PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI — A chemical company is building a new innovation center and regional headquarters in the Ann Arbor area.
Wacker Chemical Corporation is investing in a nearly 14-acre site at 4950 S. State St. in Pittsfield Township. The North American Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters will house 300 employees, including those in its Adrian headquarters and 70 new “highly-paid” employees within the next five years, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Two-thirds of the Adrian employees will remain to continue production of elastomers, silicone fluids and silicone emulsions.
The company is expected to break ground before the end of the year and complete the project by 2022, MEDC spokeswoman Kathleen Achtenberg said.
“We are excited to move forward with our Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters to be located within Michigan,” Wacker CEO David Wilhoit said in a statement. “Our new facility will enable future growth in the state and serve as an important anchor for our operations across North America. This area is one of the nation’s leading communities for R&D. We look forward to networking with, and recruiting from, this highly educated and skilled talent base.”
Chemical company looking at Ann Arbor area to build headquarters
The company sought out the Ann Arbor area to tap into the local talent pool. Business offices will take up more than 70% of the building and about 30% will be dedicated to research and development, according to the site plan. Pittsfield Charter Township offered a 50% property tax abatement to support the project. The site was last sold to Maui Properties LLC for $890,000 in September 2019, property records show.
The company in 2017, the company established a footprint in Ann Arbor with a research and product development center. The new $51-million headquarters project will receive a $1-million grant from the the MEDC’s Michigan Strategic Fund.
“WACKER’s expansion in Michigan means well-paying jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the state’s advanced manufacturing industry and talented workforce,” said Josh Hundt executive vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in a statement. “This new Innovation Center & Regional Headquarters continues to build on Michigan’s R&D leadership and sends yet another strong signal that Michigan’s economic recovery is well underway. We’re pleased that Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states for this new headquarters facility, and we look forward to working with WACKER as they continue to grow and add jobs in Michigan.”
The MEDC focuses on attracting and retaining businesses that advance manufacturing, engineer, design and development, according to a news release.
“Ann Arbor SPARK has worked with WACKER for more than four years, helping the company locate its R&D facility here, where it has access to the technical talent it needs to advance its business,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, in a statement. “WACKER has remained steadfast in its desire to stay in this region, despite attractive offers from other states vying for the company to relocate. All around, it’s gratifying to see this project advance and for WACKER to break ground on a permanent home in Pittsfield Township. Ann Arbor SPARK will continue to support WACKER’s future growth, especially as it works to hire workers at this new location.”
Wacker Chemical is a German company that manufactures products for various global industries, ranging from silicone and polymer products, according to their website.
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