HOLLAND, Mich. — Holland is moving forward with the proposed LG Energy Solution expansion, which would add over 1,000 jobs to the area.
The city is allowing the company to be inside what’s called a Renaissance Zone. This zone means lower taxes over the next 20 years.
There is still a lot more steps that they need to go through. However, the city passing this new zoning unanimously is a significant step forward for the project.
LG Energy Solution representatives publicly addressed the Holland City Council for the first time Wednesday night.
“Our headquarters is a big company, and our revenue is about $11 billion,” said Bonchul Koo, president of LG Chem Michigan Inc.
“By passing this ren zone, we can utilize our resources more and expand our factory,” Koo explained.
For LG to keep this special zoning, they must keep up with promises made to the city and the state, such as hiring 1,200 people. This could be a challenge, as many businesses are struggling to hire people.
Koo noted LG is also experiencing a similar problem, but the company is working on strategies to make sure they can fill those jobs immediately.
"Actually, we need more people. So, that 1,200, we need to commit that," Koo stated. "We are hiring people, and fulfilling 1,200 jobs, that’s not a big problem.
Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek says LG will go through yearly audits to ensure that the company is keeping up with its promises. “Ultimately, the Renaissance Zone is approved at the state level, and the reporting and the auditing for the information are done annually and is needed to be made by the company to the state,” Van Beek said. “That is the process to make sure promises or items involved with the ren zone if we get this and they provide this. The state has a system in place to monitors that.”
LG's latest expansion, which will add another million square feet to its existing facility on 146th Avenue in Holland, will focus on building batteries for electric vehicles.
They already have an existing partnership with General Motors, which also just recently announced a $7 billion investment in the state to build electric vehicles and batteries.
With the draw to Holland, the state is also providing incentives for this project, including $10 million to support affordable housing in the area.
The project isn't set in stone just yet. The state now must sign off on the zoning and will be looking at that later this month.
If all goes through, those jobs would be coming to the area by 2025.