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Developer Spotlight: Mike Larsen, Fiat Chrysler, Penske and Kroger

“I wish every community was as good to work with as Romulus,” Mike says. “From a development standpoint, Romulus is a great partner because they are collaborative and flexible, willing to work with developers, businesses and residents to get things done.”

Mike has worked alongside the City of Romulus and large-scale companies over the last four years to bring three new developments to the city. In 2017, Mike worked with Mopar, Fiat Chrysler’s parts division, to open a $30 million, 500,000-square-foot distribution center sitting on 60 acres. Last year, with Mike’s help, Penske Logistics opened a 606,000-sqaure foot food distribution center in the city, creating more than 400 new local jobs. Most recently, in September 2020, Mike worked with City of Romulus officials to recruit Kroger’s new high-tech customer fulfillment center to the area. The 135,000-sqaure-foot development will provide more employment opportunities for residents as well as a convenient fresh food delivery service.

Altogether, the Fiat Chrysler, Penske and Kroger developments have brought in more than $200 million in investments, creating hundreds of new local jobs and spurring the local economy.

In addition to being attracted to Romulus as a place to develop because of its business-friendly environment, Mike appreciates its strategic location near the airport and highways.

“From a geographic standpoint, Romulus is an ideal location for a developer,” Mike says. “Romulus also has a great public infrastructure. The local government is committed to economic development and the community has great core values and a pool of talented potential employees.”

Another perk for businesses and developers setting up shop in Romulus is the support and resources available from Aerotropolis—a four-community, public-private economic development partnership with the Wayne County Airport Authority. Aerotropolis has several economic development initiatives available to drive investment, and both Penske and Kroger have tapped into its incentives. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Romulus continues to work collaboratively with businesses and developers to advance projects and secure significant economic developments, like the recently announced Kroger distribution center, despite the challenges.

“I’m impressed at Romulus’ willingness to show the community that, even given the pandemic, they are committed to driving developments and keeping projects moving,” Mike reflects. “It really says a lot about the City’s dedication to economic growth.”

Through a continued partnership with local developers and companies, as well as investments in local infrastructure, the City of Romulus maintains a commitment to creating a Home of Opportunity where businesses and residents alike can thrive and grow. If you have an idea or would like to start a business in Romulus, please visit http://romulusgov.com/departments/economic_development/.