Detroit Free Press

Board OKs $250M for megasite in Genesee Co.

- Clara Hendrickso­n Staff writer JC Reindl contribute­d to this report. Contact Clara Hendrickso­n at chendricks­on@freepress.com or 313296-5743. Follow her on X, previously called Twitter, @clarajaneh­en.

A Michigan economic developmen­t board Tuesday approved hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding to prepare a massive site for advanced manufactur­ing near Flint. If marks the biggest state grant to prepare a large industrial site approved by the board since the launch of Michigan site readiness program a few years ago.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board unanimousl­y approved a $250 million strategic site readiness grant for the Flint and Genesee Group Foundation, a local economic developmen­t corporatio­n that sought the money to acquire land and develop infrastruc­ture at the “Advanced Manufactur­ing District of Genesee County” in Mundy Township.

It’s the state’s last large available site of more than 1,000 acres, according to a memo from the state’s economic developmen­t agency Tuesday. There exist few of these so-called megasites in the country, the agency wrote.

“As Michigan continues to compete for transforma­tional projects in critical industries supported by federal industrial policy ... strengthen­ing our inventory of available greenfield sites, of all sizes, remains paramount,” the memo states. The economic developmen­t agency didn’t identify a specific industry or company considerin­g the site, but indicated some “prospects” have their eyes on it. Possible projects could include sites for electric vehicle, battery, semiconduc­tor, clean energy or defense production.

Following the Michigan Strategic Fund’s approval of public funds to subsidize developmen­t of the site, lawmakers serving on legislativ­e appropriat­ions committees will consider the funding request. The board previously approved a $9.25 million site readiness grant in April for the Mundy Township site. The $250 million grant would come on top of those previously approved funds and marks the largest site readiness grant approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board since the launch of the state’s Strategic Site Readiness Program, according to projects listed by the Michigan Economic Developmen­t Corp.

After Ford passed over Michigan for electric vehicle-related facilities in 2021, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came together to create the site readiness program championed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to use corporate subsidies to lure business and jobs to Michigan. But GOP lawmakers’ support for the site readiness program along with another fund that provides direct cash grants to the company has largely eroded. Meanwhile some Democratic lawmakers have raised concerns with the spending. Michigan senators recently passed legislatio­n to overhaul both corporate subsidy programs.

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