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City receives $872,000 grant for industrial park


by Judy Reed

This photo shows West Street looking south, where the road and water and sewer will be extended to create an industrial park. Courtesy photo.

A federal grant to create a new industrial park will make it possible for at least two local businesses to expand and bring new jobs to the area.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced on Monday that they are awarding an $872,220 grant to the city of Cedar Springs, Michigan, to provide critical infrastructure improvements needed to develop a new industrial park at the end of West Street.

“The development of a business park should bring in significant investment into the City, not only in jobs and property taxes but also employee customers for other local businesses, as they go to and from work and out for lunch,” said City Manager Mike Womack, who has been working on the grant for some time with City Finance Director Darla Falcon and the City Council. 

This EDA grant will be matched with $581,480 in local investment from the City, and is expected to attract an eventual $30 million in private investment, create 80 jobs, and retain 72 jobs.

The project will help fund the roadways, and water and wastewater infrastructure to establish the West Street Industrial Park in the City of Cedar Springs. The project will also create 55 acres of development-ready land for future growth opportunities. 

 “President Trump is dedicated to helping communities across the nation build the critical infrastructure they need to support business development and growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “This investment in Cedar Springs will help provide development-ready industrial space needed to attract new businesses and the high-skill, high-wage jobs they create.”

This photo shows a map of the West Street property area. Courtesy photo.

The project will extend West Street to the south, and extend water and sewer to two properties—725 West St NE and 730 West St NE. Those properties were formerly used as the City’s wastewater lagoons from 1965 to 1999, when they were closed. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,453,700.

Two businesses already interested in expanding to the business park include J-Star Motion Corporation and Cedar Springs Brewing Company. 

J-Star, a manufacturer of adjustable height table bases, currently has a location on West Street with 35 employees, but are on the way to doubling that to 70 and cannot grow anymore in their current space. They said they would build a $275,000 square foot facility in the business park if the road and utilities were extended there. They said they would invest $22 million in building and $5 million in equipment, and add another 50 jobs on top of the 70.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company, located at 95 N. Main Street, is also running out of room for their manufacturing and package production. They are unable to grow in their current location, and there is no other site with city water that would be appropriate for their facility. They plan to increase the number of jobs by 30, and invest $1.5 million in construction and $1.5 million in new equipment.

A timeline has not yet been set for the project.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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