GENERIC: road close up

A state grant supporting road construction helped retain and create new jobs at a contractor’s new headquarters in Genesee County.

The Michigan Department of Transportation awarded a Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to fund infrastructure improvements related to Fessler & Bowman Inc.’s new headquarters.

"As we put Michigan back to work, these grants demonstrate the collaborative efforts around economic development and infrastructure we are taking here in Michigan," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "We will stay laser-focused on creating hundreds of good-paying jobs for Michiganders while ensuring safe roads for drivers, helping us emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever before. Let's get it done."

Fessler & Bowman Inc. is a leading national concrete and earthwork contractor headquartered in Flushing. The company identified a possible location in Baldwin Road in Grand Blanc Township for a new 80,000-square-foot headquarters.

However, Fessler & Bowman needs to be located on an all-season road for its operations, which Baldwin Road is not currently. The pavement on Baldwin Road is nearing the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced, Whitmer said. Without the road improvements, the company indicated it would consider expanding at one of their southern locations in Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana, resulting in Michigan losing 112 jobs, as Whitmer states.

“As a national corporation and a leader in the construction industry, we conducted a nationwide search to determine the location of our future corporate headquarters,” said Jim Malenich, president and CEO of Fessler & Bowmac. “Improvements to Baldwin Road and the supporting infrastructure are critical to our transportation needs and was instrumental in our decision to relocate our corporate headquarters to Grand Blanc. The investment from the state of Michigan, Genesee County, and Grand Blanc Township will allow Fessler & Bowman, Inc. to remain in the same county we have proudly been a part of since 1963. We are grateful to MDOT and their commitment to Genesee County. Their collaborative efforts will benefit the existing business community and bring economic growth to Grand Blanc Township.”

The Genesee County Road Commission rebuilt Baldwin Road from Dort Highway to New Tech Drive. Additional work includes widening the road from two lanes to three with a center turn lane added, new right-turn lanes at intersections, paved shoulders, geometric upgrades, and drainage improvements.

With the roadway improvements, Fessler & Bowman will continue with their $10 million expansion, which will retain 112 existing jobs and create 52 new full-time positions. The total project cost is $5,128,649.

“The Charter Township of Grand Blanc has invested a great deal of energy into creating an environment within the DDA District that will attract and retain cutting edge technology-driven businesses, and the improvement to the Baldwin Road corridor is vital to achieving the vision. Without the upgrade to the infrastructure, we could not sustain the job-creating economic growth projected for this development zone,” Grand Blanc Township Superintendent Dennis Liimatta said. “We truly appreciate the cooperation and assistance from the Genesee County Road Commission (GCRC) and MDOT to improve the safety, and provide for efficient traffic flow, in this growing commercial district.”

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