DEGC Promotes Trade and Investment to German Companies

From: Peter Chapman, Executive Vice President, Business Development

The German American Chamber of Commerce hosted a trade mission here in Detroit last week, and I was there representing DEGC Business Development’s new focus on engaging foreign companies and helping local companies export goods and services more aggressively and strategically overseas.

The fifty-person delegation from Germany’s Niedersachsen region – home to Volkswagen, Continental and Airbus, as well as the world’s largest industrial trade fair, Hannover Messe – was led by the Minister of Economics for Lower Saxony, and largely consisted of executives from automotive/mobility companies, a key target sector for DEGC Business Development.

Through discussions and tours of the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) Institute, IAV Automotive Engineering, MCity and the UM Battery Lab, the delegates learned about future trends in mobility during their two-day visit. Ned Stabler, vice president for Economic Development at Wayne State University and TechTown CEO, and I also shared with them the history of Detroit and highlighted the exciting new projects underway in our city.

This was the first of several foreign development investment and export-related forums that DEGC will participate in or co-convene in 2017. It follows the highly successful trade mission to China we participated in last year with Mayor Duggan and Governor Snyder, where we inked a trade partnership agreement with the city of Shenzhen.

In addition to forging an important agreement that lays the foundation for further partnership of inbound investment and export activities, we came away from that trip with two or three viable business attraction leads.

We are keenly focused on China and will most likely do another trade mission this year. We’re also planning to support a second trade mission with Germany as well as one with Michigan Israel Business Bridge to assist in business to business export matchmaking.

With a sizeable grant from JPMorgan Chase, DEGC Business Development is promoting an understanding of global commerce throughout the organization and hiring the staff to enhance and manage our new global focus, which encompasses five key sectors:

  • Automotive/mobility, including companies like Sakthi Automotive Group, which is expanding and bringing new jobs to the city.
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Food
  • Health and medical
  • Emerging industries, particularly tech companies like our most recent win, Microsoft.

Sandra Choi is our new Foreign Direct Investment Business Manager who will work on these endeavors.

In addition, we’ll continue to cultivate our relationship with companies such as Sakthi to learn what attracted them to Detroit, what keeps them here and what growing pains they might have so that we can learn and share their story with other foreign companies considering an investment in Detroit.

Strengthening Detroit’s brand in the global marketplace to promote international investment and local export opportunities is a key component in Detroit’s continuing resurgence. DEGC Business Development stands ready to engage foreign companies and help local companies in their export efforts.

 

 

 

Riverfront Redevelopment is Real — and DEGC is Ready

Last week DEGC joined the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy (DRFC) and the City of Detroit to announce details of a framework plan that will preserve more of Detroit’s riverfront land for public use and create greater community access.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Creating nearly eight acres of additional park space on the East Riverfront.
  • Increasing community through two new “Dequindre Cut” style greenways
  • Streetscape improvements to make E. Jefferson more attractive and bike and pedestrian friendly
  • Sale of publicly owned land through the release of RFPs

The plan has special significance for DEGC, because our involvement goes back more than fifteen years. DEGC staff, acting for the EDC, managed the creation of the 2003 East Riverfront Plan that envisioned the transformation of the district from obsolete industrial land to a mixed use of recreational, residential and other developments. DEGC’s project management role included work on sections of the RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut and Trail, the acquisition and demolition of cement silos, facilitating the adaptive reuse of the Globe Building and managing deals and site remediations that led to Orleans Landing, among many other projects.

All those activities required forging new collaborations with solid partners, such as the City of Detroit, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Riverfront Conservancy. We are very pleased that those and other partnerships are continuing stronger than ever. DEGC will continue to be a lead player in implementing the riverfront plan — starting with the release of a request for proposals for the redevelopment of the historic Stone Soap building. It’s incredibly exciting to see what’s in store, and we are grateful to be working with such great partners and stakeholders.

Use this link to download the Stone Soap RFPQ, or share the link page with others who may be interested in it.

Please take a look at the presentation of the Your East Riverfront Plan in the DEGC Reference Library.

Follow East Riverfront news at the dedicated website: YourDetroitEastRiverfront.org

The Free Press gave the story very good coverage in Thursday’s edition.

Detroit Welcomes Pistons and Two New Global Businesses

R.Miller.HeadshotDowntown Detroit sealed its position as the best sports venue in the country – home of four major league sports teams within a vibrant walkable, 24-7-365 urban center – when the tentative agreement to bring the Pistons to Little Caesars Arena was announced last month. Within a few days, our city also welcomed two world-class manufacturing companies, Adient and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas Corporation, and got a glimpse of how development might proceed on the Monroe Block.

The revitalization of a great city requires many kinds of successes, and these are excellent examples, shining a positive spotlight on the whole city. But it would mean little if they didn’t also reap economic benefits that reach far into our city.

To that end, the ten-point benefits plan that the City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority negotiated commits the Pistons to hire Detroiters and use Detroit-based contractors during construction of their practice facility, and to use reasonable efforts to hire Detroit residents to operate it. In the plan the Pistons also agree to invest in recreational facilities throughout the city, mentor young people and participate in youth development programs, among other activities.

The Adient and ArcelorMittal projects collectively inject $181.3 million in private investment and bring more than 600 jobs — including 235 new ones —  to the city of Detroit. You can read more about these companies in the next article. Bedrock’s vision for how it is time to “go vertical” with new office and residential skyscrapers tells the world that Detroit has turned another corner. The formerly vacant office towers Downtown are filling up fast — and only new construction will satisfy the growing demand for prime commercial spaces in Detroit.

All of this is a “win-win” for our city and our residents as Detroit becomes a “must” market for global companies in addition to being the best sports venue in the country.

MSF Provides Grants to New Businesses Adient and ArcelorMittal

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Two new projects which will attract private investment of $215.3 million and bring 265 jobs to Detroit were approved last month by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board.

Adient, the world’s largest automotive seating supplier, will locate its operational headquarters in the Marquette Building in downtown Detroit while ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas Corporation, one of the leading steel producers in the world, will establish a new manufacturing center in the recently established industrial park near I-94.

“These projects reflect each private companies’ long-term commitment to the economic viability of Detroit,” said Steve Arwood, chief executive officer at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the state’s business attraction arm that administers programs and conducts due diligence on incentive agreements with private companies.

“Adient and ArcelorMittal coming to Detroit further strengthens our city’s standing as the automotive capital of the world,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president and CEO, DEGC.

Adient recently announced it acquired the 10-story, 164,000 sq. ft. Marquette Building at 243 West Congress for its global headquarters. The Fortune 200 automotive supplier will be the first Fortune 500 company to establish a headquarters presence in Michigan since 2003.

Earlier this year, Adient became a publicly traded company when it spun off from Johnson Controls Inc. Since late October, the company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In wooing Adient in a competition with the city of Milwaukee, which is home to Johnson Controls, the MEDC negotiated a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. In return, Adient committed to a $97.8 private investment and the creation of 115 jobs.

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks is in the industrial park near I-94 that includes Flex-N-Gate, a key site to the state’s automotive industry resurgence. With the support in May of a state grant, Flex-N-Gate will invest $95 million to manufacture exterior trim components along with aluminum and steel modular stamped body chassis assemblies, among other products.

ArcelorMittal receives a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance grant for a project that will create a minimum of 120 jobs over five years, and a capital investment of $83.5 million.

 

Peter H. Chapman
Executive Vice President for Business Development

D2D Buyer Ready Business: Advance Plumbing Heating & Supply Company

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Advance Plumbing Heating & Supply Company is a single-source premier plumbing and heating supply distributor to plumbers, builders, interior designers, kitchen and bath dealers, and home owners who want to upgrade a kitchen or bathroom. In addition to offering reputable and top-of-the-line brands, Advance Plumbing specializes in providing fully-functional period-appropriate replacement plumbing and heating parts for Detroit’s historic homes. Advance Plumbing is a fourth-generation family-owned business that has been in Detroit for 97 years, and is led by Jeffrey Moss, president and owner.

What is the history and background of Advance Plumbing Heating & Supply Company?

The company was started in Detroit 97 years ago by my grandfather and has remained in the family, and in Detroit, ever since. Advance Plumbing continues to serve area businesses and homeowners, especially providing period-appropriate restoration plumbing supplies, even steam boilers, to many of Detroit’s historic homes. In addition to offering a wide array of reputable and leading-edge products, we source products for the specialized restoration market and from unique plumbing sources worldwide. Recently, we moved to a new headquarters to Midtown to open Detroit’s first-ever decorative plumbing showroom in the spring of 2017. Our new showroom will be open to the public and our offices and warehouse are already in place at the same location, in an historic building built in 1918 that is a little older than Advance Plumbing. Restoring the building’s façade is our contribution to beautifying Cass Ave.

What are some of Advance Plumbing Heating & Supply Company’s notable clients?

Clients with name recognition include: Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, University of Detroit Mercy, Motor City Casino, MGM Casino and the new Little Caesar’s Arena. Other notable clients include the many contractors and designers from the suburbs who are now working in Detroit to accommodate all the building projects related to the city’s resurgence. 

Why did Advance Plumbing Heating & Supply Company move to a new Detroit headquarters?

It’s been a dream of mine to open a decorative plumbing showroom in Detroit to offer the latest, greatest and most beautiful plumbing products to the residents and businesses of our home town. Our new location offers the space we need to accommodate every aspect of the business, in addition to the decorative showroom. In the past, we were repairing homes and businesses throughout the city. Now, we’re helping to rebuild the city by supplying to contractors who are developing new structures as part of the city’s resurgence. DEGC was very helpful throughout the entire process, especially in finding our new headquarters location, providing information on tax abatements and grants, facilitating the review and approval of the local tax abatement, and marketing our business to other Detroit-based businesses. We also received a Motor City Match grant, which supported numerous aspects of the relocation process. 

What are the benefits of connecting with other Detroit businesses?

For generations, we have had a front-row seat as Detroit moved through history, some of which was not kind to the city or its residents. Now, there is a new Detroit emerging, and a great number of services are needed to accommodate the rapid growth and development. Connecting with other Detroit-based businesses to meet these demands not only supports these businesses and keeps jobs in the city, it also helps to develop a community of business owners who are dedicated to helping Detroit prosper again.

Lily Hamburger
Small Business Development Manager