Metro airport push attracts firms, jobs near Detroit
Mar. 31, 2018
DETROIT (AP) — A development organization is renewing efforts to use thousands of acres of vacant land near metro Detroit's airport to attract more companies to the area.
The Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corp. has already secured nearly $350 million in investments and an expected 2,300 jobs from Amazon, Penske Logistics and Brose North America. Amazon and Penske will be in Romulus while Brose is expanding in Huron Township.
The three companies are expected to begin operations within the next year. Officials anticipate about $68.8 million in tax revenue over the next 15 years from the companies.
The recent successes came after nearly eight years of little to no movement within Aerotropolis, which focuses on recruiting corporate investment and expansion in the immediate region surrounding the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
The organization is now bringing development to the area by marketing the 6,000 acres of land and touting the location's proximity to the airport, railways and freeways.
"We are bringing in corporate investment that results in new jobs," said Robert Luce, executive director. "We are powering the economy in southeast Michigan."
Luce said a mass transit system will be important to securing more projects as Aerotropolis increases its efforts to attract companies.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans presented a 20-year regional transit proposal that would require voters to approve a $5.4 billion tax later this year. The plan includes commuter rail service connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit. Aerotropolis' target area near the airport is between the two cities.
Luce said regional transit would allow for a more mobile workforce in southeastern Michigan.