Groundbreaking ceremonies took place announcing the start of construction on Building #1 at the new Flint Commerce Center industrial park, making official Ashley Capital’s redevelopment of the massive former General Motors Buick City manufacturing campus.
The ceremony, which took place at 2201 Industrial Ave. in Flint, was led by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Representative Dan Kildee, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Mott Foundation President and CEO Ridgway White, Senator John Cherry, State Representative Cynthia Neeley, Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance’s Tyler Rossmaessler, and Elliott P. Laws, Administrative Trustee of the RACER Trust.
Building #1 and all future Flint Commerce Center buildings are being developed by Ashley Capital, one of America’s largest privately held industrial real estate investment firms. In addition to building on greenfield sites, Ashley Capital uses its expertise in development, property management, leasing, and finance to develop industrial parks by transforming obsolete buildings and brownfields into state-of-the-art facilities.
When completed, Flint Commerce Center will generate a total investment of $300 million to construct up to 10 buildings, creating 3.5 million-square-feet of space and as many as 3,000 jobs.
Transforming brownfields into economic growth
Flint Commerce Center is breathing new life into the sprawling former Buick City brownfield site, once a major General Motors manufacturing facility which covered hundreds of acres. The facility closed at the end of 2010. As a result of General Motors’ bankruptcy proceedings, ownership of the site was transferred to the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust. With strong demand for turn-key facilities of this size, it is expected that Flint Commerce Center will be a major economic catalyst for Flint, boosting economic opportunity for area citizens and tax revenues for local government services.
Ashley Capital closed on the first 20 acres of the site earlier this year and is working with RACER to acquire the remainder of the site, 330 additional acres in total. Completion of that transaction is expected to happen by the end of August 2023.
Development costs for the site greatly exceed traditional brownfield development costs due to the challenges of removing concrete slabs, underground foundations, and utilities that were left in place when the former GM buildings were demolished. This redevelopment effort is supported by approximately $3.25 million from City of Flint ARPA funds, $2 million from the CS Mott Foundation, and $8.5 million from the State of Michigan Strategic Fund. RACER continues to assess and remediate environmental issues at the site as part of its mandate and agreements with Ashley Capital.
Building #1 – Ready for Business in Early 2024
Today’s groundbreaking marks the official start of construction for Building #1, a 330,000-square-foot spec build expected to be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2024.
Building #1 will have all features and amenities required by today’s sophisticated warehouse, distribution and manufacturing companies, including:
- Strategic location in the Metropolitan Flint Market, just five miles north of Flint GM Assembly and Bishop International Airport
- Easy access to I-475, I-69, and I-75 that provides tenants with reduced transportation costs, excellent visibility, and enhanced marketability
- The ability to service Flint, Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, and Canada
- “PC” – Production Center zoning which can accommodate heavy industrial users and outside storage
- 330,000 square feet of space
- State-of-the art fire suppression system
- 2400 amps, 480/277 volt 3-phase power
- 65 dock doors and seven 13’ x 15’ grade level doors
- 139 trailer parking spaces
Potential tenants of Flint Commerce Center can find out more from Signature Associates using the contact information below.
Statement from Ashley Capital’s Susan M. Harvey
“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 M. Harvey, Senior Vice President for Ashley Capital.
“It took a major partnership between RACER Trust, the State of Michigan, City of Flint, Mott Foundation and Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance to make this historic reclamation of formerly abandoned brownfields a reality. We are incredibly excited to move forward with this development and see the positive economic impact it will undoubtedly bring to the Flint area,” Harvey concluded.
About Ashley Capital
Founded in 1984, Ashley Capital is one of the largest privately held industrial real estate investment companies in the United States. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, and New York. Ashley creates value by pursuing opportunistic investments, including the transformation of brownfield parcels into state-of-the-art industrial centers, redevelopment of underperforming industrial and office properties, and development and management of new business parks.
Ashley Capital’s Michigan success stories include the redevelopment of the former GM Delco Chassis Plant in Livonia into a key Amazon distribution facility, turning the Hazel Park Raceway into the Tri-County Commerce Center, and redeveloping a 206 acre campus formerly owned by Steelcase in Grand Rapids.
Find out more by visiting www.ashleycapital.com.
For Flint Commerce Center facility inquiries, please contact Signature Associates:
For media inquiries, please contact:
Harbor Strategic Public Affairs
Phone: (517) 348-5152
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