BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined officials from Whirlpool Corporation along with federal, state and local officials Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new multi-family housing development in downtown Benton Harbor.
Through a partnership with Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment LLC, Whirlpool Corporation plans to invest more than $20 million to construct the multi-family development in Benton Harbor with the support of the Michigan Strategic Fund, according to a news release.
“We applaud Whirlpool Corporation’s continued investment in southwest Michigan as we work to jumpstart our economy,” Whitmer said. “This innovative approach to solving a critical workforce housing gap is a win for Whirlpool in attracting top talent, a win for the community, bringing increased density and revenue to small businesses in downtown Benton Harbor and a win for people who need and deserve quality, attainable housing in the place they live, work and play.”
Whirlpool Corporation announced plans for the multi-family housing development in June following Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in the amount of $750,000 for the project and relevant road improvements.
“This project would not be possible without the collaboration of so many, including Mayor Muhammad and the City of Benton Harbor, the Benton Harbor Planning Commission, the MEDC and Cornerstone Alliance, and is a testament to what we can accomplish when we all work together to achieve our shared goals,” Whirlpool Corporation Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer said. “By working with our communities on projects such as this one, we can all benefit, and are all collectively more successful as a result.”
The multi-family development will have 80 apartments and 120 parking spaces, which is expected to result in $22 million in total capital investment in Benton Harbor.
“The entire project began with a conversation I had with Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer when he first approached me to discuss his plans to create a Racial Equality Pledge to increase Black representation among the workforce and in leadership positions at Whirlpool Corporation,” Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said. “At that time, I asked him to consider making this investment into the city of Benton Harbor to grow our city and create a place that welcomes all people to live in our community, including underrepresented minority colleagues who will be joining Whirlpool. This waterfront facility can be the magnet to attract a diverse set of residents, proud to call Benton Harbor home.”