Who We Are and What We Do

Who We Are

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 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 when it was formed was the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history.

What We Do

RACER Trust's mission is to clean up and position former GM locations for redevelopment and beneficial reuse. 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 determines how best to market the property for sale to prospective buyers. 

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.

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.

FAQ

What does RACER Trust stand for?

Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust

What is the mission of RACER Trust?

RACER Trust's mission is to remediate and position for redevelopment former GM properties at 89 locations in 14 states. RACER is working with local and state agencies and private groups to attract prospective buyers to create new jobs and new economic growth on these properties. RACER also is planning and conducting environmental cleanups at about 60 properties with the approval and oversight of federal and state regulatory agencies. RACER will conduct these cleanups even if properties are sold to new owners.

Is RACER a federal agency?

No. RACER is not an arm of the federal government. It is an independent trust.

How was RACER Trust established?

The Trust 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.

Where are the RACER properties located?

The available RACER properties are located in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Ohio. Properties in Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin have been sold.

Does RACER intend to sell the properties, or lease them?

RACER has the flexibility to explore a variety of approaches — as long as they are consistent with RACER's fiduciary obligations and enable RACER's environmental cleanups to continue.

What factors will RACER consider when deciding what redevelopment opportunity to pursue?

RACER has a legal 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.

The agreement establishing the Trust described the criteria that the Trust, at a minimum, must consider when selling properties. These criteria include:

  • Whether the purchase price is sufficient;
  • The potential for job creation in the affected community and the state;
  • Increases in tax revenue or other benefits, like the reduction of blight, to the community, state or Tribe;
  • Avoiding an unanticipated increase in costs for the environmental cleanup;
  • The views of the local communities, the Tribe or the state; and,
  • The reputation and credibility of the prospective purchaser.

For those interested in viewing detailed criteria that RACER will consider when evaluating sales opportunities, click here.
 

What does RACER do with sales proceeds?

Proceeds from the property sales 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.

Does RACER invest any of the proceeds in redevelopment?

No. The Settlement Agreement that governs the activities of the Trust specifies that the proceeds be transferred to RACER’s Administrative Funding Account. 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.

Does a property have to be cleaned up before it can be sold?

No. The Trust can transfer title to a property prior to the completion of cleanup activities as long as the Trust retains the right of access to complete the cleanup while the new owner redevelops the property and invests in job-creating activities.

I live near a RACER property. Will I have any say in the future use of the property?

Yes. RACER representatives meet with elected officials and community leaders to discuss the potential re-uses of the RACER properties. For more information, please contact us at
information@RACERTrust.org

I live near a RACER property and have questions. Whom should I contact?

We'd be happy to hear from you. Please email RACER at information@RACERTrust.org or call us at 1-855-RACER-411.

I am interested in purchasing a RACER property. Whom should I contact?

Inquiries about the properties should be directed to RACER Trust’s Redevelopment Manager, Bruce Rasher, at brasher@racertrust.org.

I am an environmental consultant and am interested in working on a RACER property. Whom should I contact?

RACER is no longer seeking new environmental consultants to assist it in its environmental cleanup work.