MICHIGAN MANUFACTURING INNOVATION CAMPUS (MMIC):
Get the facts
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is assembling property for the MMIC through a subsidiary entity, PG&W LLC, with the assistance of a professional broker, CBRE.
As of October 2023, LEAP has secured option agreements with sixteen unique property owners relating to our MMIC vision, totaling just over 1,500 acres across 34 land parcels. A large majority of the property under option is owned by Michigan State University (MSU).
LEAP is the regional economic development organization serving the Lansing tri-county region of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties with a mission to build inclusive prosperity through enabling economic opportunity for all residents across the region. It is a nonprofit organization structured as a public private partnership of over 80 business, community and government leaders. LEAP has 13 full-time employees in various departments, all of whom share a passion for building a stronger, more diversified and resilient economy that the people and families in all communities across the tri-county area deserve.
Beyond its state-assigned role as the Collaborative Development Council member of Region 7 (Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties), LEAP also has a contract for services to manage Ingham County’s economic development department, Clinton County’s economic development department, and the Lansing Regional SmartZone, which is a tech business and innovation-focused intergovernmental partnership of the City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, Ingham County, and Michigan State University.
LEAP has researched land across the entire tri-county area, finding no other collection of property parcels forming a mostly contiguous “site” in the range of 1,000 to 1,500 acres, that also has strategic location elements such as interstate and highway connectivity, proximity to population center of urban core and Michigan State University, relative proximity to utility infrastructure, adjacent and nearby commercial and industrial users, etc. all of which combine to make the MMIC location compelling from an economic development perspective. To our knowledge, there are only 3-4 economic development sites of this scale being marketed in the entire state.
LEAP is a strong proponent of redevelopment first rather than new development on greenfield sites, and its team led scores of brownfield redevelopment, assessment and cleanup projects across the region in recent decades. That said, unfortunately due to the large land need of the MMIC, there is no viable property, brownfield or otherwise, in an area already zoned for manufacturing use anywhere in the tri-county region.
A big part of LEAP’s job is to attract new investment and jobs by recruiting companies from across the US and world to establish or expand business operations in the region. Further, LEAP’s contract for services with Clinton County emphasizes as an economic development priority the real estate site preparedness and development in strategic geographic areas where increasing commercial and industrial activity makes sense. This would include along Grand River Highway corridor immediately south of the Capital Region International Airport and westward to Eagle, on Capital Region Airport Authority (CRAA) property in DeWitt Township or otherwise in close proximity to the airport, in the industrial park of St. Johns, etc.
Most site readiness efforts involve much smaller sites ranging from 5 to 100 acres, and for a variety of prospective uses from headquarters, to data centers, to call centers, to manufacturing or distribution facilities in automobility, insurance, medtech, or food processing industries, for instance. MMIC must be a great deal larger in order to accommodate and compete for the historically rare economic development projects being planned in the semiconductor, electric vehicle (EV) and battery industries. This is a generational opportunity in front of us, and may become a fleeting moment if we do not act proactively and decisively – the MMIC in Eagle Township is uniquely positioned to win it in the context of not only the state, but entire country and global location alternatives too.
In 2005, Mr. David Morris made the decision to donate to Michigan State University a significant land holding that he and his wife farmed. His expressed expectation was that the land would eventually be sold and that 55% of the proceeds from the sale would fund four endowments within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and therefore benefit agricultural research, education and outreach in perpetuity. Mr. Morris was clear in his wish that this gift to MSU would support the college’s causes closest to his heart, and MSU fully intends to honor that wish. https://www.michiganfarmnews.com/MSU-responds-sale-of-morris-farmland-to-benefit-generations-of-michigan-growers
Michigan is a substantial net exporter of agricultural products to the rest of the country and internationally, meaning Michigan farms more than satisfy in-site demands for agricultural products. The approximately 1,500 acres being considered constitutes 0.4 percent of farmland in Clinton County alone, and thus any change in land use would have a marginal impact on overall food production in the county, much less the state. That said, the agricultural sector is very important to the regional economy, contributing a total economic impact of $5.63 billion and 42,660 jobs in the center of Michigan, which is the second most diverse agricultural state in the US. Thus, sustainable development and growth planning with agricultural preservation and conservation in mind is a local, regional and statewide priority.
Any development on the MMIC site will be subject to stringent environmental regulatory and permitting processes and considerations based on local, state and federal requirements—all guided by scientific best practices. Through the planning process, we want to utilize as much green space, berms and other quality-of-life techniques as possible. All these processes will be open to public dialogue and approvals and include multiple opportunities for feedback. We welcome this feedback.
We’re asking the same questions you are. As part of our due diligence, we have conducted standard environmental and archeological testing to ensure the property is ready and that anything of historical significance is cataloged or flagged. The game-changing companies we’re pursuing need this information. It helps bring them closer to selecting MMIC as their site.