RACER Trust, Ashley Capital Complete Sale of Buick City Property; $300 Million Investment Expected to Result in Estimated 2,500 Jobs

RACER Trust and Ashley Capital today announced completion of the sale of the second phase, involving 273 acres, of the former General Motors Buick City property in Flint, Mich. Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the site, now known as the Flint Commerce Center, is underway with the first building scheduled to be completed at the end of the first quarter in 2024. The newly acquired Phase 2 will expand the area for the multitenant industrial park that Ashley Capital has planned for the property. When completed, the new development is expected to result in approximately 2,500 permanent fulltime jobs.

Construction activities on the second phase of Ashley Capital’s investment at Buick City are expected to begin shortly. The first phase — a state-of-the art 330,000-square-foot facility — is nearly completed and has transformed the formerly abandoned property. In all, Flint Commerce Center will be composed of approximately 10 buildings totaling about 3.5 million square feet.

“We are very pleased to complete this transaction and very much looking forward to further reinvigorating this property and creating new opportunities for the community,” Ashley Capital Senior Vice President Susan Harvey said. “The location and infrastructure make this a very desirable property for logistics and light manufacturing companies, and we are confident that the market will respond very favorably. I want to recognize and thank those whose support was so critical in bringing us to this point, including Mayor Sheldon Neeley, the Flint City Council, Genesee County, the state of Michigan, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, state Senator John Cherry and former state Senator Jim Ananich. They, and many more, made it possible to proceed with this exciting project.”

“Ashley Capital has proven to be a reliable and responsible redeveloper of a former RACER Trust property in Livonia, consistent with its success in the development and management of commercial and industrial properties across Michigan,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “The redevelopment of Buick City is an important milestone for the community and the state, both symbolically and in a practical sense, generating significant new job opportunities and substantially increasing the local tax base. We congratulate and thank Susan and her team as well as the community, whose support was vital.”

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said: “Ashley Capital’s redevelopment of the Buick City brownfield is a gamechanger for our community. I am so thankful for the public and philanthropic partners who have come together to build with a shared vision of hope and revitalization on Flint’s north side. As the first Flint Commerce Center building is nearing completion, we are renovating Flint’s historic Berston Field House community center just a stone’s throw away — breathing new life and new opportunities into a storied neighborhood. I can’t wait to see the economic multiplier that the Flint Commerce Center will facilitate in the area, through both entrepreneurship and new career opportunities. We are seeing the success of our strategy of prayer, planning, and partnership in our work with Ashley Capital.”

Ridgway White, President and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said: “This project is a great example of what can happen in a community when various interests come together in pursuit of a worthy goal. It was clear that all parties involved — Ashley Capital, RACER Trust, state and local governments, economic development professionals and Mott — were committed to taking the necessary steps to return this long-vacant property to productive use. We applaud the collaboration, and we look forward to seeing Ashley Capital develop the entire site into millions of square feet of light industrial space.”

Tyler Rossmaessler, Executive Director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, said: “Opportunities like this don’t come along every day, and when they do, we must devote our full resources to ensuring that the prospective investor has a clear picture of the range of benefits our community has to offer, from a well-trained and abundant workforce to quality-of-life amenities. We also work closely with other community and state leaders to build support, and it's always rewarding when these efforts come to fruition. I’m proud of our team at the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance for their work in helping to secure this tremendous investment in our community and thank Ashley Capital for their confidence is us.”

Oliver/Hatcher Construction of Detroit is the lead general contractor for the project.