The 2020 virtual Michigan Investor Summit was hosted by the Michigan Municipal League (MML), Accelerator for America, and the Michigan Urban Core Mayors. The first-of-its-kind event, which took place October 27 and 28 at www.investmi.org, showcased local Opportunity Zone projects designed for mix-use development, retail, office, residential, hospitality, and tourism investments. The summit was supported by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and numerous other sponsors.
“The projects pitched at the summit aim to increase the quality of life for residents in cities across Michigan,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “It is our hope that the presentations and conversations that took place at this event will open dialogue between potential investors and communities, and eventually these discussions will result in real investment in meaningful projects throughout our great state.”
City leaders from across the state presented opportunities for investors to partner on
innovative and impactful projects where communities and investors can partner to build long-term community wealth. Officials from 13 Michigan urban centers gave short pitches of Opportunity Zone projects available for development in their cities. The presentations to more than 100 prospective developers and investors from throughout the nation were followed up with City Expo Hall sessions where the potential investors could meet one-on-one with the local government officials to ask specific questions.
The 13 participating communities were the cities of Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Bay City, Dearborn, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, Pontiac, and Saginaw.
“The virtual summit was a unique opportunity to establish connections between the 13 participating cities, community stakeholders, developers, and investors to advance inclusive opportunity zone projects. The two-day event allowed us to connect capital to opportunity and showcase the numerous opportunities for investment in the City of Saginaw.” Tim Morales, City Manager.
As shown in the city’s prospectus, Saginaw offers incredible opportunity for investment. Cassi Miller, Business Development Manager for Saginaw Future, Inc., commented on Saginaw’s economic outlook, “The past few years have been transformative for the City of Saginaw and every indicator shows that we aren’t slowing down. Even in the midst of all the economic uncertainty of 2020, there is continued growth and development in our city. Saginaw businesses have adapted to COVID regulations by expanding their business models. Our community has used this time to rally together to lift each other up and stay resilient.”
In recent years, Saginaw has displayed positive growth and investment opportunities. There was an estimated $261.2 million invested in Saginaw County in 2019. Between 2015 and 2019 in the City of Saginaw alone, there has been an estimated $227.4 million invested in development projects.
Each team participating in the Investor Summit was allotted a limited portion of time to present to investors. The City of Saginaw chose to highlight the Downtown District Opportunity Zone including the Bearinger building and the prominent corner of Genesee and Washington Avenue. Cassi Miller commented on the City of Saginaw’s pitch to investors, “The City of Saginaw believes the Downtown District Opportunity Zone has the ability to make the greatest catalytic change for the city as a whole because we recognize the benefit of clustered development and what it can do for surrounding neighborhoods.”
“Michigan’s cities, especially Saginaw, are open and ready to provide excellent investment opportunities that both provide a great return on investment, while giving our residents new spaces, activities, housing, and more,” said Tim Morales, City Manager. “We look forward to working with our new connections to build investment and growth in Saginaw.”
For additional information, contact Cassi Miller, Business Development Manager, Saginaw Future, Inc. (989) 754-8222.