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GRAND RAPIDS, MI-The Michigan Economic Development Corp. will assist the city in revitalizing its Monroe North Business District, a 114-acre area of primarily older industrial buildings. The revitalization will include the acquisition of valuable property along the waterfront, removal of an old railroad line and the construction of a 718-space parking deck.

Also, the revitalization will assist Grand Rapids Press’ plans to modernize its facility and forego its current free parking and participate in the new deck.

A brownfield Single Business Tax credit will aid the Grand Rapids Press with refurbishment and expansion of the facility as well as replacement of obsolete equipment. The $78.8-million project includes the demolition of a portion of the existing building, purchase and installation new equipment and machinery.

The Monroe North District has been underutilized for years and is now experiencing a rebirth due to changes in environmental laws and effective use of the Renaissance Zone program, according to MEDC officials.

“Approval of this project is a tremendous boost to the city’s economic development efforts,” says Susan Shannon, business advocate for the city of Grand Rapids. “Besides helping to retain a major manufacturer in our core city, it allows us to continue the revitalization of the North Riverfront District where contaminated and vacant industrial properties are being converted to loft housing, new office and high tech businesses.”

A brownfield tax credit valued at up to $7.8 million for 10% of the eligible investment in the Grand Rapids Press expansion was recently approved.

This credit was approved under a recent amendment to the Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act. This amendment increases the maximum Single Business Tax credit and allows the credit to be given to functionally obsolete, blighted or contaminated property in 88 core communities.

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