Detroit-based auto supplier Bridgewater Interiors gets $2M grant for expansion

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Bridgewater Interiors, a Detroit-based automotive supplier, has been awarded a $2 million grant from the state as it plans for expansion that will create 400 jobs, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved Tuesday the Michigan Business Development Program grant for Bridgewater Interiors. The grant is one of several items the board approved during its meeting, including tax incentives for two development projects and a guideline change for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.

According to the MEDC, the company’s expansions in Detroit and Delta Township near Lansing are expected to generate a private investment of $15 million.

“The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting a business in the target industry of mobility and auto manufacturing,” MEDC said in a statement “In addition, a majority of the jobs created as a result of the project will be entry-level positions, bringing new opportunities to area residents and offering a path to higher-wage jobs.”

According to the MEDC, the first phase of the project includes relocating employees from its parent company in Ohio to facilities in Michigan to support Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' truck sub-assembly.

A second phase includes hiring and investing in equipment and facilities to support Ford Motor Company’s Mustang seating program. The third phase is a 20,000-square-foot expansion to the company’s Lansing facility to support General Motors’ next-generation Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved two community revitalization projects and changes to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program guidelines to allow for the use of $41.9 million in federal CDBG CARES Act funding.

Other projects approved Tuesday:

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved a brownfield work plan for the 511 Woodward project that includes a $1.49 million state tax capture.

The 511 Woodward project will rehabilitate a vacant four-story building into retail and office space in downtown Detroit. The first floor will house the Downtown Detroit Partnership. The project is expected to generate a capital investment of $18 million and create 101 full-time equivalent jobs.

The fund board also approved a brownfield work plan for $573,144 state tax capture for Jefferson Larned Development Company LLC’s plans for a 42,000-square-foot Meijer store along the East Jefferson Corridor in Detroit.

The project is expected to generate $15.6 million in capital investment and create 72 full-time equivalent jobs. According to the MEDC, the project will provide healthy food options for area residents, increase economic activity in the community and promote walkability.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved an amendment that will include an additional $41.9 million in federal CDBG Coronavirus Response funds into the Community Development Block Grant program to be used for CARES Act CDBG eligible activities.

The fund board also amended program guidelines to the Michigan Small Business Restart Program announced earlier this month that will allow small businesses that received grants through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program earlier this year to now be eligible for the Michigan Small Business Restart Program grants. Grants cannot exceed $20,000.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN