WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - Gordon Food Service plans to add 173 new jobs over the next fiveyears at a new 100,000-square-foot facility that would be builtnear its Wyoming headquarters, a company spokeswoman told 24 HourNews 8 on Tuesday.
"Most of the jobs would be new positions, however, some could becoming from Canada," Gordon Food Service spokeswoman Deb Abrahamsaid.
The jobs would be white-collar roles in fields such asaccounting, marketing and buying, she said.
The Michigan Economic Growth Authority board approved $1.7million in tax credits Tuesday toward the food service firm'sproposed $24.2 million project. Gordon Food Service would only beable to take full advantage of the credits if all the projectedjobs are created.
Local incentives from the city of Wyoming are expected to beconsidered in the coming weeks. Final approvals for the plans areexpected in mid-July, Abraham said.
Gordon Food Service, also known as GFS, considered a location in Ontario, Canada for the expansion, but"our preference would be to build" in the Grand Rapids area, thespokeswoman said.
Wyoming's incentives could include abatement on personalproperty tax -- the taxes companies pay on equipment -- and roadimprovements. The planned building would be located on the landonce occupied by a concrete plant along 50th Street SW at U.S.131.
City Manager Curtis Holt praised the planned expansion as theessence of "economic gardening -- meaning that, you have a localbusiness that is home-grown, has continued to grow their businessin Wyoming. Their headquarters is here in Wyoming," he said.
Speaking to reporters about GFS' plans Tuesday afternoon, MayorJack Poll took on critics who have questioned the city's attitudetoward businesses.
"We've been pushed around a little bit the last couple weeks,"he said, referring to complaints about enforcing DowntownDevelopment Authority rules covering the types of businessesallowed to locate along 28th Street.
It's really been about looking at the community's long-termfuture, the mayor said.
Asked about whether the incentives -- aimed at longer-term gain-- were worth the short-term cost, Holt said "if Wyoming's going tobe in a place where they can attract businesses and put businesseshere -- and therefore jobs -- we're going to have to be in theincentive game because everybody else is there.
"If we don't play that game, these jobs, this business goes toToronto. And we end up with a site that's an obsolete property --that who knows when or where that might be developed."
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