Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. hosted members of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Executive Committee on July 10-11 as they gathered to consider pathways for even more economic vitality in the state.
Mayor O’Reilly also serves on the MEDC Executive Committee, and is the only municipal leader on the governor-appointed board. The 20-member executive committee provides policy direction to the MEDC for funding development program and initiatives throughout the state.
The MEDC offers funding mechanisms for significant development projects, which are often transformational for a community, or designed to spur more investment in the areas around them.
Mayor O’Reilly and his administration have successfully pursued MEDC support for landmark projects in Dearborn.
O’Reilly presented the outcomes of some of these projects to the executive committee on Tuesday, including the $16 million City Hall Artspace Lofts (transformation of the former city hall); the $30 million The Union (student housing for the University of Michigan-Dearborn); Habitat for Humanity homes (which transformed an aging neighborhood in the east end); the $70 million Dearborn Town Center (a large medical office building that replaced the eyesore vacant Wards store); and the $9 million Hampton Inn in the west downtown.
“We are diligent in seeking all avenues to encourage economic development in our city,” said O’Reilly. “We’ve consistently worked with the MEDC to secure funding mechanisms and incentives for commercial projects, allowing the private sector to pursue transformational projects that increase the vitality of our city.”
He also explained the potential impact of Ford Motor Company’s Wagner Place project ($85 million investment), under construction now in the west downtown; Ford’s Fairlane Center offices, which revitalized Fairlane Mall; and the Severstal/AK Steel Rouge Complex, which was upgraded with about $1.5 billion in investments in state-of-the-art technology.
All told, since the year 2000, the east downtown has seen $115 million in investments, with $20 million in MEDC incentives. In the west downtown, more than $135 million has been invested since 2000, spurred on with $15 million in MEDC incentives.
Incentives for advanced manufacturing projects have resulted in a $4 billion investment in Dearborn since 2000, using up to $50 million in MEDC incentives. These developments have also preserved 1,500 skilled workforce jobs in the city.
O’Reilly told the executive committee that more investment is expected in Dearborn’s east and west downtowns in coming years, and in the Warren Avenue Corridor and Dix-Vernon Corridor, both of which now have state-authorized Corridor Authorities to assist with the planning and funding of improvements.
The MEDC Executive Committee met at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
For more information on Dearborn’s projects, visit http://cityofdearborn.org/government/departments/economic-and-community-development