January 24, 2016

The Morning Sun

Development could begin this year in the Mount Pleasant SmartZone, a 300-acre parcel of Central Michigan University property primed for economic growth.

The news comes on the heels of action by the state Treasury Department and Michigan Economic Development Corp. extending tax capture funding in the SmartZone for an additional five years. The announcement will allow the SmartZone to expand opportunities to generate jobs and economic investment in the community.

“Obtaining state approval was the final milestone necessary toward progressing development of the SmartZone land,” said Central Michigan University Research Corp. President and CEO Erin Strang. “New efforts are geared toward attracting and solidifying business development and job creation.”

While plans are still in the works for the land, CMURC is in discussion with potential developers and tenants. Development could come to fruition as soon as spring 2016. Approximately 900 jobs have been created since inception through May 2015, with 500 additional jobs projected over the next five years, according to Strang.

The close proximity to the university and partnership with the city of Mount Pleasant provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to interface with business professionals working in their interrelated fields.

“We look forward to co​ntinuing a productive relationship with the Mount Pleasant SmartZone and the CMURC team in moving Michigan’s economy forward,” said Frederick Molnar, MEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation. “SmartZones were created to facilitate state programs for entrepreneurs, fostering companies with high-growth potential around innovative technologies.”

Per criteria requirements, the SmartZone will provide reports for companies created, jobs created and investment to all companies, along with an annual report and regional collaboration.