DEGC Keeps Moving Forward

If you have been reading or hearing some negative opinions in the media about DEGC, don’t be alarmed because we are still working with the same focus and intensity as ever — if not more.

In late March we facilitated DBRA approval of plans for the Pistons Practice Facility and Herman Kiefer redevelopments, and during the next 30 days we will announce a proposed DDA TIF Plan Revision, hold Motor City Match events, continue facilitating development in the arena district, grow our foreign direct investment program and much more.

While any transition at the top of an organization will create a few distractions, I’ve been here for almost 25 years and CFO since 2002, and I’m just a part of DEGC’s deep bench strength with its 48 experienced professionals. Our leadership team has a great balance of seasoned members mixed with knowledgeable new-comers who bring fresh skills and perspectives.

We are in the midst of a tremendous revitalization of the city of Detroit, with important and exciting work to do with both large and small enterprises, in neighborhoods throughout the city, and with interested companies and investors from around the world.

Our overall mission and work has not changed. We will have a new home for the Red Wings and Pistons this fall. We will continue to manage successful programs supporting small business. We will continue to attract new business to Detroit. We will continue to support Riverfront development. Most of all, we will continue to ensure that Detroiters are not forgotten as the city continues to rise.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Mayor and City Council, our board members, funders and many other partners, stakeholders, and other clients. We expect all those relationships to continue to be productive and grow along with Detroit’s economic future.

You can count on us to continue to deliver excellence.

Regards,

Glen W. Long, Jr. 
CFO/Interim President & CEO

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

300h-Marquette.Bldg-121

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