Greater Muskegon Economic Development and Lakeshore Advantage Win Economic Development Deal of the Year Award

Business News |Mar 6, 2023|2 min read

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Lakeshore Advantage, the nonprofit economic development organization for Ottawa and Allegan counties, was selected alongside Greater Muskegon Economic Development as winner of the MiBiz Deal of the Year Award in the Economic Development category. The two organizations worked together to secure approved funding from the State of Michigan for the Southeast Regional Force Main infrastructure expansion project. The concept was originally introduced almost fourteen years ago and its construction represents one of the region’s largest and most important collaborative efforts.

“We are honored to receive this recognition and are thankful that after years of advocacy and collaboration this project is moving forward” said Lakeshore Advantage President, Jennifer Owens. “This is deeply impactful to this community and our important agribusiness sector companies. We’re grateful to MiBiz for putting a spotlight on the deal.”

 The wastewater line will provide critical, stabilizing infrastructure to agribusinesses and food processors in Muskegon and Ottawa counties. The connection will come via a 30- inch force main wastewater line that will extend nearly 20 miles between the two facilities, allowing food producers to take advantage of unused capacity at the Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center. Dairy producers fairlife, Applegate Dairy and Continental Dairy, as well as Swanson Pickle Company and DeVries Meats will connect to the new line once construction is complete. Total private investment from these companies is estimated at $187 million, and the project is expected to create 145 new jobs over the next 3-5 years.

The two economic development organizations celebrated together at the M&A Deals & Dealmaker Awards event on the evening of March 1. The awards, presented by MiBiz, are judged by a panel of executives, attorneys, CPAs, bankers and other dealmakers,  and recognize outstanding achievements related to mergers, acquisitions, capital formation, and other types of dealmaking throughout West Michigan.

“GMED is honored to accept this award alongside Lakeshore Advantage,” said Marla Schneider, President/CEO of Greater Muskegon Economic Development. “This regionally collaborative project will result in exponential growth for Michigan’s agri-processing companies and suppliers for years to come.”


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