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Auto supplier joint venture to bring 390 jobs to Bedrock-owned site in southwest Detroit

Bedrock announced Tuesday that LM Manufacturing, a joint venture between Magna and LAN Manufacturing, will lease 296,000 square feet of manufacturing space on its Sakthi Industrial Campus to produce automotive seating. The project is expected to create 390 jobs.

Bedrock said Tuesday the lease is its first major industrial development and highlights the ongoing demand for manufacturing space in Detroit.

“The U.S. demand for modern and adaptable industrial space has grown exponentially over the past decade,” Kofi Bonner, Bedrock CEO, said in a release Tuesday. “In order to retain a competitive edge, it is imperative that Detroit maintains development-ready sites that incorporate modern industrial facilities to not only foster business growth and expansion but provide access to much-needed job opportunities.”

Bonner called the partnership with LM Manufacturing a “game changer” for the city’s Delray neighborhood as the development transforms the vacant site into a “beacon of opportunity and sustainability.”

The announcement comes as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Michigan Strategic Fund board on Tuesday approved a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant.

In addition to jobs, the project is expected to result in an investment of up to $18.1 million in the city. Wages at the plant are expected to pay an average of $900 per week plus benefits, according to a MEDC briefing memo.

Bedrock’s investment in industrial real estate, particularly the former Sakthi campus, will be a good long-term play for the company, said James Becker, principal and managing director of Avison Young Commercial Real Estate’s Detroit office.

“The push on distribution, the access or proximity to the Gordie Howe bridge, the new expressway infrastructure that’s associated with that are all generally favorable to that site,” he said.

Becker said the project will benefit the Delray area and could draw from nearby blue-collar workers. He said given Bedrock’s positive impact on the city, it’s good to see the firm expand into the industrial sector.

According to the memo that detailed its grant request, Magna Seating had considered an existing facility in Lancaster, Ohio, for the development.

The company was interested in locating the facility in Michigan “due to the site and the existing presence of part of the joint venture,” the memo stated. “Even though the Company would like to locate in Michigan, incentive assistance is necessary to ensure the project moves forward in Michigan.”

In addition to the $2 million grant, the city of Detroit anticipates a property tax abatement to support the project, the memo stated.

LM Manufacturing LLC, founded in 2019, is a partnership between Magna Seating of America Inc., one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers and LAN Manufacturing Group LLC, a Michigan-based minority-owned automotive supplier.

“It’s exciting to think about the opportunities the joint venture can deliver, especially creating new jobs in the Detroit area,” said Sylvester Hester, president and CEO of LM Manufacturing LLC, in the release Tuesday.

In September 2020, Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock purchased the 37-acre site in Detroit’s Delray neighborhood. The campus included 529,000 square feet of industrial and manufacturing space, 89,000 square feet of office and flex space as well as 10 acres of land available for development.

“This announcement is the latest sign of the resurgence of Detroit’s auto manufacturing industry and expanding opportunity for Detroiters,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in the release. “We are fortunate to have this team come together to re-occupy the former Sakthi campus, bringing nearly 400 jobs to an area of the city that needs them and making the hiring of Detroit residents a priority.”

Posted By: The Detroit News on February 22, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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