Independent News Reports
Michigan companies win $45M in fed energy grants
Funds awarded for advanced vehicle technology projects
Washington — The Energy Department will award more than $175 million in grants over the next five years to 40 projects involving advanced technology vehicles, according to the federal agency.
The projects were selected from more than 400 applicants in 15 states and include about $45 million for Michigan companies. Detroit’s Big Three automakers are among the recipients.
President Barack Obama will highlight the role of advanced battery projects, when he visits Johnson Controls Inc.’s battery facility in Holland. That company won a $299 million energy award in 2009.
General Motors Co. won $14 million for projects in Pontiac and Warren:
$6 million to develop high performance, low-cost power module and inverter switching technologies that will lead to the production of next-generation inverters.
$8 million to develop a thermoelectric generator system to convert waste heat to electric power at its Warren Tech Centre.
Chrysler Group LLC won $10 million to develop and demonstrate a cost-effective, light-weight, multi-material vehicle aimed at reducing the overall weight of a vehicle by 50 percent.
Ford Motor Co. won $2.7 million for two projects:
$1.5 million for the automaker to conduct research in Dearborn on efforts “to identify fuel properties that can be used to enable novel combustion strategies with low emissions in engines.”
$1.2 million to research polyalkylene glycol-based engine oil technology that can reduce engine friction.
Redevelopment, incentives have renters eyeing Detroit
Detroit— Penthouse 33B in the Broderick Towers is still a gutted, graffiti-marred space, but even now the balcony view helps explain the potential $5,000 monthly rent: A bird’s-eye view of Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.
“We’ve gotten more enquiries about the penthouses than any other potential unit,” said Fred Beal, president of Detroit’s JC Beal Construction Inc. and one of the partners in the $53 million redevelopment of the 34-story Broderick in Grand Circus Park.
With the launch of a major incentive program to lure more people to live in downtown Detroit, the rental market in the 48226 area code, which covers the central business district, promises to be competitive for at least the near future.
Last month, five Detroit companies launched Live Downtown, a $4 million, five-year project to encourage their workers to live in and around downtown in hopes of creating a 24-hour community.
Quicken Loans Inc., Compuware Corp., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc. and DTE Energy Co. will offer cash incentives to about 16,000 collective part-and full-time employees through the program.
Employees are eligible for incentives of up to $20,000 if they buy homes and up to $3,500 for renting in downtown.
Live Downtown is expected to fund 200 to 250 workers a year.
Several downtown rental buildings report having occupancy rates in the 90 percent range, including the Kales Building, the Lofts at Woodward and the Fort Shelby residences.