New industrial park breaks ground at former Buick City site

A new industrial park broke ground Monday at the former Buick City site in Flint.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 12:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - A new industrial park broke ground Monday at the former Buick City site in Flint.

Ashley Capital is redeveloping the area into the Flint Commerce Center, located at 2201 Industrial Ave. in Flint. The investment firm closed on the first 20 acres of the site earlier this year and is working with RACER Trust to acquire the rest of the site. That is expected to happen by the end of August.

“In all my years, and all the projects we’ve done, I’m more excited about this project in Flint at this time in history than any other project that I’ve been involved in,” said Susan Harvey, senior vice president for Ashley Capital.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Congressman Dan Kildee, and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with other state and local leaders.

The Flint Commerce Center will generate a total investment of $300 million to construct up to 10 buildings, Ashley Capital said, adding it will create as many as 3,000 jobs.

“The brand-new Flint Commerce Center offers prospective businesses 3.5 million square feet of light industrial distribution space. It’ll lower the cost of expanding or relocating to Michigan and to grow our economy,” Whitmer said.

The redevelopment is supported by $3.25 million from the city of Flint ARPA funds, $2 million from the CS Mott Foundation, and $8.5 million from the State of Michigan Strategic Fund.

“We’ve made this massive investment because we think Flint is a good place to be, with an excellent partner in the City of Flint, strong workforce, great infrastructure, and ready access to expressways, rail, and abundant electricity,” Harvey said.

“It took a major partnership between RACER Trust, the State of Michigan, city of Flint, Mott Foundation and Flint and Genesee Economic Alliance to make this historic reclamation of formerly abandoned brownfields a reality. We are incredibly excited to move forward with this development and see the positive economic impact it will undoubtedly bring to the Flint area.”

While no tenants are lined up yet, Harvey is confident that won’t be the case for long.

“Flint has a great history. This site has a lot of power. It has rail. It has highways. The RACER Trust has been a great partner to work with. They asked us to take a hard look at it and we did,” Harvey said.

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