RACER Trust believes successful redevelopment of its former GM locations is best achieved when the local community -- with its unique knowledge and perspective -- and state officials are engaged and actively involved in the process.
RACER begins the process by consulting with elected officials, economic development organizations, community leaders and stakeholders to clearly understand local economic development goals, the unique assets of each community, and the local community's optimal vision for redevelopment of the property.
Once the community's unified vision for reuse of a property is established, RACER analyzes local real estate market conditions and develops a plan to position and market the property for sale. A detailed marketing brochure and standard letter containing the terms for purchase are part of RACER’s marketing process.
Offers for purchase are 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 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.
RACER strongly prefers buyers who have a specific plan to create new jobs in those properties while reusing, improving and expanding existing buildings.
Once offers are received, RACER requires each prospective buyer to furnish detailed information to demonstrate that its offer satisfies each of the six criteria described in the Settlement Agreement that created RACER Trust:
- The sufficiency of the purchase price;
- The potential for job creation in the affected community and the state;
- Other benefits to the state, the Tribe (if applicable), and the affected community, such as increases in tax revenue, reduction of blight, and providing a sense of renewal;
- Avoidance of interference with environmental cleanups or an increase of costs for the work;
- The views of the local communities, the Tribe or the state; and,
- The reputation and credibility of the prospective purchaser.
RACER evaluates offers for sale of properties against these criteria. RACER also may consider additional factors, in its sole discretion, when assessing whether the Sales Criteria have been best satisfied by a particular offer.
RACER can transfer title to a property prior to completion of any necessary cleanup activities as long as the Trust retains the right of access to complete the cleanup while the new owner or lessee redevelops the property and invests in job-creating activities.
RACER has a fiduciary obligation to sell the former GM properties at prices that approximate fair market value and that take into consideration the jobs and other economic benefits new projects can bring to auto communities hurt by the GM bankruptcy.
RACER as a rule will not donate or otherwise give these properties away because proceeds from the property sales are essential to cover the very significant holding costs at these sites, including the property taxes RACER pays on these properties, and maintenance, insurance and security expenses nationwide. As such, these factors preclude donation of property as a redevelopment strategy.
For this reason, RACER also 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.
For those interested in viewing detailed criteria that RACER will consider when evaluating sales opportunities, click here.