Whitmer Tours Businesses In Branch And Hillsdale Counties
By: Mike Stiles -
Thursday, October 14, 2021
(UNDATED) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited two Southern Michigan businesses to highlight her MI New Economy Plan.
Whitmer stopped by Mastronardi Produce in Coldwater and the Keefer Hotel in Hillsdale on Wednesday. Mastronardi is a fourth generation, family owned produce company that first brought commercial greenhouse growing to North America. The business operates as one of the Midwest’s largest glass greenhouses producing fresh vegetables, even during the winter months.
MDARD Director Gary McDowell was with Whitmer in Coldwater, and says Michigan is on the forefront of how agriculture is advancing because of brand new technology. He says Mastronardi is a great example of how we can make sure quality products are readily available across the State and how innovation and sustainability is key to growing Michigan’s agriculture economy.
The Keefer House Hotel project will locate a 34 room boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Hillsdale. This historical renovation project includes commercial space on the ground floor as well as hotel space with modern amenities, a welcoming lobby and an upscale restaurant to be enjoyed by guests and members of the community.
The long-vacant Keefer House is a contributing building to the city of Hillsdale’s National Register of Historic Places commercial district and the development is expected to transform downtown Hillsdale and spur economic development by generating new tourist stays and bringing additional revenue to the area.
The project is will generate a total capital investment of $12.3 million, and create 50 full-time equivalent jobs. The project is receiving Michigan Strategic Fund support through a $2 million MCRP equity investment. Local support for the project includes an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) tax abatement for 12 years valued at approximately $577,000.
In addition, the City of Hillsdale will partially forgive the loan for the building upon Certificate of Occupancy in the amount of $265,000.
Hillsdale City Manager David Mackie says this project will not only bring much needed revitalization to Downtown Hillsdale, but it will address one of our community’s biggest barriers to tourism, the need for additional hotel rooms.
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