Dearborn continues economic development Initiatives in 2012, looks forward to 2013

DEARBORN – Dearborn continued to encourage economic development in 2012 and seeks even more successes in 2013.

Led by Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., among the city’s key initiatives in 2012 was the ongoing commitment to create an environment for the ongoing advancement of 21st century manufacturing.

Ford Motor Co. is investing $305 million in the Rouge Complex at its Dearborn Stamping Plant, a move that will preserve 400 jobs and add another 500 positions.

Ford plans another $49 million at the Research and Engineering Complex, an action that supports 132 jobs and will create 10 more, while also making the facility more useful in testing batteries, safety equipment and braking systems.

Severstal North America marked the latest accomplishments in its $1.4 billion investment in its Dearborn operations with celebratory event in June, marking the completion of a $450 million pickle line tandem cold mill complex and a $285 million hot dip Galvanizing line.

Severstal is now capable of producing the newest generation of coated advanced high strength steels for the most demanding applications.

Thanks to Dearborn’s manufacturing partners, the value of commercial construction permits for the first six months of fiscal year 2013 exceeds that of the full fiscal years of 2012 and 2011.

That amount is almost $51.5 million so far in fiscal year 2013, which ends on June 30.

Investment continues in other sectors of the commercial arena.

Commercial re-occupancy held steady in 2011 and 2012 at about 309 businesses, and commercial building permits rose in Fiscal Year 2012 to 2,062, up from 1,847 in Fiscal Year 2011.

Many of those new businesses mark their openings with well-publicized ceremonies.

Among those hosting grand openings or ribbon-cutting events were A.M. Total Fitness, Blue Café, Henry Ford Community College Welcome Center, Henry Ford Community College Science Center, Chief Financial Federal Credit Union, Oakwood Corporate Services Atrium, St. John Providence Medical Center, Goodwill Store, Salon 360 and Salon 10 North.

Also marking their start were Creating Balance, Advanced Technology Academy Field House, Veterans Administration Center and Dearborn Hills Pharmacy.

In addition, several commercial operations hosted grand re-openings that captured media attention . Among them: Manno Clothing and Tailoring, Gentlemen First Barber Shop, Nadia’s Pharmacy and Courtyard by Marriott.

Dearborn also continues making progress on the establishment of two Corridor Improvement Authorities, one in the southern area of Dearborn based at Dix and Vernor, and one along Warren Avenue.

Once in place, these corridors will complement the work of business districts now served by the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority and the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.

A big boost for all of Dearborn, but especially the west downtown area, is the construction of the $28 million Intermodal Passenger Rail Station, on Michigan Avenue near Brady. A groundbreaking ceremony with high-profile guests was held in April.

The federally-funded station will boost visitors to The Henry Ford, and is an important component for high speed rail between Pontiac and Chicago, as well as proposed commuter lines between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Importantly, it also allows passengers to make easier connections to Dearborn’s business areas, Ford Motor Co. World Headquarters, the Gateway Trail, and Henry Ford Community College and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

In 2012, the city also assisted with the development of apartments and studios designed to serve 500 students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The $30 million project, being built by Urban Campus Communities, was made possible through cooperation with Ford Motor Land Development.

That type of successful collaboration between the City, businesses and institutions earned Dearborn the distinction of being named a Five-Star Community for Economic Development by the University of Michigan-Dearborn iLabs eCities project, which analyzes key criteria to rate a municipality’s ability to promote growth in the commercial field.

In 2012, Dearborn was also recognized for its environmental sustainability efforts by the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments and by the Michigan Green Communities project.