Connected Vehicle Research Center Planned on Site of Former Willow Run Powertrain Plant
High-Tech Development Expected to be a Catalyst for the Region
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, MI — The former Willow Run Powertrain plant, long a source of economic strength in Southeast Michigan, is the proposed home for a technologically advanced connected vehicle research
center, a project that could become a hub of research and development for the vehicles of tomorrow and a catalyst for jobs in innovative automotive research. The announcement was made today by the RACER Trust
, Devon Industrial Group
and Walbridge Development, LLC.
The project will evolve in two simultaneous phases, both led by Detroit companies. Devon Industrial Group, a minority-owned business, will manage the dismantling and removal of the industrial buildings on the property, supervising the activities of MCMManagement
of Bloomfield Hills, MI. Walbridge Development, LLC, an affiliate of the Walbridge Group, Inc.
, one of America’s largest privately held construction companies, would redevelop the property into a shared R&D center and test track for connected vehicles. This facility would jointly serve automakers, suppliers and related technology companies and would be the first of its kind.
RACER has marketed the Willow Run property for sale and redevelopment since taking ownership in 2011. It sought competitive proposals for dismantling and removal of the buildings on the property, as well as alternative redevelopment proposals, in order to maximize the property’s substantial redevelopment potential. Devon Industrial Group and Walbridge submitted a joint proposal that included demolition and their vision for redevelopment.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Ypsilanti Township, the surrounding community and all of Southeast Michigan,” Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said. “I believe this will usher in an era of collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors. This development will bring high-tech R&D, excellent jobs, a stronger tax base and be a source of great pride for our region.”
Elliott P. Laws, administrative trustee of the RACER Trust, said: “Finding a buyer and new use for Willow Run has been one of RACER’s highest priorities. This project fits perfectly with Southeast Michigan’s long-standing leadership in automotive innovation. I congratulate and thank Devon Industrial Group and Walbridge for their vision and spirit, and for their part in shaping what will be a very dynamic future for this region.”
The contracts will not impede Yankee Air Museum’s
campaign to purchase and separate a portion of the Willow Run Powertrain plant to serve as a permanent home for the museum and its collections.
Dismantling and removal activities are expected to begin this fall and take approximately 12 months to complete. At that point, Walbridge would buy the majority of the 332-acre property and begin redevelopment, subject to a development agreement with Ypsilanti Township. The development agreement would define the scope of the proposed connected vehicle research center and the number of jobs Walbridge would commit to attract as a result.
“Since 1916, Walbridge has played major a role in the history of the auto industry by building some of its most critical manufacturing, assembly and R&D facilities. But more importantly, we want to help build its future. The Willow Run property is ideal for the type of development we envision, one that leverages the region’s assets — both talent and technology,” said John Rakolta III, Business Development Director for Walbridge. “We believe in this project’s success, and we’re committed to helping attract businesses and tenants whose R&D interests align with the goals of our planned facility — to develop and refine vehicle technology that will make our roads safer and keep Michigan at the forefront of automotive innovation.”
Paul Krutko, president and CEO of the economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK, said: “SPARK’s role as the regional economic development organization is to look for opportunities big and small to build prosperity. We identified automotive technology as a key area of potential and earlier this year drafted a white paper, Ahead By A Century — A Proposal to Develop A World Class Test Facility for Intelligent Transportation Systems and Autonomous Vehicles in Southeast Michigan, based on our findings. Working initially with Walbridge, RACER Trust and Ypsilanti Township, and longer term with other private- and public-sector partners, Ann Arbor SPARK is creating this new economic opportunity for the region that has the potential to generate significant investment and jobs.”
“We’re looking forward to the challenge of dismantling and removing such a large building in 12 months, but we share RACER’s and Walbridge’s urgency to get started on redevelopment and job creation, and that begins with our team’s performance,” said David Burnley Sr., CEO of Devon Industrial Group.
In a separate development, RACER is engaged in a land swap with the Wayne County Airport Authority, giving Willow Run Airport control of land it needed to better utilize an existing east-west runway without physically extending the runway. This land swap supports the airport authority’s long-term business development efforts. Full runway utilization had been constrained by the previous property boundary between the airport and RACER’s land.
“This exciting new project and the land swap are both indicative of RACER’s commitment to economic revitalization, not just for Willow Run but for all of Southeast Michigan,” said Tim Keyes, CEO of VantagePort, a regional economic development consortium focused on driving expansion and new investment in and around Detroit Metro and Willow Run Airport. “Our region will reap the benefits of this land swap almost immediately, enabling more efficient movement of people and products through Willow Run.”
RACER previously announced the sale of an adjacent building, the former Willow Run Company Vehicle Operations facility, to International Turbine Industries, a jet engine repair and parts sales business.
About the RACER Trust: The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.
RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust, which is independent, was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York. For more information, please visit our website: www.racertrust.org.
About Walbridge: Walbridge was founded in 1916 in Detroit and has grown to become one of America’s largest privately owned construction companies. The company has expertise in many market segments, including: airports, automotive, commercial, education, government, healthcare, industrial process, manufacturing, and water/wastewater. Walbridge is an industry pace-setter in the development of new ideas and methods for quality construction, site safety, enhancing sustainability, lowering cost and maximizing long-term project value. For more information, please visit: www.walbridge.com.
About Devon Industrial Group: Devon Industrial Group provides construction management, general contracting, pre-construction, decommissioning and facility management services for clients in the automotive, healthcare, industrial process and education fields. The firm was recognized in 2013 by the Associated General Contractors of Michigan with an Outstanding Safety Performance award earned for a low injury incident rate based on total amount of work hours generated in 2012. For more information, please visit: www.devonindustrial.com.
About MCM Management Corp: MCM Management Corp. (MCM) is a vertically integrated industrial services provider that specializes in repurposing America’s largest industrial and manufacturing facilities for redevelopment. MCM has performed more than 100 million square feet of environmental remediation, asbestos abatement, demolition and recycling services since 1993. For more information, please visit: www.mcmanagement.com
About Ann Arbor SPARK: Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.
05/26/2017 - MDEQ video series highlights Bay City
5/4/2017 - RACER Trust, idX Corporation Complete Sale of Former GM Manufacturing Plant in Spotsylvania County, Va.
05/02/2017 - RACER Trust Selects Ambrose Property Group for Transformative Development at Former Indianapolis Stamping Plant Property
2/22/2017 - RACER Trust, George W. Auch Company Complete Transfer of University Drive Property in Pontiac, Mich.
2/9/2017 - RACER Trust, Rivore Metals, LLC, Reach Agreement on Sale of Industrial Property in Pontiac, Mich.
1/20/2017 - RACER Trust, Michigan DNR Reach Agreement on Transfer of Riverfront Property in Saginaw
12/20/2016 - RACER Trust, Commonwealth Development Corporation of American Reach Agreement on Sale of Land in Muncie, Ind.
12/19/2016 - RACER Trust Sells Interest in Pontiac Centerpoint Business Campus
12/1/2016 - RACER Trust Sells Property in Muncie, Ind., to M&M Bus Co., Inc.
11/22/2016 - RACER Trust, NorthPoint Development Reach Agreement for Sale of Lansing-Area Industrial Land
11/10/2016 - RACER Trust Completes Sale of Former GM Willow Run Property for Redevelopment as American Center for Mobility
7/27/2016 - RACER Trust Sells Property in Anderson, IN, to Tower Anderson, LLC
7/22/2016 - NorthPoint Development Bringing More Jobs to KCK
7/18/2016 - Agreement Reached on Willow Run Purchase
6/21/2016 - RACER Trust to Seek New Proposals for Purchase, Redevelopment of Prime Property Near Downtown Indianapolis
5/17/2016 - RACER Trust, George W. Auch Company Reach Agreement On Sale of University Drive Property in Pontiac, Mich.
5/10/2016 - RACER Trust Announces Sale of Vacant Land in Pontiac, Mich., to HB Dynamics
5/4/2016 - U.S. EPA Issues Community Update on Massena Cleanup
4/14/2016 - Ohio EPA Issues Covenant Not to Sure for Former RACER Trust Property in Ontario, OH
2/23/2016 - EPLET, LLC, to Continue Service as Administrative Trustee of RACER Trust
1/5/2016 - RACER Trust, Ross Community Center, Inc., Complete Sale of Land in Muncie, IN
11/17/2015 - RACER Trust, Ross Community Center, Inc., Reach Agreement for Sale of Land in Muncie, IN
9/15/2015 - RACER Trust, Ashley Capital Complete Sale of Industrial Land in Livonia, MI
9/9/2015 - U of M Video Highlights Partnership with RACER
6/8/2015 - RACER Trust Announces Sale of Flint Warehouse; More than 200 Jobs Expected
05/28/2015 - Remedial activities resume in Massena
4/29/2015 - RACER Trust Completes Sale of Property in Anderson, IN; Site to be Used by Sirmax North America for Manufacturing
3/20/2015 - U.S. Commercial Service, AmCham Canada, RACER Trust Welcome Canadian Business Leaders for Reception
3/19/2015 - RACER Trust Hires Terradex to Provide Environmental Monitoring Services
2/24/2015 - RACER-Sponsored Student Design Team Wins International Recognition for Research on Sustainable Remediation
2/6/2015 - Resources from SelectUSA
01/15/2015 - Sharing in Good News for Anderson, IN
1/13/2015 - RACER Trust Sells Vacant Land for Redevelopment in Detroit
12/17/2014 - RACER Trust Reaches Agreement with IRG for Sale of Buildings and Land in Pontiac, MI
12/10/2014 - RACER Trust Reaches Agreement with Ashley Capital for Sale of Industrial Land in Livonia, MI
12/02/2014 - RACER Trust Announces Sale to Wayne State University
11/24/2014 - RACER Trust Sells Land in Flint, MI, to Kettering University
11/10/2014 - RACER Trust, NorthPoint Development Agree to Terms for Sale of Industrial Land in Lordstown, OH
10/30/2014 - RACER Trust Announces 10-Year Lease Extension with Roth Global in Salina Industrial Powerpark
09/25/2014 - Brownfields 2015 Brings Focus on Sustainability and Redevelopment to Chicago
09/18/2014 - RACER Trust Honors Perras Environmental Control for Safe, Successful Remediation Work in Massena
9/11/2014 - Lennar Breaks Ground in Ewing
8/26/2014 - AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company Begins Redevelopment of Buick City
8/7/2014 - M1 Concourse Completes Purchase in Pontiac
8/6/2014 - RACER Trust Completes Sale of Former GM CVO Facility to International Turbine Industries
8/6/2014 - CVO Remediation Team Earns EPA Honor
8/4/2014 - RACER Trust Announces Agreement to Sell Former GM Indianapolis Plant Property to REI Investments
8/4/2014 - How Do Detroit's Parolees Fit into the City's Revitalization?
7/29/2014 - How Much Cleaning Up Brownfields is Really Worth
7/29/2014 - The Perfect Partner for Closed Landfills?
7/13/2014 - RACER Trust is Working to Bring Jobs to Toledo
6/23/2014 - Yankee Air Museum Signs Deal for Part of Willow Run Bomber Plant
4/21/2014 - Rebirth of America's Dead Factories
4/1/2014 - Carl Garvey Named General Counsel of RACER Trust
3/6/2014 - RACER Trust Announces Sale of Former GM Livonia Powertrain Plant to Schostak Brothers & Company
2/4/2014 - Mayor Bert Steinmann and the Ewing Township Redevelopment Agency Announce Designation of Lennar Ewing, LLC as Redeveloper for Portion of Parkway Avenue Redevelopment Area
1/15/2014 - Statement from RACER Trust Regarding Donation of Land to City of Anderson, IN
12/09/2013 - RACER Trust Honors D.A. Collins Environmental Services for Successful Completion and 58,000 Safe Work Hours on Massena, N.Y., Project
11/13/2013 - AMERICAN Brings New Investment, Jobs to Flint, MI
11/1/2013 - Plans for $250 million project, up to 800 jobs at former GM site in Moraine, Ohio, ’The home run we have been looking for.’ “
9/30/2013 - NorthPoint, RACER Trust Close Sale in Kansas City, KS; Development Projects Will Create Up to 2,000 New Jobs
09/05/2013 - Connected Vehicle Research Center Planned on Site of Former Willow Run Powertrain Plant
08/08/2013 - RACER Trust Seeking Proposals from Qualified Firms for Redevelopment of Indianapolis Stamping Plant Site
08/01/2013 - Rosie the Riveter's factory gets 2-month reprieve
08/01/2013 - 'Rosie the Riveter' World War Two Bomber Plant Needs $8 Million to Live on as Museum
07/31/2013 - Michigan Aerospace Foundation, Yankee Air Museum and RACER Trust Announce Extension of the Fundraising Deadline for Former B-24 Plant at Willow Run
6/7/2013 - Former Indianapolis Stamping Plant to be Marketed as Vacant Land
6/6/2013 - Fox-47 Coverage of RACER Community Meeting in Lansing, MI
5/23/2013 - M1 Concourse to Buy RACER Land in Pontiac, MI, Develop Destination for Car Enthusiasts
5/16/2013 - RACER Trustee Elliott Laws Receives National Brownfield Leadership Award
4/24/2013 - RACER Trust Working with Yankee Air Museum On Deal for Portion of Willow Run Powertrain Property
04/17/2013 - RACER Trust, Ultimate Soccer Arenas Reach Agreement on Deal for Land in Pontiac, MI
4/02/2013 - Aircraft Maintenance Firm Buying Willow Run CVO Facility; Sale is Expected to Result in Creation of 25 Jobs
3/22/2013 - Sale and Redevelopment of RACER Trust Site in Kansas City, KS, Means 2,000 New Local Jobs
2/7/2013 - RACER Trust Awards Major Cleanup Contract for Former GM Site in Massena, NY, to Local Firm
1/30/2013 - Ewing Township, RACER Trust Agree On Unified Marketing Approach for Former GM Property
1/3/2013 - Elio Motors to Buy Former GM Plant in Shreveport, Expects to Employ 1,500 by end of 2015
12/28/2012 - RACER Trust Completes Sale of Former GM Facility in Ohio to Major Development Company
11/28/2012 - Redeveloping Former GM Sites for New Job-Creating Uses
11/28/2012 - Plans 'On Track' for Sale of Former GM Plant
10/31/2012 - Former GM Assembly Plant in Pontiac Sold for New Industrial Development
10/31/2012 - RACER sells Fiero Assembly plant in Pontiac to Lapeer-based company
10/19/2012 - Event showcases Massena to Canadian companies
9/28/2012 - Marketplace Highlights RACER Mission
9/24/2012 - Former GM Plant Near Shreveport, La., Offers Prime Opportunity for New Investment, Jobs
8/17/2012 - GM Pact Signed, Work Begins to Bring 1,100 Jobs
8/17/2012 - Ontario Council Signs GM Site Development Pact
8/17/2012 - New Plans For Previous GM Plant
8/17/2012 - Ohio Company To Buy Former GM Plant, Bring 1,100 Jobs to Area
8/16/2012 - Major Development Firm Reaches Agreement On Purchase Of Former GM Facility
8/16/2012 - RACER Trust Announces Deal to Sell GM Stamping Plant in Ontario to Brownfield Communities Development Co.
8/16/2012 - Developer Has Big Plans for GM Site in Ontario
8/16/2012 - Filling Building Will Generate Tax Revenues
8/16/2012 - Purchase Agreement Signed for Ex-GM Plant
8/16/2012 - Real Estate Firm to Buy Ex-GM Ohio Plant
8/16/2012 - Richland County: Redeveloped GM Plant to Bring 1,100 Jobs
8/16/2012 - Firm Heading Former GM Site Redevelopment to Sell Ohio Stamping Plant
8/16/2012 - Sale Of Former Ontario General Motors Plant Announced
8/16/2012 - Brownfield Communities Development Buys Ex-GM Facility in Ohio
7/30/2012 - Potential Advantages of Reusing Potentially Contaminated Land for Renewable Energy
7/27/2012 - Repurposing Former Automotive Manufacturing Sites
7/26/2012 - RACER Trust and UEP Detroit Team Up to Provide Opportunities for Minority Entrepreneurs
7/18/2012 - RACER Trust and Goodwill’s Green Works, Inc., Partner to Promote Recycling and Create Job Opportunities in Southeast Michigan
6/28/2012 - RACER Trust looks to convene new industrial activity across a huge portfolio of former GM properties
6/27/2012 - Former Bay City Official Joins RACER Trust Team
6/22/2012 - 'Rosie the Riveter' Bomber Plant in Michigan for Sale
6/21/2012 - Ex-GM Plants for Sale; Must Create Jobs
6/21/2012 - AnnArbor.com: Open House Showcases Former GM Properties
6/21/2012 - Forbes, Jalopnik.com highlight RACER
6/21/2012 - Detroit Free Press: RACER Trust Has Prospects for Buick City Property
6/20/2012 - Detroit News: 'Old' GM sites put to use
6/20/2012 - RACER Event Focused on Jobs, Redevelopment Draws More Than 200 to Willow Run
6/19/2012 - RACER Trust Open House Wednesday at Willow Run Features U.S. Government’s Jay Williams, Mathy Stanislaus
6/12/2012 - Mathy Stanislaus, EPA Assistant Administrator, to Participate in RACER Trust Open House June 20
6/7/2012 - Jay Williams is the Featured Speaker at June 20 RACER Open House
5/10/2012 - RACER Trustee Elliott Laws Presents at Federal Reserve Bank Conference "Reinventing Older Communities"
2/14/2012 - RACER Trust's Bruce Rasher named Chairman, President and CEO of National Brownfield Association
2/13/2012 - Spotlight: Anderson Plant Lighted the Way For GIs
2/8/2012 - RACER's Bruce Rasher appears on Green Sense Radio Show
1/17/2012 - RACER Trust Honors Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. for Safe Work Performance at Massena Site
1/16/2012 - Spotlight: From Red Brick Factory Walls to Golf Course Green
12/26/2011 - Flint Journal reports: Multiple companies discussing buying part of Buick City
12/8/2011 - NY Times Story: Developers Revive Closed Auto Plants
12/8/2011 - Spotlight: Syracuse Industrial PowerPark - From Parts To Multi-Manufacturing
12/5/2011 - RACER Trust Engages Tetra Tech to Continue Ontario Property Cleanup
11/3/2011 - Former White House Aide Joins RACER Trust Team
11/1/2011 - Industrial Contractor Buys Former
GM Facility in Pontiac to Expand Operations
10/24/2011 - RACER Official to Lead National Conference Panel on Investment Opportunities
10/12/2011 - Spotlight: Ewing Plant Built Avenger Bombers
9/13/2011 - Spotlight: Rosie the Riveter Worked at Willow Run
8/12/2011 - Massena Incident Won't Slow RACER Progress
8/9/2011 - Crain's Detroit Business Profile of RACER Trust
7/25/2011 - Former GM Property in Pontiac to be Redeveloped
7/8/2011 - MEDA Annual Meeting
7/6/2011 - RACER Sells Facilities in Ohio, Michigan
6/28/2011 - Former MI Official Selected for Key Role at RACER
6/20/2011 - Veteran Economic Development Leader Directing RACER Redevelopment Initiative
6/20/2011 - Rasher to address Michigan Economic Developers Association Conference
6/13/2011 - RACER Participates In Mayor's Automotive Coalition Webinar
5/10/2011 - Bruce Rasher Provides Expert Analysis
4/29/2011 - Important Announcement Concerning Environmental Contractors
4/5/2011 - Laws Presents at Brownfields
3/31/2011 - RACER Trust Formation Announced
10/20/2010 - US: Settlement with GM on Environmental Liabilities
10/20/2010 - US Settles With GM on Environmental Liabilities
10/20/2010 - White House Announces Trust to Cleanup and Repurpose 89 Former GM Properties