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RACER Trust: Empowering America's Auto Communities

Commercial and Industrial Properties That Are Primed for Sale and Development

Who We Are

The RACER Trust was created in March 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.

When the RACER Trust was formed, it owned more than 44 million square feet of industrial space in 66 buildings across 7,000 acres in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. 

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.

What We Do

The RACER Trust's mission is to clean up and revitalize former GM locations. We are responsible for conducting safe, effective environmental cleanups at approximately 60 locations. 

The cleanups are conducted with the approval and oversight of state and federal regulatory agencies and funded by nearly $500 million that RACER received at the time of the Trust's establishment.

RACER will clean up the properties to ensure that environmental conditions are not an impediment to sale or industrial re-use. In fact, in most cases, RACER properties can be sold for new uses even before environmental cleanups are started or completed, assuming RACER is guaranteed continuing access to the properties to conduct cleanup work.

Redeveloping the sites for new job-creating uses begins with meetings that RACER conducts with local elected officials, community leaders and economic development organizations. Our goal is to understand the local community's common vision for the optimal re-use of each location. Based on this common vision, RACER will determine how best to market the property for sale to prospective buyers. RACER then will publish a detailed marketing brochure and a standard letter containing the terms for purchase and formally open the marketing process.

Offers for purchase will be evaluated by RACER against six criteria set forth in the Settlement Agreement that created the Trust. RACER also may consider additional factors, in its sole discretion, when assessing whether or not these criteria have been best satisfied by a particular offer. While purchase price will be evaluated, RACER also must consider each offer's ability to create jobs and generate new economic opportunity in the communities hurt by the GM bankruptcy.

Proceeds from the property sales or leases are essential to cover the very significant holding costs at RACER sites, including the property taxes RACER pays on these properties, and maintenance, insurance and security expenses. Proceeds from the sale or lease of RACER properties are transferred to RACER’s Administrative Funding Account, from which the Trust pays its day-to-day expenses. The Trust is self-sustaining, and the anticipated proceeds from the sale or lease of properties were factored into the ongoing operations of the Trust at the time of its creation. As such, these factors preclude donation of property as a redevelopment strategy.
RACER does not invest directly in redevelopment (for example, by providing funding to offset infrastructure improvement costs) or otherwise pay third-party expenses (for example, for consultants to evaluate redevelopment proposals). RACER invests in local communities by maintaining properties in a marketable condition, paying property taxes and acting as an economic development partner in pursuit of new investment and job creation.

The RACER Management Team

Elliott P. Laws, Trustee

Elliott P. Laws was appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court as the Trustee of the RACER Trust. 

He also is a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, where he provides strategic counseling and legal, policy and crisis management advice on environmental and energy policy issues, regulation and litigation, addressing Superfund and hazardous wastes, brownfields redevelopment, environmental remediation, chemical regulation, clean air and clean water. Drawing upon his deep environmental experience, he is able to help clients develop innovative resolutions to complex environmental issues.

Elliott is a former official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he served as assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. In that role, he was responsible for regulatory and policy development and implementation for solid and hazardous waste management. This included the Superfund, RCRA, brownfields and underground storage tanks programs. Prior to his role at EPA, Elliott was an attorney at the U.S. Justice Department, president of safety, health and environment for Texaco Inc., and a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.

Bruce Rasher, Redevelopment Manager

Bruce Rasher is responsible for managing the redevelopment, sale and lease of the Trust’s properties, in consultation with the Trustee and federal, state and local officials. He previously served as Vice President of CB Richard Ellis, Inc., the world’s largest real estate services firm, where he was based in Detroit and managed CBRE’s North American manufacturing and brownfields specialty practice groups. He is the former mayor of Marshall, Mich.

Patricia A. Spitzley, Deputy Redevelopment Manager and Director of Government Relations

Patricia A. Spitzley has worked in the environmental/regulatory arena for more than 15 years. She has worked with Michigan’s last three governors in various roles, including environmental policy, legal affairs, communications and community outreach. She also was appointed to serve as Communications Director for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality as well as the Chief of the Office of Legal Services for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Steven Black, Transaction Manager

Steven Black works to implement the Trust’s real estate redevelopment strategy by coordinating efforts of internal and external partners to effect the sale, lease and license of Trust properties. Mr. Black is a Certified Economic Developer and has extensive experience in brownfield redevelopment and economic development, having served eight years as Deputy City Manager of Community Development for Bay City, MI, before joining RACER. He previously was Vice President of Saginaw Future, Inc., a regional economic development agency.
 width= Carl Garvey, General Counsel

Prior to joining RACER, Carl served for more than 20 years as an attorney for the U.S. EPA, primarily as Superfund enforcement counsel at EPA Headquarters and at EPA Region 2 in New York.

At EPA, Carl most recently served as Acting Branch Chief and staff attorney in the Office of Site Remediation Enforcement (“OSRE”) within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. He successfully negotiated Superfund settlements, agreements, and associated legal instruments including cost recovery and work settlements, easements and deed restrictions, prospective purchaser agreements, and access agreements and orders.

Pamela Barnett, Cleanup Manager for the former GM properties in Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia

Pamela L. Barnett manages all aspects of site investigations; design and implementation of remedial project work; and integrating remedial project work with redevelopment activities at Trust properties in six states. Ms. Barnett is a professional geologist with extensive environmental experience in consulting and manufacturing.

Robert Hare, Cleanup Manager for the former GM properties in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and New Jersey

Robert W. Hare manages all aspects of site investigations; design and implementation of remedial project work; and integrating remedial project work with redevelopment activities at Trust properties in six states. Mr. Hare has more than 32 years of experience with environmental compliance and remediation at auto facilities. Most recently, he served as Director of Environmental for Motors Liquidation Company, overseeing environmental operations of the estate and managing remediation projects in Michigan and New Jersey. Mr. Hare has co-published various papers on waste water treatment and remediation and is the recipient of the Ohio Water Environment Association F.H. Waring award for outstanding contributions to the industrial waste water field (1992). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio, Registered Environmental Manager/Registered Environmental Property Assessor, and a Certified Hazardous Material Manager.

M. Brendan Mullen, Cleanup Manager for the former GM properties in New York

M. Brendan Mullen manages all aspects of site investigations; design and implementation of remedial project work; and integrating remedial project work — including demolition — with redevelopment activities at Trust properties in New York. He is a board-certified environmental engineer and holds an MBA in financial management.

Grant Trigger, Cleanup Manager for the former GM properties in Michigan

Grant R. Trigger manages all aspects of site investigations; design and implementation of remedial project work; and integrating remedial project work with redevelopment activities at Trust properties in Michigan. Mr. Trigger is a professional engineer, environmental attorney, and adjunct professor of Law at the University of Detroit School of Law. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Michigan Chapter of the National Brownfield Association.

Dave Favero, Deputy Cleanup Manager for the former GM properties in Michigan

Dave Favero helps coordinate and support remediation and redevelopment of Trust properties in Michigan. Mr. Favero has extensive experience with regulatory compliance and environmental cleanup, as well as working cooperatively with site redevelopers. He was a Contract Project Manager for GM, a Senior Project Manager for an environmental consulting firm in Illinois, and a Superfund Remedial Project Manager for U.S. EPA Region 5 and the Illinois EPA.