$52 Million in Construction Contracts Awarded for New Detroit Arena

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At the recommendation of Olympia Development of Michigan, the Downtown Development Authority approved nearly $52 million in new contracts last month for work on the new Detroit Events Center, raising the total dollars of contracts awarded for the massive catalyst development project to more than $257 million.

Detroit-based or -headquartered businesses earned more than $27 million of the new contracts. With today’s awards, total Detroit business participation in The District Detroit is at 65 percent, well above the aggressive 30 percent target set by Olympia Development. Michigan businesses have earned 95 percent of the value of all contracts awarded so far.

As part of the contracts awarded today, Detroit-based Motor City Electric earned a $16 million contract for electrical work for the new arena, and Detroit-based Ideal Contracting earned an $11 million contract for additional foundation and steel work. MSL/Limbach JV was awarded a $24 million contract for mechanical and plumbing work. MSL/Limbach JV also earned smaller contracts for $338,000 for pre-construction mechanical, electrical and plumbing services and $493,000 for mechanical and HVAC services.

“With more than $250 million awarded to date, The District Detroit project is far exceeding our target for Detroit business participation and providing real, multi-million dollar opportunities to Detroit companies and people, furthering our commitment to a ‘Michigan Made, Detroit Built’ development,” said Steve Marquardt, vice president of Olympia Development of Michigan.

Tim Miles
Director, Construction and Contract Services

Sakthi Automotive Campus Expansion Receives Renaissance Zone Designation

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Sakthi Automotive Group USA, Inc. received approval last month for a “Designated Renaissance Zone” from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, for its campus expansion project on Detroit’s southwest side. The nearly 38-acre zone is located near 6401 W. Fort St., Sakthi’s current headquarters, and 150 American Way.

In May 2015 Sakthi announced plans to renovate the former Detroit Southwestern High School into a manufacturing campus and training center for new engineers that will house 650 employees. When completed, the project is expected to generate $31.8 million in private investment and create 350 jobs in the city of Detroit.

Sakthi Automotive is a division of the Sakthi Group, one of the fastest growing business groups in South India. It is a major supplier to automotive OEMs of safety critical automotive components including steering knuckles, control arms, brake drums, brake discs, hubs, brake calipers and carriers.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) has been involved with Sakthi since 2012, when the manufacturer first considered bringing $25 million in investment and 170 new jobs to Detroit to manufacture safety critical automotive components. DEGC went on to assist Sakthi in moving into its current location on West Fort Street which led to 480 additional new jobs and a significant expansion of that facility.

Tracie Tillinger
Business Development Manager

DEGC Welcomes Tweddle Group to Detroit’s Creative Corridor

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Tweddle Group, a global leader in information solutions that creates products that enable the connected vehicle, intelligent diagnostics/prognostics and vehicle quality, made the move to Detroit last month. Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) assisted in identifying and securing the new space for the company at 2111 Woodward in the Francis Palms building, home of The Fillmore Detroit.

DEGC is dedicated to bringing new businesses into the city, and Tweddle Group is exactly the kind of company that DEGC is looking for, as they are rooted in technology and growing rapidly.

In 2015, Tweddle was ranked by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Michigan and recently was recognized by The Detroit Free Press as one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Michigan.

DEGC showed Tweddle the depth and breadth of Detroit spaces that were available, providing a tour of buildings ranging from historic to modern in structure. Over the course of two days DEGC was able to find the right home for Tweddle. The Francis Palms building offers great proximity to public transportation, including the future M-1 Rail, and unique features like a bike storage area. The high-speed internet connectivity in the building also was attractive to the specific needs of Tweddle.

“We were very appreciative of the support given to us by the DEGC and want to be a part of the technology revolution occurring in downtown Detroit,” said Ty Beltramo, chief innovation officer, Tweddle Group. “We will be able to support our customers better and attract the best and brightest in the technology sector by locating such a prominent location, with close access to other technology partners. It’s a great time to be in Detroit, and we are happy to participate in the renaissance of this great city!”

Tweddle Group will occupy the entire eighth floor, about 7,044 square feet, with a team of about 30 technologists this month; additional staff members will move in in 2016. Approximately fifty employees will work in the new office by 2017.

Mark Denson
Business Development Manager

Imperial Fresh Market Celebrates Expansion, New Name

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Imperial Fresh Market, formerly known as Banner Super Store, celebrated its grand reopening and rebranding last month with food samples and store tours for members of the community and civic leaders, including Mayor Mike Duggan.

The $6.2 million investment to expand Imperial is the largest to date by an independent Detroit grocer. It is also the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) Green Grocer Project’s biggest project to date for an independent store. The expansion doubled the size of the store to 40,000 square feet, as well as added a deli and a café. Fifty new jobs were created as a result of the expansion, doubling Imperial’s staff.

“When you look around this store you see the kind of quality and choices Detroiters deserve,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This project demonstrates what we can do in neighborhoods across our city when we make a strong commitment to small businesses. The community is getting more healthy food choices and 50 new jobs. That’s a big win for our neighborhoods and for Detroit.”

Imperial has served Detroit’s west side for more than 20 years – and is an excellent example of a grocer that provides nutritious options in Detroit, which is crucial to the city’s revitalization.

DEGC’s Green Grocer Project supports Detroit’s grocery economy through technical assistance, facade improvements and financing. The Green Grocer Project coordinated technical assistance and financing for Imperial Fresh Market as the Shina family invested $6.2 million in the expansion of their store at Lyndon and Schaefer. With Capital Impact Partners as the lead, JPMorgan Chase, Invest Detroit and the WK Kellogg Foundation comprise the financing partners. This project also received multi-million dollar New Markets Tax Credit financing from Capital Impact, a very significant incentive for an independent grocer in Detroit.

“Our family is proud to be part of the revitalization of the city,” said Sam Shina, co-owner of Imperial Market Fresh. “We expanded and renovated this store to bring the best market to the neighborhood. It is about our customers; we want them to be proud of their neighborhood store. We are grateful for the partners who were instrumental in making this happen including DEGC, JPMorgan Chase and Capital Impact.”

Imperial is located at 14424 Schaefer Highway in Detroit. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Mariangela Pledl
Senior Business Development Manager

Motor City Match Round II Coming Jan. 25

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Nearly 100 more businesses will receive support to start or expand in Detroit as part of the second round of Motor City Match winners. Fifty individuals will receive business planning classes. Others will receive help identifying quality Detroit locations for their business or technical assistance to plan for the buildout of their space. Ten individuals will share in $100,000 in grant funding to help them complete their funding needs and launch their business idea.

In addition to the winners, an additional 50 properties will be added to the list vetted by Motor City Match as top locations to grow businesses in Detroit neighborhoods.

Winners will be announced at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. The announcement will take place as part of the Motor City Match Round II Winners Summit at the former site of the St. Columba Episcopal Church. The site is one of several Motor City Match properties available for new businesses in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood.

Following the winners announcement, Motor City Match participants will have the opportunity to attend a business leasing and financing workshop and tour select Motor City Match properties in the surrounding neighborhood.

The summit will also include a Business 2 Business Tradeshow where program participants can meet approved technical assistance providers in the following service areas: legal, accounting and financial planning, marketing and branding, merchandising and interior design, business consulting and construction. A full event schedule will be available at the News and Events section of the Motor City Match website.

Launched by Mayor Duggan earlier last year, Motor City Match connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit’s quality real estate opportunities and provides them with the funding and technical assistance to help them get from idea to open.

Applicants are encouraged to continually reapply to Motor City Match as they move through each stage of the business development process. For example, once a business plan winner is prepared to start looking for a space, they should update their application and resubmit it for a chance to receive additional property selection or buildout support.

Learn more about Motor City Match and the resources available to help grow and expand businesses in Detroit at MotorCityMatch.com.

Michael Forsyth
Director of Small Business Development