economic development

Earlene McMichael / WMUK

It was a time of plant closings and corporate downsizing when Southwest Michigan First formed in 1999 in Kalamazoo. SWMF CEO Ron Kitchens says the 14 business leaders who dreamed up the group wanted it to keep existing employers here and, draw new ones to the region. The organization has been successful in doing that, Kitchens tells WMUK's Earlene McMichael on today's WestSouthwest public-affairs show. In the last five years alone, Southwest Michigan has seen a net gain of about 37,000 jobs, and he says his group's efforts are one of the contributing factors in job growth.

"KALAMAZOO, MI - A big renovation is planned for a landmark building that has been a part of Kalamazoo's history since 1917. The building that houses Heritage Guitar Inc. at 225 Parsons St. will undergo a $12 million renovation with developers PlazaCorp. PlazaCorp plans to develop the 5-acre site in a mixed-use fashion." (MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette)


(MPRN-Lansing) Existing data centers in Michigan want guarantees that they’ll get the same tax treatment as a proposed project near Grand Rapids. 


(MPRN-Lansing) There’s a collection of tax breaks rapidly moving through the Legislature to lure a center that stores massive amounts of data. 

"GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A spokesman for The Right Place Inc. confirmed rumors on Monday, Nov. 2, that they are working with a possible new tenant for the giant pyramid-shaped "corporate development center" that Steelcase moved out of five years." (MLive)