Governor Whitmer Awards Infrastructure Grants to Support Two Businesses and 261 Jobs in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties

24 June, 2022
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Governor Whitmer Awards Infrastructure Grants to Support Two Businesses and 261 Jobs in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Whitmer awarded two grants that will make infrastructure upgrades to support economic development projects at two businesses and support a total of 261 new and existing jobs in Wayne and Washtenaw counties. The grants will help fund infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate increased commercial truck traffic at the Pak-Rite facility in Ecorse and aSartorius BioAnalytical Industries’ new facility in Ann Arbor.   

 

"These grants supporting 261 jobs in Wayne and Washtenaw will help us grow our economy, rebuild our infrastructure, and boost economic opportunity for Michiganders in every community," said Governor Whitmer. "Reliable infrastructure is critical for Michiganders going to work, dropping their kids off at school, and running errands, but it is also critical for small businesses moving products and personnel across Michigan. Today’s investment will ease the flow of commercial truck traffic and help Pak-Rite in Ecorse and Sartorius BioAnalytical Industries in Ann Arbor continue growing and investing in Michigan. I will work with anyone to invest in our infrastructure and advance our economic development so we can continue moving Michigan forward.” 

 

The state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDFgrant helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers. 

 

TEDF Grant Distribution  

Pak-Rite Industries 

TEDF Category A Share 

$159,000 (75.28% of total project cost) 

Sartorius BioAnalytical Industries 

TEDF Category A Share 

$1,650,000 (66.2% of total project cost) 

 

Total TEDF Grant Amount 

$1,809,000 

 

Grant Recipient: Pak-Rite Industries 

 

About Pak-Rite Industries 

Pak-Rite Industries, located on Outer Drive in the city of Ecorse in Wayne County, is a contract packager and kitter for the automotive industry. Pak-Rite receives parts in bulk, and inspects, packages, and labels materials; they provide logistics for the process of procuring parts from multiple suppliers, packaging, and shipping to dealership networks.  

 

Infrastructure Challenges 

Increasing business demands coupled with poor traffic accessibility has caused Pak-Rite to experience increased challenges in receiving and delivering shipments and led the company to consider shifting part of its operations out of Michigan. Currently, there is insufficiently narrow egress at the intersection of Outer Drive and Riteway Drive. This led firms to refuse to deliver to the home base location in Ecorse. It also caused traffic backups on Outer Drive as semi-trucks were forced to adjust their alignment several times to enter and exit the roadway.  

 

Project Details 

With funds from this grant and other sources, the City of Ecorse will improve the safety and reliability of access to the Outer Drive facility by widening the egress at Outer Drive and rebuild Riteway Drive. The widening of the egress and rebuilding of Riteway Drive was a significant factor in Pak-Rite's decision to maintain full operations at the Ecorse facility.  

 

Project Overview 

Total Project Cost 

$211,209 

Total Construction Costs 

$159,000 

TEDF Category A Share 

$159,000 (75.28%) 

Remaining Construction Match (Responsibility of the City of Ecorse) 

$52,209 

Additional Investments 

Sound Barrier  

(Construction paid for by Pak-Rite) 

 

$176,500 

Jobs Retained as a Result of the Grant 

100 

 

“The City of Ecorse and the State of Michigan have been great. With help from the state and the City of Ecorse, Pak-Rite Industries has been able to develop a plan to better manage the truck traffic in our trailer yard off of Outer Drive,” said Rory M. Renaud, chief financial officer of Pak-Rite Industries. “Our customers have expressed growing concerns about trailer capacity and accessibility constraints, which would have resulted in resourcing work to our sister plant in Ohio. This drop in work would have meant the layoff of at least 100 employees. This grant will allow us to increase the flow of trailers and allow for inbound/outbound traffic simultaneously. We will also be able to retain our current workforce and use this as a bid for additional business with our customer. We are grateful and appreciative to the city and state for working with us and allowing us access to this grant to better manage our logistics operations and continue to employ hundreds of employees within our community.”   

 

Grant RecipientSartorius BioAnalytical Industries 

  

About Sartorius BioAnalytical Industries 

Sartorius BioAnalytical Industries, located in Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, manufactures biomedical equipment used in pharmaceutical research and production. It provides products, technologies, and expertise to produce biopharmaceuticals and they have been instrumental in setting the standards for single-use products that are currently used throughout all biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes.  

 

Infrastructure Challenges 

Sartorius is consolidating their operations nationwide and had considered several locations in New Mexico, California, New York, and Colorado to build their flagship location for Laboratory Product Services. The site in Ann Arbor was of great interest but is lacking in appropriate transportation facilities for employees and logistics for product delivery. After conducting a traffic study, the estimated increase in commercial and passenger traffic made the road condition a serious impediment to the development of the site at Research Park Drive. 

 

While making its decision to locate in Michigan, specifically Ann Arbor, the company worked closely with the City of Ann Arbor on addressing these challenges. This relationship gave Sartorius the confidence to invest upwards of $62 million, creating 161 jobs in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Strategic Fund supported the project with a $1.2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, ensuring that Michigan was chosen as the location for the Sartorius Center of Excellence and securing the company’s presence in the Ann Arbor region. 

 

Project Details 

The City of Ann Arbor will mill and resurface the asphalt pavement on Research Park Drive, excluding the northernmost part of the loop extending from the Eastern edge of Zoller facility to the Western edge of the Zoller facility. To improve the safety and reliability of access to the Research Park Drive development, the city will resurface the asphalt paving of the facility access road. Additional work includes ramps and Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades to bus stop approaches, curb repairs, and the addition of bike lanes.  

 

Project Overview 

Total Construction Costs 

$2,491,402 

TEDF Category A Share 

$1,650,000 (66.2%) 

Remaining Construction Match  

(Responsibility of the City of Ann Arbor, funded through Ann Arbor Millage) 

$841,402 

Jobs Created as a Result of the Grant 

161 

 

“This vital grant to improve the road around the Research Park is a true outward example of the state’s commitment to attract dynamic and contributing companies to the local economy,” said Sartorius Operations Network Strategy Manager Pete Mertens. “Sartorius feels supported that the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Economic Development sees this grant as a great opportunity for not only our new property but for the Research Park as a whole.” 

 

About Transportation Economic Development Fund Grants 

TEDF "Category A" or "Targeted Industries Program" grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. 

 

Eligible road agencies include Michigan Department of Transportation, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.Michigan.gov/TEDF 


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