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Posted on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

Masco plans to staff ex-Flint Ink building with 450 workers, including 100 new hires

By Nathan Bomey

Masco Corp. will consolidate two cabinetry divisions into a single operation headquartered in Ann Arbor Township and staffed by more than 450 employees, economic development officials confirmed today.

Masco Cabinetry Co. will relocate 350 employees from offices in Adrian, Mich. and Middlefield, Ohio, and hire up to 100 new workers over the next five years, company officials said this afternoon.

flint ink 1.jpg

The former Flint Ink building at Dixboro Road at Arrowhead in Ann Arbor Township.

The firm, backed by a six-year tax abatement approved Monday night by the Ann Arbor Township Board of Trustees, plans to locate its operation at the long-dormant 150,000-square-foot Flint Ink facility on Arrowhead Drive off Dixboro Road.

Masco spokeswoman Susan Cross said this afternoon that the firm plans to begin staffing the operation in the fourth quarter, perhaps as early as October.

"The Ann Arbor area really gives us the benefits of a major metropolitan area in a non-urban setting," Cross said. "Ann Arbor's widely been recognized as a very desirable place to live."

The site will be used to “house executive oversight, technical and R&D resources as well as all corporate finance, marketing and IT services to the cabinet group,” according to documents from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“The Flint Ink building has been vacant for about three years and we’ve very pleased that Masco is going to occupy it and return to use in the community,” Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran said.

The move - first reported Friday by - comes after Masco announced in February that it would create the Masco Cabinetry division to consolidate its Masco Retail Cabinet Group and Masco Builder Cabinet Group.

"Combining the strengths and talents of the two organizations to generate significant value for our customers is a very exciting opportunity," said Karen Strauss, president of Masco Cabinetry, in a February news release. "By inspiring and creating kitchen and bath solutions with meaningful innovation and consumer-preferred brands, we will drive breakthrough growth opportunities for our customers and our company."

The MEDC is expected to approve 10-year standard employment tax credit tied to the company’s agreement to hire up to 250 new employees and the retention of the 206 existing workers.

Leaman said Masco hopes to "establish a new culture" with its consolidated operation, though he didn't offer specifics. He said the Flint Ink facility was the perfect fit to support that mission.

"When we looked at the building itself, it's particularly conducive to that vision," he said. "It has the feel for that."

Ann Arbor Township’s abatement, worth $206,588 in offset taxes, was based on an total planned investment of $7.75 million.

The consolidation comes as Masco is positioned to reap benefits from a gradual economic turnaround after several years of cost cutting. The firm closed 17 manufacturing facilities and cut 23,000 workers from 2006 to 2008.

Masco Corp.’s sales dipped 18 percent from $9.5 billion in 2008 to $7.8 billion in 2009.

Contact’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or or follow him on Twitter. You can also subscribe to Business Review's weekly e-newsletter or the upcoming breaking business news e-newsletter.


Eric D

Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 7:14 a.m.

Glad their staying in Michigan!


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 4:53 a.m.

Great News for you Ann Arbor folks, Very bad news for us Middlefield OH folks...


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 12:37 a.m.

At one point when Pfizer was busy conning the city into some juicy tax breaks, they were predicting Pfizer would employ 10,000 or so here. We all know how that worked-out. Anyway, a few hundred workers from another city within the state, won't make a dimes' worth of difference in a state where millions of jobs have been lost over the past 10-15 years. And since it is located in a township, it won't bring much to the City of Ann Arbor except for restaurants and retail.

Nathan Bomey

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 3:34 p.m.

I've updated this story to reflect new information provided by Masco that offers new perspective on the firm's plans. Information provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Masco would relocate 206 jobs and create an additional 250 jobs. However, Masco officials told me this afternoon that 350 of the 450 jobs they plan to locate in Ann Arbor Township are positions transferred from the Adrian and Middlefield facilities. They plan to hire 100 new employees -- mostly corporate jobs in areas such as finance, information technology, etc.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

Congratulations Ann Arbor Township, as well. For the cost of a small tax abatement, your area has won over $25 million each year. 450 workers times BLS average yearly compensation of $57,179.20 = $25,730,640 each year, much of it into your local economy. There is a good lesson here...

Nathan Bomey

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 1:50 p.m.

SMIAVE, Good question. We spoke Friday with Jim Gartin, CEO of the Lenawee Economic Development Corp. Here's a selection of text from our previous Masco story: One of the facilities closed by the company was a Merillat factory in Adrian, said Jim Gartin, president and CEO of the Lenawee Economic Development Corp. "It was pretty clear at that point that the headquarters was next," Gartin said. Relocation options included sites in Southeast Michigan and Ohio, Gartin said, and he said he and his staff expressed hope that the 200 employees in Adrian, located southwest of Ann Arbor in Lenawee County, would be able to commute to the new facility. "We were very supportive of the Ann Arbor location because we felt many more employees would be (able to stay in Michigan)," Gartin said. Customer service functions will remain in Adrian, Gartin said. That's estimated at about 50 jobs. Despite the loss for Adrian, Gartin expects to work with Masco officials on finding a new user for the offices it vacates in the community. "We've worked with Masco real estate people on the manufacturing facility to repurpose it and I'm sure as they make the transition with the corporate headquarters, we'll do the same thing," Gartin said.

scooter dog

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

I find it very very hard to believe with the economy the way it is and the home building/remodeling industry at 25 yr lows that a company that specializes in kitchen/bath cabinets for new and retro fitting can justify keeping 206 people employed let alone hiring 250 more.I am sorry I don't buy their thinking.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:29 a.m.

Finally some good news! Let's keep 'em coming!


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 10:59 a.m.

Excellent news. Welcome to Ann Arbor Masco. We hope you enjoy all that we have to offer in our fine community.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

Great news about the new jobs and retention, but what will be the impact on Adrian? I believe it's in much worse shape in terms of unemployment and dwindling tax base.