By MITCH HOTTS
email@example.com; @mhotts Posted: Thursday, 07/25/13 06:53 pm
It’s beginning to look like Christmas in July for Roseville where several new developments are in the works that will bring jobs to the city including high-tech cellphone repair positions.
So far this year, the city has more than $30 million in investment in new and existing businesses, with some high-profile ones such as Emagine Entertainment’s plan to build a 15-screen theater and retaining others such as the oldest knife manufacturer in the world.
Among the projects:
* ReNu Wireless plans an incubator for repairing cellular communications such as cellphones and tablets
* Detroit Edge Tool Company, a leading supplier of machine rails and shearing knives, proposes a $1.2 million investment in new machinery and equipment.
* Emagine Entertainment is working to bring a $20 million, 78,000-square-foot theater with 15 screens to the site of the former Kmart store on 13 Mile Road and Little Mack
* LA Fitness has purchased the landmark Continental Lanes bowling alley on Gratiot Avenue at 13 Mile Road for a new health club
* West Bloomfield-based Lormax Stern Development Co. has bought Macomb Mall with plans for exterior and interior improvements to the 921,000-square-foot shopping center that was developed in 1964.
City Manager Scott Adkins said the new investment is the result of the city better marketing its strengths such as access to Interstates 94 and 696, its commercial corridor along Gratiot Avenue, along with close geography to educational facilities such as Baker College of Clinton Township and Macomb Community College.
The city works closely with the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to aggressively seek new businesses.
“Our City Council is committed to changing the face of development and re-development in our city,” Adkins said. “It’s our job as administrators to be the feet on the street to get it all together.”
The county planning department’s role in the equation is to work with the company and the city to make sure both sides have all of the resources and incentives available to lure new development, according to deputy director Donald Morandini.
“Everything we do is based on partnerships,” Morandini said. “It could be helping the company to find the right location or working with the community college for training employees or finding a state program to help defray the cost of training.”
Earlier this week, the council approved setting public hearings on Aug. 13 for two projects requesting tax incentives.
The council has established a district for an Industrial Facilities Exemption Tax (IFT) for ReNu Wireless for a training center for certified technicians to repair cellphones, tablets and other electronic communications.
Roseville was in competition with municipalities in North Carolina for the project. The company also has locations in Florida and Mexico.
Although more specifics are not available, Mayor John Chirkun said he expects new high-tech, fairly well-paying jobs will be created. The company will spend $250,000 in real property improvements, $510,000 in equipment, and create about 105 jobs.
ReNu will be located in the Wireless Giant store on Gratiot Avenue north of the Eastgate Shopping Center.
The council also created an IFT district for Detroit Edge Tool Company on Groesbeck Highway, which plans to purchase new machinery and equipment to remain competitive.
Detroit Edge, which as a 46,000-square-foot building, is the world’s oldest knife manufacturer. It will add three jobs to the existing 28-employee roster workforce.
Once the public hearings are held for Detroit Edge and ReNu, council members will determine the length and extent of the potential tax breaks.