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Lakeshore Advantage celebrates last year’s developments

Lakeshore Advantage celebrates last year’s developments

Posted by: Grand Rapids Business Journal

Author: Pat Evans

Development along the lakeshore continues to cruise forward.

Lakeshore Advantage last week released its 2022 Successful Projects & Achievements report for Allegan and Ottawa counties, which included investments of $2.38 billion.

An additional $436 million was leveraged to expand operations.

“Our team supported a record number of expansion projects last year,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens said in a statement. “The manufacturing industry that’s so prevalent in this region hasn’t slowed down. Our business intelligence data shows that leaders are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.”

The successful projects report comes on the heels of Lakeshore Advantage’s industry trends report, which recently surveyed companies looking at the next three years.

More than 3,300 jobs were created in 2022, nearly a 500% increase over 2021 in the two counties.

Gentex and LG Energy Solution made up the bulk of the major investments, combining nearly $2 billion in investments.

Lakeshore Advantage assisted 33 companies in expanding their operations.

“The lion’s share of projects in our region came from existing small to mid-size companies investing an average of $12 million per project into their facilities, equipment and machinery,” said Lakeshore Advantage Vice President of Business Solutions Amanda Murray. “This year’s two major projects have also prompted companies within those supply chains to inquire about relocating to the lakeshore region.”

Classic Transportation and Warehousing has opened two facilities in the past two years.

“As an employee-owned company, our roots run deep here, and we are grateful for the opportunity to grow to meet our demand. We are especially thankful to the team at Lakeshore Advantage for the support and guidance they provided during our expansion projects,” said Classic Transportation and Warehousing CEO Rod Cooper.

Beyond expansion projects, Lakeshore Advantage has a hand in a variety of other projects shaping the coastal economy in Michigan.

The economic development organization opened the Surge Center in Holland, a business incubator home to 30 early-stage companies.

The organization also helped secure $60 million in state funding for a wastewater pipeline connecting the Muskegon County and Coopersville systems, which is expected to generate $187 million in agricultural investment and create 145 jobs.

Lakeshore Advantage also helped 63 startups to raise $31.7 million in capital investments.

It also facilitated $2.1 million in American Rescue Plan funding for workforce development projects.

Other private investments in Ottawa and Allegan counties include:

  • Coastal Container – $25 million
  • Cold-Link Logistics – $31.4 million
  • Fairlife LLC – $140 million
  • Gentex – $300 million
  • Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company – $65.7 million
  • JR Automation – $15 million
  • LG Energy Solution – $1.7 billion
  • Tommy Car Wash Systems – $35.3 million

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