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$7.3M in grants to Metro Detroit companies OK’d

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan Strategic Fund, a semi-public state board charged with awarding investments to spur economic growth, awarded $7.3 million in grant money Tuesday for projects by three companies in Metro Detroit — AM General, Credit Acceptance Corp. and Antolin Shelby Inc.

The 10-member board that’s part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation approves grants, loans and tax incentives for companies promising to create jobs or grow Michigan’s economy by locating, beginning, or expanding business in the state instead of elsewhere in the nation.

■AM General LLC: The board approved a $1.4 million performance-based grant for AM General, which designs and builds specialized vehicles for military and commercial customers. The investment is expected to create 55 new jobs over a three-year period while the company invests up to $9.5 million in Auburn Hills as it relocates a Livonia facility.

The company has leased the same engineering and product development facility in Livonia for more than 30 years. AM General also had technical support at that location, but the lease is set to expire in the coming year and the company had a difficult time finding a building with the right ratio of office and shop space that met Department of Defense security requirements, according to the MEDC memo.

■Credit Acceptance Corp,: The board OK’d a $2.3 million performance-based grant for auto financing company Credit Acceptance Corp.

The company plans to expand its Southfield location in a project that will create up to 532 new jobs over a five-year period. It needed the state aid to offset the cost of extending a lease contract and make up for wage difference between Southfield and Henderson, Nevada, where the average wage is $2 less, the company says.

Credit Acceptance Corp. originally considered expanding in Henderson, the MEDC memo said. The grant helped make up the difference.

State officials at the MEDC also approved a $1.8 million grant to the company in 2012 for a project that created 274 jobs in Southfield.

■Antolin Shelby Inc.: The subsidiary of Auburn Hills-based Grupo Antolin which supplies automotive doors, seats and lighting, received a $3.6 million performance-based grant that’s expected to create 430 new jobs in Shelby Township, according to an MEDC memo. The company is expected to invest up to $61.2 million in the Macomb County township.

Antolin Shelby says the company did not have enough room in existing facilities for its operations and recently entered into a 10-year lease for a 350,000-square-foot facility in the Cherry Creek Industrial Park in Shelby Township.

In addition, the board approved $7.28 million in tax incentives for Stryker Corp. to remediate the property before developing nine vacant pieces of property in Portage. It plans on constructing a 485,000-square-foot research and development complex and asked the state board for the tax abatement to help with the cost of cleaning up environmental problems at the property.

An MEDC memo says the company will invest $215 million in the area and create about 105 permanent full-time jobs with an average $33 hourly wage.

Stryker makes medical products such as joint replacements and surgical equipment.

mgerstein@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3661

Twitter: @MikeGerstein