Our Purpose

  • Northern Nexus is designed to grow the local economy by attracting & retaining businesses and improving the region's infrastructure.

A board made up of representatives from Grand Traverse County, Traverse City, Blair Township, East Bay Charter Township and Garfield Charter Township runs Northern Nexus. The board will seek to strategically improve regional infrastructure and transportation assets through improvement projects. Northern Nexus will also use incentives to attract & retain businesses that ship goods through two or more modes of transportation (air, roads, rail or water). In tandem, these activities will bring jobs to the region and boost the local economy.

  • The Northern Nexus board can implement proven economic development tools in ways that weren't possible until now. 

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has long been used as a valuable tool for improvement projects, but it's traditionally used only within the confines of single municipalities. The Northern Nexus board has the authority to establish TIF districts that cross jurisdictional boundaries, offering the unprecedented ability to tackle goals and needs shared by multiple communities within the region. State taxes, though not captured in traditional TIF districts, also are eligible for capture under Northern Nexus. At least one eligible Next Michigan business must be within the confines of any established TIF district. The Northern Nexus board also has the ability to grant tax abatements and create renaissance zones.

  • Northern Nexus projects will be researched, effective, efficient and collaborative.

The Northern Nexus board will connect with public and private sector stakeholders to develop specific projects based on shared needs throughout the region.  Because the duration, extent and application of the economic tools available to Northern Nexus are customizable, the Northern Nexus board envisions projects that capture or waive tax dollars for only the minimum amount of time necessary to complete narrowly focused improvements. This project-based approach will reduce waste and ensure fiscal responsibility and efficiency. 

  • Northern Nexus aims to retain and attract businesses engaged in multi-modal commerce through an attractive set of incentives.

Because Northern Nexus is designed to grow the regional economy by attracting and retaining multi-modal businesses, any TIF district created by the Northern Nexus board must include at least one multi-modal business. Similarly, all tax abatements or renaissance zones utilized by the board must be granted only to multi-modal businesses. With access to these valuable incentives and a climate of private-public collaboration, current businesses are supported in their expansion and new businesses are attracted to the region. Aside from the new jobs this would provide, the increased tax dollars created by new businesses could be leveraged for future improvement projects.

  • Northern Nexus will position the Grand Traverse region as an viable, lucrative and logistically sound location for businesses through a commitment to improving regional transportation assets.

Aside from direct incentives that can be provided to businesses by the Northern Nexus board, local multi-modal businesses are connected to the global market through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as it actively markets the region. The existence of Northern Nexus should also send a message that the Grand Traverse region has a coordinated, collaborative and functional approach to improving the assets businesses use to engage in commerce. Finally, Northern Nexus efforts will position the region as one that's superbly connected to the supply chain, meaning lower headaches and costs related to the transportation of goods.