State grant backs life sciences hub in Mattawan

Southwest Michigan

MATTAWAN, Mich. (WOOD) — An 85-acre site off I-94 in Mattawan could be a new hub for the life sciences industry with the help of a state grant.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded Market Van Buren a $78,000 grant to cover costs needed to make the project a reality. The money will help with expenses including the planning and engineering to develop the property.

According to Zachary Morris, executive director of Market Van Buren, the goal is to recruit life sciences businesses to the site just south of the interstate.

“If we do it right, maybe somewhere between 500 and 1,000 jobs can come into the area,” Morris said.

Project planners say it could also bring in tax revenue and allow for partnerships with schools and universities.

“There’s a lot of skilled, educated talent here and (the project) gives us the ability to attract more businesses,” Morris said.

Village of Mattawan Public Works Superintendent Tom Anthony said the area is properly zoned and has all the infrastructure in place that companies need.

“It’s an investment in our future to provide more job opportunities for every level from high school graduates to Ph.D.s,” Anthony said.

Market Van Buren says the area has 16 times the national average of employees working in the life sciences industry.

The property is located by the Welcome to Mattawan sign and is across the street from Charles River Laboratories. Project planners would like to bring businesses to the site as soon as possible.

Market Van Buren was one of 45 communities awarded the grant as part of the new MEDC program.

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