate, design and create new products and services. 
 
This diversity of industry in our region is a huge asset in maintaining a strong economy and is well represented in the list of successful projects announced in 2019. Lakeshore Advantage supported companies that:
  • Make the mechanism that allows movie theater seats to fully recline
  • Design and manufacture the model of a joint that a doctor might show to explain a procedure
  • Produce the ibuprofen on local grocery store shelves
  • Design the feeding systems on for egg, poultry and pig production
  • Produce the baby formula sold in grocery stores from the US to China
  • Design and manufacture the lights the police cars and other emergency vehicles
 
…just to name a few.