Lakeshore Advantage is celebrating last year’s developments

Jennifer Owens. Courtesy of Lakeshore Advantage

Development along the lakefront continues to cruise forward.

Last week, Lakeshore Advantage released its 2022 Project Success and Achievement Report for Allegan and Ottawa counties, which includes $2.38 billion in investments.

An additional $436 million was used 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 is so widespread in this region has not slowed down. Our business intelligence data shows that leaders are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.”

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

More than 3,300 jobs were created in 2022, which is an increase of almost 500% compared to 2021 in the two counties.

Gentex and LG Energy Solution accounted for the bulk of the large investments, combining for nearly $2 billion in investment.

Lakeshore Advantage has helped 33 companies expand their business.

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

Classic transport and storage 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 grateful to the Lakeshore Advantage team for their support and guidance throughout our expansion projects,” said Classic Transportation and Warehousing CEO Rod Cooper.

In addition to expansion projects, Lakeshore Advantage has a stake in a number of other projects that are shaping Michigan’s coastal economy.

The economic development organization opened the Surge Center in the Netherlands, a business incubator for 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 raise $31.7 million in venture capital.

It also provided $2.1 million in ARPA funding for workforce development projects.

Other private investments in Ottawa and Allegan counties include:

  • Coastal container – 25 million dollars
  • Cold-Link Logistics – $31.4 million
  • Fairlife LLC – $140 million
  • Gentex – 300 million dollars
  • 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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