Keweenaw Economic
Development Alliance
600 E. Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
906-482-6817 Phone
906-482-3203 Fax


Renaissance Zones


About the North Country Renaissance Zone

Renaissance zones are intended to promote economic development by waiving most state and local taxes for up to fifteen years for companies locating in the zones. The State of Michigan has designated Houghton, Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties as the North Country Renaissance Zone, one of only eleven renaissance zones in the state and the first such program in the U.S.

Map of North Country Renaissance Zone.

Michigan is the first state to attempt such a program and anticipates that the renaissance zone program will help revitalize those areas of the state that have yet to realize the growth experienced by faster growing areas of the state.

Specifically, the following taxes are waived in the North Country Renaissance Zone for 15 years beginning January 1, 1997:

  • Michigan Single Business Tax
  • State Education Tax
  • Real Property Taxes
  • Personal Property Taxes
  • Utility Users Tax

The Michigan sales tax and local bonded indebtedness are not waived.


Map of North Country Renaissance Zone. Each of the three counties in the North Country Renaissance Zone has two industrial zone sites. These are intended for manufacturing and service value-added companies, not for commercial or retail businesses.
Map of Franklin Township and Calument Township Renaissance Zone Sites.

Houghton County has designated the 347 acre Houghton County Airpark in Franklin Township -- a fully developed industrial park adjacent to the Houghton County Airport -- and a 70 acre industrial park in Calumet Township as its renaissance zone sites. 

Map of Franklin Township Renaissance Zone at Houghton County Airport. The Houghton County Airpark zone is owned and operated by Houghton County (Contact: Roger Laitinen, Airpark Manager, 906-482-3970).
Map of Calumet Township Renaissance Zone. The Calumet Township zone is owned and operated by Calumet Township (Contact: Paul Lehto, Township Supervisor, 906-337-2410).

Eligibility, Process and Approval

Any Michigan or out-of-state company will be eligible to locate in the Houghton County renaissance zone sites. This could include relocating a company, establishing a branch plant, establishing a research and development facility, or starting-up a new company.

Interested companies will need to submit a business plan that includes a description of the proposed project, historical and projected financial statements, market substantiation for the product(s) to be produced, the proposed job creation and investment in the project and a project time frame.

Under the renaissance zone legislation, any Michigan company relocating more than 25 jobs into a renaissance zone will need to receive the approval of the local government jurisdiction from which the company is relocating in order to be eligible for renaissance zone tax benefits.

The Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance is prepared to assist interested companies with business plan preparation, financial packaging, employee recruitment and training, relations with local municipalities and state government, and any other assistance that may be needed.

The Council is a 150 member, private, non-profit which takes a proactive approach to economic development in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties. It was instrumental in obtaining renaissance zone designation and has committed to working with companies interested in locating in one of the Houghton County zone sites.

Contact Jeff Ratcliffe, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance Executive Director, for more information.