M1 Concourse to Buy RACER Land in Pontiac, MI, Develop Destination for Car Enthusiasts
PONTIAC, MI — The RACER Trust and M1 Concourse have come to terms on a sale agreement that will enable M1 Concourse to build the largest car enthusiast center of its type in North America.
M1 Concourse will purchase 87.5 acres of largely vacant industrial land at the intersection of historic Woodward Avenue and South Boulevard in the City of Pontiac. The land previously was the site of General Motors manufacturing operations.
“The M1 Concourse proposal represents an economic rebirth for this property and a spectacular new gateway to South Pontiac,” said Elliott P. Laws, administrative trustee of the RACER Trust. “We are very excited by the planned development and for the positive impact it will have on Pontiac and Oakland County. The multiplier effects of a development like this are tremendous. We congratulate Brad Oleshansky and his team and wish M1 the greatest success.”
Mr. Oleshansky, the founder and CEO of M1 Concourse, described the project as “the ultimate car enthusiast destination,” with plans for a destination restaurant, a 40,000-square-foot event center, a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse and more than 325 secure, climate-controlled car condominiums with flexible loft space for private entertaining and relaxation.
There also will be outdoor exhibition space for car shows, concerts and other events; auto-related retail including parts, paint/body, detail and restoration; up to 100,000 square feet of office space; and a 1-mile, paved track.
Mr. Oleshansky said he hopes to break ground this fall and have a large portion of the project open in time for the August 2014 Woodward Dream Cruise.
“Southeast Michigan is synonymous with cars, and we have a very high concentration of car enthusiasts who we believe have been waiting for a destination like this,” Mr. Oleshansky said. “I have great appreciation for our region’s automotive heritage, and the opportunity to build this in an area that contributed so much to the transformation of our nation in the 20th century is really a dream come true. I’m looking forward to creating a place for auto enthusiasts to call their own, where they can be among others who share their passion. I want to build something the community will be proud of, and I can’t wait to get started.”
“M1 Concourse captures the proud automotive heritage of Pontiac,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I am grateful to Brad Oleshansky and the RACER Trust for investing in Pontiac’s future.”
"The M1 Concourse project is a clear indication that Pontiac has turned a corner and is looking at a bright and vibrant future," said Louis Schimmel, Pontiac's Emergency Manager. "Brad Oleshanksy’s entrepreneurial drive and energy will transform a long-vacant industrial property into something all of Pontiac can take great pride in. Brad is the kind of business leader every community would love to have, and I look forward to his success. My congratulations to Brad and the RACER Trust for putting this deal together and for their belief in Pontiac."
"This investment is an important milestone in Pontiac's continuing road to economic recovery, and gives us an opportunity to introduce our community's many outstanding features to a new audience of auto enthusiasts," Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski said. "I applaud Brad Oleshansky for his vision and confidence in Pontiac and thank the RACER Trust for working with the city to attract a buyer who will bring dynamic new activity to our southern gateway. This is a very exciting day for Pontiac."
The RACER Trust has completed nearly 30 property transactions since it was established in March 2011 to clean up and seek beneficial reuse for former General Motors locations in 14 states. Proceeds of completed transactions exceed $25 million, with more under contract.
Other former GM properties in Pontiac have been sold or are under contract, including industrial land surrounding Ultimate Soccer Arenas; the former Pontiac Assembly Plant; and the former Fiero Assembly Plant, which after renovations and redevelopment is expected to attract a new business with 30 to 50 initial jobs. Ultimate Soccer Arenas will use its acquisition to expand into the largest indoor amateur sports facility in the world.
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 Trust property in Massena, NY. For more information, please visit www.racertrust.org.
About M1 Concourse: M1 Concourse is the first car enthusiast center of its type in North America. It has room for more than 1,000 collector cars in privately owned and outfitted "car condos," where car enthusiasts can enjoy each other's company and take advantage of specialized services catering specifically to their needs, like speed shops and paint, repair and restoration facilities. There's even a members' clubhouse and test track. With collector cars becoming more and more valuable and car enthusiasts wanting to enjoy their cars with their families and like-minded enthusiasts, the idea for M1 Concourse grew directly and organically from the needs of the auto enthusiast community. For more information, please visit www.m1concourse.com.