Flint, MI—New development began today at the former Buick City site on Flint’s north side.
The June 5, 2023, groundbreaking for the future “Flint Commerce Center” industrial park was overseen by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Congressman Dan Kildee, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, and other local officials and investors in the project.
The commerce center is being developed by Ashley Capital, a privately-held industrial real estate investment firm that has already transformed another former General Motors’ (GM) property in Livonia, Mich. into an Amazon distribution facility.
Ashley Capital closed on its first 20 acres of Buick City in March 2023 and has since been working with RACER Trust, the organization tasked with the site’s environmental clean up and sale, to acquire its roughly 330 remaining acres.
That transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of August 2023 according to a company press release.
When completed, the same release notes, the Flint Commerce Center is expected to generate a total investment of $300 million for up to 10 buildings and create 3.5 million-square-feet of space and as many as 3,000 jobs.
“We’ve made this massive investment because we think Flint is a good place to be, with an excellent partner in the City of Flint, strong workforce, great infrastructure, and ready access to expressways, rail, and abundant electricity,” said Susan Harvey, the senior vice president for Ashley Capital in a statement.
According to the firm’s documentation, the first building of the future commerce center should be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2024.
It will be located at 2300 North St. and feature 330,000 square-feet of space, ceilings with 32′ height clearance, 65 dock doors and 400 parking spaces.
As Flint Beat previously reported, Harvey said the cost for repurposing the Buick City brownfield will exceed traditional brownfield development costs due to concrete slabs, underground foundations and utilities that were left in place when the site’s former GM buildings were demolished.
The redevelopment effort has therefore been supported by approximately multiple investments outside of Ashley Capital, including $3.25 million from Flint’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, $2 million from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and $8.5 million from the State of Michigan Strategic Fund.