U.S. Department of Economic Development Administration Awards EDA of St. Clair County, Michigan $3.4 million

August 30, 2021

The Economic Development Alliance (EDA) is pleased to announce it will receive a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to develop a new building and expand the region’s entrepreneurial system and county’s small business services in a state-of-the-art business center along the waterfront.  The grant will be matched with $743,421 in local funds and $101,680 in state funds. 

The new EDA Business Center will be located on Desmond Landing property on approximately 1.7 acres near the YMCA and SEMCO Energy Harborside Office Building.   

This project will serve as the hub of the Port Huron Smartzone, elevating the region’s entrepreneurial resources to attract and accommodate entrepreneurs, innovators, early and second stage businesses and assist with workforce development programs (particularly in manufacturing, robotics, technology, and supply chain sectors).   The EDA Business Center will have a regional focus and will be a one-stop shop for businesses, including startups.










Early Concept Renderings not yet finalized / EDA Business Center (Front & Back) - by Infuz Architects 

Partnering organizations that will maintain a presence in the EDA Business Center include: the Small Business Development Center, which provides business counseling and training; and Procurement Technical Assistance Center which supports companies seeking government contracts.

“MEDC was proud to support St. Clair County efforts to leverage critical federal dollars through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, ensuring the community is in a strong position to not only recover from the effects of the pandemic, but also in a position to thrive long term,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Chair of the MSF Board. “Congratulations to the team at the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County on receiving this grant that will help our small business and entrepreneurs find success here in Michigan.”

The EDA of St. Clair County has been aggressively marketing the 40-acre Desmond Landing property to potential developers and investors over the past few years.  The construction of the EDA Business Center is expected to accelerate interest in the development of the remaining land.   The project also

will shine a light on the value of revitalizing former industrial sites.  The Desmond Landing property served the community as a rail yard, along with other industrial uses, and was cleaned and prepared for new development in the early 2000’s.  The development of the Harborside Office Building and YMCA were early successes.

"Dr. Acheson is very happy to support the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County and the development of the new EDA Business Center to strengthen our region's business climate.  We anticipate the construction of EDA's modern waterfront facility will also generate new interest in the remaining parcels at Desmond Landing," said Donna Niester, CEO of Acheson Ventures LLC.

The EDA of St. Clair County will be conducting a formal bid process to hire a general contractor this fall, with an estimated project budget of approximately $4.2 million.   

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities. 

“EDA of St. Clair County is very grateful to the Economic Development Administration and local partners for this investment which allows us to create a game-changing, south side, entrepreneurial and economic development business center.  We are surrounded by neighboring communities in Macomb and Detroit, as well  other communities such as Ann Arbor, whom have dramatically grown their region’s overall business climates through modern entrepreneurial facilities, trending technologies and advanced support services,” said Dan Casey, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County. 






About EDA of St. Clair County
The Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County is a private non-profit organization that has been dedicated to growing St. Clair County’s local economy since 1952 through business, community, and economic development services.    The EDA of St. Clair County is supported by a strong membership of businesses from the private & public sector passionate about supporting community and economic development.  To learn more about the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County visit:  www.edascc.com.


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