The has announced an investment of $16.5 million by the in a project to redevelop part of the former Buick City site in northeast Flint as an environmentally friendly industrial park.
The Mott Foundation is leading the planning process for the site, which was closed in 2010 and transferred to the as part of General Motor's bankruptcy. The foundation will award a $1.5 million grant to a special purpose entity (SPE) to fund due diligence activities, with MEDC's contributing $1 million. Upon completion of the due diligence phase and the acquisition of about a hundred and forty acres at the southern end of the site, the foundation and MSF will make equity investments of $15 million and $5.5 million, respectively, in support of the site's redevelopment.
According to , plans for the site include an eco-friendly warehousing, packaging, and light industrial space, with biking and walking trails connecting it to the Flint River and surrounding neighborhoods. Once among the largest vehicle manufacturing complexes in the country, the 360-acre site was active from 1904 through 2010. Crain's also reports that the first phase of the project would create about three hundred permanent full-time equivalent jobs with an average hourly wage of $15, and that renewable energy options such as a solar park are being considered for the northern end of the property. While the buildings on the site have been demolished, environmental issues remain, however, and infrastructure work, including storm water management, road, rail, and bridge improvements, will be needed to support the new complex.
"The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is always looking for ways to help expand economic opportunity and improve quality of life in Flint," Kathryn Thomas, vice president of communications for the foundation, told Crain's. "We can see the Buick City site from our office, and we can also foresee that it could be an important property for revitalization efforts."