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Planning and Economic Development

Macomb County’s International Landing Zone

Is your company considering new operations in the United States?

The Macomb County International Landing Zone (ILZ), or soft landing zone, allows businesses to integrate into the region. The ILZ is open to international and domestic businesses looking to establish a presence in southeast Michigan.

Benefits of the ILZ include:

  • Modern office space at no cost for six months.
  • Access to business acceleration programs.
  • Consultation with legal and accounting firms.
  • One-on-one consulting by Macomb County economic development specialists.
  • Proximity to existing and potential customers and suppliers - such as Army Ground Vehicle Service Center, TACOM, and 10 Defense PRIME contractors as well as hundreds of suppliers.
  • Access to educational institutions, mentors and industry experts.
  • Access to The Michigan Defense Center where the Arsenal of Democracy meets the Arsenal of Innovation.
  • Introduction to Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  • Access to Pure Michigan Business matchmaking events, connecting purchasers with suppliers.

Located in the heart of metropolitan Detroit, office space is available at the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights.


Why Macomb County?


Photos of the Velocity Center


ILZ Success story -- SAPA Transmission

When Spain-based SAPA Transmission was looking to expand into Michigan, the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) team jumped into action. 

SAPA, which makes transmissions for military vehicles, was looking for a suitable space for a small staff to see if it would be feasible to do business here.

MCPED offered SAPA six months of free space at the Velocity Collaborative Center, including business services. With the help of MCPED, the state of Michigan and Shelby Township, SAPA found a permanent home in the Cherry Creek Industrial Park in the township.

SAPA was able to obtain a $2.676 million Michigan Business Development Program grant, a $1.586 million tax abatement from Shelby Township and is approved to use up to $212,000 in training and services from Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!. They worked with Macomb Community College to utilize up to $760,000 in Michigan New Jobs program funds to assist in any manufacturing-based training. SAPA’s total incentives were more than $5.2 million.

As a result, SAPA made a total investment of more than $40 million in real and personal property in their Shelby Township location and created more than 200 new jobs.

Michigan was chosen over competing sites in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.


Macomb County assists three new tenants at the International Landing Zone

The new tenants include: NOXMAT GmbH Industrial Heating Technology

Based in Germany, NOXMAT manufactures industrial burners, electrical heating elements, radiant tubes and customer-specific control cabinets as well as accessories for all aspects of heating technology for industrial thermoprocessing systems. Its products are sold in more than 35 countries worldwide and are used, among other things, in systems for the heat treatment of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

“We are very thankful to Macomb County Planning and Economic Development and the Velocity Center for helping us to make an easy transition to Michigan,” said CEO Matthias Wolf. “The ILZ has helped us gain a foothold in Macomb County while we look to grow our business here.”


And: Akimbo Technologies Inc.

Akimbo Technologies Inc. is a dynamic start-up company dedicated to creating innovative solutions that push the limits of cybersecurity for military naval vessels and combat vehicles. Akimbo’s DEFENSA “deep tech” software is built on the foundation of dynamic distributed fault tolerance. It detects, corrects and heals (i.e. sets the back to the ‘normal’ state) all forms of anomalies regardless if they are triggered by a component failure or cyberattack. Its core value is that it reliably detects and corrects all anomalies in real-time without any assistance from a cloud-based security operation center (SOC).

“It was important that we establish a base of operations in Michigan close to the defense corridor and a strong, skilled labor force,” Chief Revenue Officer Rod Weir said. “Macomb County and the ILZ was extremely helpful in getting that done.”


Proax Technologies

Proax Technologies is a leading technical automation distributor that offers innovative product solutions in the areas of automation and robotics, motion control and machine safety. Proax, a Canadian company, has been in the marketplace for more than 59 years and continues to grow and expand its product line and services to meet customer's needs. Proax has more than 190 employees with 12 branch locations.


Our International Landing Zone Ambassadors


For more information, contact:

Curt Chowanic, Senior Business Development Specialist

Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development 586-242-3643​​​​​