Flex-N-Gate to Build New Facility in Detroit

degc-detroit- growth-update_june_2016 FNG Kahn

Flex-N-Gate, a top global auto supplier headquartered in Illinois, will invest $95 million in construction and capital costs to build a facility in the I-94 Industrial Park that will supply parts to Ford Motor Company. The project will create at least 400 and up to 650 new jobs in Detroit over the next three years.

“This news is further evidence that the United States auto industry is strong, promising and experiencing exceptional growth,” said Shahid Khan, owner.  “Building a new plant from the ground up within the Detroit city limits will be a milestone moment for Flex-N-Gate, made possible thanks to our partnership and collaboration with Ford Motor Company, the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan.”

Flex-N-Gate has committed to meeting Detroit-based hiring and contracting thresholds outlined in Executive Orders 4 & 5 (2014) and to develop a comprehensive hiring plan in conjunction with the City’s Human Rights Department and Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., to help ensure jobs for Detroiters.

“Nothing is more important to our city than creating jobs for Detroiters,” said Mayor Duggan.  “The fact that Flex-N-Gate has committed to such a strong local hiring and contracting plan shows the company’s deep level of commitment to being a partner with the community.”

The 189-acre I-94 Industrial Park is under control of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).  Since 2000, EDC has overseen the property acquisition, clean up and development of the land.  The Park’s first major new tenant, LINC Logistics, opened a new $30-million, $500,000-square-foot facility immediately adjacent to the Flex-N-Gate site earlier this year.

This new multi-layered investment provides a major boost to the I-94 Industrial Park, and is the culmination of a collaborative effort among the city of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which administers incentives and programs on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund. MEDC also serves as the state’s chief business attraction and marketing agency along with directing the Pure Michigan campaign.

“The expansion of Flex-N-Gate’s presence in Michigan demonstrates the broad range of productive possibilities for private investors and job creators when local and state economic development teams work with one of the state’s bedrock automotive companies and a privately owned auto supplier,” said MEDC CEO Steve Arwood, who noted Flex-N-Gate is among 81 of the top global auto suppliers that have North American headquarters or tech centers in the state.

Malinda Jensen

Vice President, Business Development

D2D Buyer Ready Business: Infinite Technologies LLC – Harold Lasenby, President and CEO

degc-detroit- growth-update_june_2016 D2D Buyer Ready Business- Infinite Technologies LLC  -  Harold Lasenby
Infinite Technologies LLC is a one-stop shop for technology needs in the Detroit community. The company’s three areas of focus include design/development of security surveillance systems, IT network/computer support and telephone system support. The 14-year-old business is led by President and CEO Harold Lasenby.

What is the history and background of Infinite Technologies?

Prior to founding Infinite Technologies I was involved in telecommunications for Ilitch Holdings Inc. and I noticed that there were not many smaller companies in the industry, and I wanted to change that. I launched Infinite Technologies to focus on supporting small- to medium-sized companies in a variety of technology facets. I wanted to provide technology counsel from conception to implementation to installation, taking our clients through that process in its entirety, and provide ongoing support going forward.


The company was founded with the belief that a highly skilled staff and strong leadership is the cornerstone of success. Infinite Technologies believes when technology is applied effectively, and with the customer’s business in mind, it helps the customer worry less about the solutions and more about their core business.


What are some of Infinite Technologies notable clients?

We work with a lot of health care organizations including DMC and Arcadia Healthcare. We also work with Charles H. Wright Museum and Covenant House of Michigan.


In 2007, we worked on Second Ebenezer Church $25M facility and were instrumental in designing, creating and supporting the church’s security systems, computer network/support and telephone services.


The services we provide to each client vary. Sometimes it’s a combination of our offerings and other times it is one isolated service. In most cases the uniqueness of what we do is that we’re an all-in-one service provider.


What is Infinite Technologies culture?

Although we’re smaller we’ve always been heavy into experience and many of our employees have 15 to 25 years’ industry experience. We value working with smaller companies; our expertise makes Infinite Technologies uniquely qualified


We work hard and go above and beyond for our clients, including 24/7 support. My staff prides itself on being diligent and customer-focused.


In fact, a majority of the Infinite Technologies staff are Detroiters, and many are veterans. We’ll continue to hire Detroiters and veterans and be an important resource here in the city.


Why did Infinite Technologies select Detroit as its headquarters?

I was born and raised here; I’m a product of Detroit public schools. I attended Michigan State University and I’ve worked in Detroit for over two decades. I wanted to build a company here in the city and support Detroit through thick and thin. As a Detroiter I’m delighted to have a business here and I also want to help other small Detroit-based companies.


What companies have you collaborated with in Detroit?

I’m affiliated with the Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Business, Detroit, so I have the opportunity to collaborate with many Detroit business. Infinite Technologies works with many community-based companies as well as larger commercial companies here in the city. We’re also a part of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council which provides a lot of opportunities as well. Lastly, we’re a part of D2D, which does a phenomenal job connecting Detroit businesses with one another.


What are the benefits of connecting with other Detroit businesses?

As a longstanding Detroit business it’s very fulfilling to grow with other companies and help each other out. It’s been an amazing experience to be a part of Detroit’s comeback alongside my mentors like SEEL, LLC and other local companies. We’re been an integral part of the city’s success when we (Detroit businesses) work together.




Brian Watkins

D2D Program Manager

Downtown Development Authority approves plans for new parking deck at Comerica Park


February 25, 2016, Detroit – The Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has approved plans for Detroit Tigers, Inc. to build a $29 million parking deck between Montcalm St. and the Fisher Freeway South Service Drive, across from Comerica Park. The 900-space deck would replace a surface parking lot and would serve St. John’s Episcopal Church as well as the sports and entertainment venues in the area.

The Tigers designed the deck to blend with the architecture of Comerica Park. Landscaping and green space along the south and east sides will help create a pedestrian-friendly environment and a gathering spot before or after Comerica Park events.

The land is owned by the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority, which must also approve the project before construction begins. If the Tigers receive timely approvals they expect construction to begin this spring and be completed next year.

Moddie Turay
Executive Vice President of Real Estate

DDA Approves New Contracts for The District Detroit Development

The District Detroit development

Nine new contracts worth nearly $50 million were approved by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in late January for The District Detroit development.

Among the contracts awarded to Detroit-based businesses, Midwest Steel earned a contract for parking structure precast concrete for $16.7 million, Ideal Contracting earned a contract for parking structure concrete for $8.6 million, and Christen Detroit earned a contract worth $2.5 million for the arena roofing system.

Other contracts awarded include:

  • Rohrscheib Sons Caissons, parking garage deep foundations, $3.4 million
  • Cimco Refrigeration, Inc., arena ice rink systems, $3.6 million
  • Staging Concepts \ SC Railing Company, arena ornamental metals, $5.4 million
  • HydroWorx International, Inc., hydrotherapy pools & equipment, $394,400.
  • Shambaugh & Sons LP, project wide fire protection, $5 million.
  • Madison Heights Glass Company, arena exterior and interior glazing, $4.1 million

With $308 million dollars in contracts awarded to date for The District Detroit development, $196.5 million have gone to Detroit-based or –headquartered businesses. Detroit and Michigan companies together have earned the vast majority of the dollar value of the contracts, more than $299 million.

“We continue to work extremely hard to source this project locally. The District Detroit development already represents nearly $200 million in income going directly to Detroit–based or –headquartered businesses. This is just the kind of economic impact that we expected for Detroit and Michigan businesses from this transformative project,” said Steve Marquardt, Vice President of Olympia Development of Michigan.

The District Detroit will be made up of a dynamic mix of sports and entertainment venues, including six world-class theatres and three multi-use sports venues – home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. The District Detroit will also feature residential, office and retail developments that connect these venues into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love.

Tim Miles
Director, Construction & Contract Services

Construction Begins at New DuCharme Place in Lafayette Park

DuCharme Place, LLC

Construction of the new $45 million DuCharme Place apartment community in Lafayette Park is now underway and expected to be complete by the first quarter 2017. The four-building, 185-unit apartment project at 1544 E. Lafayette Boulevard on the west side of the Dequindre Cut is being developed by Walter Cohen and his son David Cohen under the name DuCharme Place, LLC.

“We saw this as an ideal opportunity to develop a lifestyle-focused residential community,” said Walter Cohen. “DuCharme Place offers indoor parking, top quality amenities and is centrally located, while offering affordable living to Detroiters.”

Ducharme Place will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 500 to 1,100 square feet. It will include enclosed parking, 24-hour security, a fitness center, a swimming pool with a spa and a private sky terrace. Rent for the units is expected to range from $900 to $1,500 per month. It is within walking distance of the attractions and employment of the Central Business District, Dequindre Cut bicycle/walking path, and the River Walk, Detroit’s beautiful riverfront park.

Under an approved brownfield plan, DuCharme Place, LLC was approved for approximately $4.8M in reimbursement for eligible activities that include environmental site assessments, site preparation and infrastructure improvements. The developer also was also assisted by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Business Development team in receiving a Commercial Rehabilitation Tax Abatement (PA 210) from the City of Detroit, With more than 30 years’ development experience in Detroit that includes the Stroh River Place and the Park Shelton, Walter Cohen and his companies have professionally managed, developed and built more than 3,000 multi-family units in the Detroit area.

The DuCharme partners and collaborators include: Sachse Construction, McIntosh Poris Associates, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Jennifer Kanalos
Director of Brownfield Redevelopment