Area Development
Three companies are planning expansions in The Great Lake State with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation reported the projects are expected to generate $13.6 million in total private investment and create 243 jobs in Ionia, Oak Park and Spring Lake.

“The projects approved by MSF today underscore Michigan’s business-friendly environment and the strength of the state’s manufacturing talent,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“We’re pleased to work with our local partners and support these investments, which will mean more jobs and greater economic opportunities for Michigan residents,” he said.

Expansion projects include;

Almond Products Inc., a metal finishing company serving automotive, military and office furniture customers, plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Spring Lake.

Located in Spring Lake Township with manufacturing operations in Silao, Mexico, Almond Products specializes in pretreatment and stand-alone coatings as well as specialized assembly and masking capabilities. The company is experiencing significant growth and needs to expand its facility in Spring Lake.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $5.3 million and create 72 jobs, resulting in an $850,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over the site in Mexico. The company will contribute the MSF funds to upgrade capacity of the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Sewer Authority, which currently does not have capacity for growth.

“The Township of Spring Lake and the MEDCl has been extremely supportive and provided resources to aide in expansion in the State of Michigan,” said Almond Products President & COO Joy Ponce.

In an additional incentive, Spring Lake Township is offering a 50 percent property tax abatement in support of the project.

Another firm Bordrin Motor Corporation, an electric vehicle manufacturer, plans to expand its research and development by opening a new, larger R&D center in the city of Oak Park. Specializing in new energy vehicle development, Bordrin’s North America headquarters will serve as home to more than 110 employees. Bordrin’s U.S. team will focus on the development of new platforms with world class lightweight body design, vehicle dynamics, and highly efficient powertrain systems.The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3.4 million and create 62 jobs, resulting in a $496,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“We are excited to locate our North American Technical Center in Michigan to help us incorporate world class technical leadership into our team and future products,” said Bordrin President North America and Chief Technology Officer Jerry Lavine.

As an additional incentive, the city of Oak Park will assist Bordrin with expedited plan reviews, permitting, and waiver of non-statutory fees.

“I’m excited Bordrin Automotive is expanding its high tech presence in Oak Park,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Much of the innovation and development of the electric vehicle happens in Oakland County and Bordrin is a key player in that global market. They are an important part of our international business community and join other Chinese companies who have chosen to make their North American homes in Oakland County.”

Ventra Ionia Main, a subsidiary of Flex-N-Gate, a supplier of bumpers, exterior trim, lighting, aluminum and steel modular stamped body in white and chassis assemblies, and other OEM automotive products, needs additional space for the new Ford Ranger bumper program. The company plans to purchase an existing facility in the city of Ionia that is adjacent to its existing operations.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4.8 million and create 109 jobs, resulting in a $600,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Illinois and Indiana.

“Today’s news wouldn’t be possible without the assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the city of Ionia. Flex-N-Gate’s growth in Michigan proves that the automotive industryl is still robust. We are proud of our growth, and are poised to help our customers meet growing demand,” said Flex-N-Gate Vice President of Procurement Bill Beistline.

The city of Ionia is supportive of the project and encourages the company to submit an application for a property tax abatement. Historically, the city has supported business expansions that result in job growth and an increase in capabilities with property tax abatements.

“Ventra and the Ionia business community continue to be a vibrant contributor to West Michigan’s economic growth,” said Therese Thill, Vice President, Business Development, and project lead. “We are proud to support another growing business that will create jobs right here in West Michigan.”