LEAP Wins Major Project Over National Competition
LANSING, Mich. - Built on technology innovation and remarkable people, an e-commerce giant plans to deepen those same foundations here in the Lansing region. A perfect Tuesday in Michigan greeted Wayfair, the rapidly growing online store for home furnishings and décor, at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Nov. 26 board meeting, where the MSF board approved two talent attraction and job creation performance-based grants.
Over a year’s worth of market data analysis, site visits and strategic discussions, led by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) on behalf of the region and Site Selection Group on behalf of Wayfair, will culminate in a new customer service center in Meridian Township, which will profoundly contribute to Wayfair’s excellent customer satisfaction ratings.
“The competition was fierce to win these many and very competitively paying jobs within a premier international company like Wayfair, but LEAP was relentless about our regional pitch, and won this one for the community and our people,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP.
Wayfair, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Boston, strives to be the employer of choice in the e-commerce customer service space. Here in greater Lansing, the customer service center will ramp up to over 500 full time competitively paid customer service jobs in the first three years. These jobs are particularly expected to draw interest from the local university student community as well as surrounding regions, acting as both an opportunity to retain existing talent and attract new talented professionals to the community.
“We are excited to expand our operations in the State of Michigan and bring more than 500 jobs to the Lansing area with the opening of a new customer service center in Meridian Township,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair. “At Wayfair, exceptional service is the cornerstone of our business. Our new location will allow us to even better serve our customers as we continue to raise the bar in creating the best possible shopping experience for home. We look forward to joining the greater Lansing community, creating exciting new job opportunities, and contributing to economic development in the region.”
Partners from Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, Capital Area Michigan Works, Capital Area Transit Authority, Dean Transportation and leading private companies emphasized a message of collaboration, community and hard work during Wayfair’s visits, a message that resonated strongly with the company’s culture. MEDC contributed greatly to the effort as well, approving $750,000 Jobs Ready Michigan Program and $1,760,500 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grants to assist with Wayfair’s job creation and investment.
“This is great news for Mid-Michigan and the families and businesses that have put down roots here,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This new customer service center will help connect hundreds of Michiganders with good jobs and will send a message to the world that Michigan is a great place to do business. I’m excited to welcome the Wayfair team here to Michigan, and I’m hopeful that more businesses will follow their lead and move to our state.”
Wayfair plans to invest up to $8.9 million into 63,000 square feet of leased space at 4700 S. Hagadorn Rd, a two-story office building owned by George F. Eyde Family, LLC in Meridian Township, over the next three years. The company will also begin hiring its first wave of employees in the first half of 2020, expanding its award-winning team and culture in the Lansing region.
"Meridian Township is a growing community with prime schools, neighborhoods, and businesses and provides outstanding service to its residents. Meridian welcomes Wayfair and the 500 employees it plans to bring to the township," said Meridian Township supervisor Ron Styka.
“This is one of the largest job number attraction efforts won by our region over the last decade,” said Trezise “LEAP’s attraction efforts and the regional teamwork required to win this really performed at an optimum level, and we thank and congratulate all. From Ireland’s Glanbia, to Proliant out of Iowa, to Turkey’s Norm Fasteners and France’s Janny MT, LEAP is really on a hot streak of attracting great new companies and jobs to our region. This is true growth.”
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all--working every day to grow, retain and attract business to the Lansing, Michigan, region.