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ANN ARBOR, MI-A cable Internet provider plans on building a Midwest headquarters in Southeast Michigan. Comcast Cable Communications Inc. has discussed constructing an $18-million call center and help desk in Scio Township for its cable Internet service.

The company is trying to work a deal with state officials for grant money to build the site. The state wants to retain the company, which has 800 call-center employees in Michigan, says Bill Black, Midwest public affairs director for Comcast.

The site would consolidate many of these employees into a centralized call center building.

Black says the company hasn’t talked with the township about building an 80,000-sf building in the area. Township officials say they haven’tdiscussed plans with Comcast.

Black says the discussions are still preliminary. He adds another meeting is set for Sept. 17 with the state.

Comcast is also considering building the headquarters in Indiana, aconsideration that has state officials offering money for the company to stay in the area. Administrative offices for the Midwest are now located in Southfield.

Black says Scio was picked for a site because of its closeness to Ann Arbor, the college town of University of Michigan. The Ann Arbor area is being built up as a high-tech corridor, capitalizing on the many college graduates who live or have moved into the area.

“Ann Arbor provides a good talent pool,” Black says. “We’re looking for employees that will have a good knowledge of computer technology.”

Products to be used at the new building include interactive television, high-speed Internet service and other future technology uses.

Use of these services is growing immensely, Black says. The company has grown from 95,000 Internet subscribers to almost 200,000.

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