State transportation economic development grant to improve ride quality in Pontiac

Contact: Michael Leon, TEDF Program Manager, Office of Economic Development, 517-241-2568
Agency: Transportation

November 14, 2018 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded a $3,600,000 Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant to the City of Pontiac to be used to reconstruct and resurface Centerpoint Parkway from South Boulevard to Opdyke Road to improve ride quality. The grant will leverage $389,500,000 in private investment, at a private/public ratio of more than 108-to-1.      

Sections of Centerpoint Parkway reconstructed in 2010 have held up well. However, other sections are deteriorating. The proposed road improvements were a significant factor in the decision of two companies to relocate their operations to Pontiac. Williams International manufactures delicate engine parts that can be damaged by a poor road surface. United Shore Financial Services has made a significant investment in the state and needed improved access to its new headquarters.  

Williams International is a longtime Michigan company that was headquartered in Walled Lake. Williams has expanded its development, test, production, and product support capabilities to create a large, versatile organization with the capacity to meet growth objectives in aviation, industrial and military markets. It needed to expand its office and manufacturing space and considered sites in Utah and Alabama, where the company has other manufacturing locations. Williams settled on a vacant building in the City of Pontiac.

"Williams International is pleased to strongly support the Centerpoint Parkway reconstruction project in partnership with the City of Pontiac and MDOT," said Gary Schopa, Williams International senior vice president and chief financial officer. "This project gives us confidence in our major expansion plans to manufacture our products at our new headquarters and advanced manufacturing facility in the city of Pontiac, allowing us to continue to expand employment opportunities for Pontiac and the surrounding Oakland County communities."

United Shore Financial Services is the nation's leading provider of wholesale mortgages. The company continues to see rapid growth and outgrew its headquarters building in Troy. The company desired to relocate to larger space and was committed to staying in Michigan. The company chose to contribute to the recovery of the state and of the city of Pontiac by relocating to an existing building on South Boulevard near Centerpoint Parkway. A significant number of company employees, as well as customers, travel to the new United Shore headquarters via I-75 and Centerpoint Parkway.

"We are excited that the Centerpoint Parkway project is moving forward, as many of our team members use it every day as part of their commute to and from our headquarters," said Timothy Forrester, United Shore chief financial officer. "This is another example of the city, county and state coming together to support infrastructure needs and the revitalization of Pontiac. The short-term pain of the project will be well balanced by its long-term benefits, in terms of easier travel and stronger business attraction efforts in the area."

Williams International is investing $344,500,000 to renovate its new facilities and will be retaining its current 440 employees and hiring an additional 463 employees. United Shore Financial Services has invested $45,000,000 and has plans to continue to invest at this location. The company is in the process of hiring 1,140 new employees.

The total cost of the project is $5,967,800, including $3,600,000 in TEDF Category A funding and $2,367,800 from the City of Pontiac.

Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers.

TEDF "Category A" or "Targeted Industries Program" grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/tedf.