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Michigan spends $9.2M toward new 1,200-acre megasite near Flint

outside the Flint Bishop Airport
A view of the 1,200 acres targeted for a new megasite is near Flint Bishop Airport. Officials say the airport has capacity for new cargo business, which they expect to be an attribute to the property. (Paula Gardner | Bridge Michigan)
  • A $9.2 million grant will fund efforts to create a megasite for development near Flint
  • The property would be big enough for semiconductor, advanced manufacturing or aerospace production
  • This megasite, among the largest in the state, will be about 1,200 acres after economic developers acquire rights to about 120 more acres

Michigan is adding $9.2 million in public funding toward developing a megasite near Flint in the hopes that the 1,200 acres it comprises will be attractive to an advanced manufacturing company.

The property — located in Mundy Township, near Flint’s Bishop International Airport, Grand Blanc and I-69  — could be attractive to semiconductor fabrication, electric vehicle battery assembly, and aerospace products, state and regional officials said Tuesday.


“We are marketing the site to those that are going to create at least 2,000 direct jobs and invest $2 billion or more,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, the economic development group leading the project. 


The Michigan Strategic Fund board on Tuesday approved a grant of $9,247,683 from the state’s Strategic Site Readiness Program, a portion of the $2 billion large-scale state incentive program that funds property acquisition and improvements.

The award will allow the acquisition of 275 acres of the 1,200-acre property, according to Otie McKinley, spokesperson for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

That funding is on top of earlier awards to develop the property that include $250,000 from the state’s build-ready sites program, $750,000 from the C.S. Mott Foundation and a share of $5 million from the state given to three potential megasites in August 2022.

The property is among the state’s largest development parcels in the land assembly process, the MEDC said Tuesday. 

So far, about 90% of the property is controlled by the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, leaving 120 acres to be acquired. The grant will allow the group to maintain control of the land through 2025 after it uses the state funding to pay for option renewals this year.

The state is preparing for the Mundy Township property to join other megasites in Michigan, including large EV battery projects near Big Rapids, Marshall, Lansing and Holland. 

Funding from the strategic fund board, the public funding arm of the MEDC, comes as large-scale economic development spending is increasingly under fire in Michigan.

In 2021, after losing $11.4 billion in Ford Motor Co. EV development to Kentucky and Tennessee, Michigan lawmakers came together quickly to form the Strategic Outreach and Reserve (SOAR) fund to give the state more money to lure the big EV and semiconductor factories searching for sites amid federal urging. 

SOAR, eventually reaching about $2 billion, resulted in several high-profile manufacturing deals. However, at the same time, some lawmakers grew dissatisfied. The spending amounts, the direct awards to subsidize companies, and the heavy lean toward lower-level manufacturing jobs played into the scrutiny.

Today, proposals call for incentive reform that could limit SOAR spending in the future. Both Democrats and Republicans are initiating alternative efforts.

Most recently, the Senate in March passed bills that will overhaul the state’s signature business incentive program and create tax breaks to encourage innovation and higher-wage job creation.The House continues to debate similar changes. 

“I hope that this is just the start of an ongoing conversation as we remake what holistic economic development looks like in the state of Michigan,” Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, the sponsor of the legislation, said after the Senate vote.

Meanwhile, the megasite near Flint could drive significant economic growth in the distressed region, which over the past few years has tried to rebuild its lost manufacturing base. The MEDC said at least $1 billion in manufacturing reinvestment in the Flint area has been made in the past few years. 

“Bringing such a project to Genesee County would help us reverse decades of job loss and sluggish population, allow us to create thousands of jobs and get millions of dollars flowing into the local economy and the region and the state,” Rossmaessler said. 


Manufacturing jobs that would be likely to come to the megasite would include positions that would be well-paying but not require a college education, several proponents said during the public comment period of the strategic fund meeting.

“Such a project will offer opportunities for our young people so they won’t have to move away to find good-paying jobs,” said Kristy Cantleberry of Esquire Property Group in Grand Blanc.

Opponents did not speak on Tuesday. However, they have formed a Facebook group. Across the state, residents of areas with megasite developments have formed groups against the projects; in Marshall, one is litigating the local rezoning that allowed Ford to start construction of its EV battery factory. No decision in that case has been made. 

Median wages in the Flint region are $19.14 per hour, or about $40,000 per year. The statewide median base wage is $22.57, or about $47,000 per year.

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