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TECUMSEH, MI-This rural Southeast Michigan small town, closer to Toledo than Detroit, may soon get a savior of sorts – in the form of cookies. The McComb, OH-based Consolidated Biscuit Co. has received a promise of state and local incentives if it buys the 600,000-sf Tecumseh Products facility, which was once a major employer for the city, and spends about $12 million to renovate the building into a bakery.

The building was used since 1934 to make compressors, says a spokeswoman for Tecumseh Products. “At one time, in the 1950s, we had 5,000 employees in here,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “But as time progressed, the company globalized, parsing out jobs in the country and out. About this time last year we only had about 120 employees left here, and 120 in the 30,000-sf headquarters office.” At the beginning of this year, the rest of the plant workers moved to another facility in Tupelo, MS, and the office workers set up a new headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI, just to the north.

Feeling some community responsibility, the company joined with the city and the state to find a buyer, the spokeswoman says. Consolidated has expressed interest in this site, which would be its first in Michigan, as well as a property in Corbin, KY.

To keep the company’s interest, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority has approved a state tax credit valued at $5.4 million for 10 years if Consolidated buys the Tecumseh site. The city is also considering a 12-year tax abatement for almost $900,000. The cookie maker is going through four months of due diligence on the property.

Consolidated officials did not return calls for this story. The company, if it purchases the building, will reportedly begin operations next summer and be up and fully running in five years, employing 500 people. The firm has six current locations throughout the Midwest.

The Tecumseh Products spokeswoman says the company is happy to be part of an effort to bring jobs back to the community. “Plus we have the cost of operating an empty building,” she says.

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