Former GM Willow Run plant attracts $9 million offer from redevelopers
A developer based in Grosse Pointe Farms is pressing the trust that's managing General Motors' former Willow Run plant to accelerate the consideration of its $9 milion offer for the Ypsilanti Township facility, according to a Detroit Free Press report this morning.
Nathan Bomey | AnnArbor.com
It was not immediately clear exactly how A.E. Equities Group would redevelop the 5-million-square-foot former transmission manufacturing plant, which sits on 335 acres adjacent to the Willow Run Airport.
The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust took control of 89 abandoned GM properties on March 31. The trust is charged with selling, repositioning and cleaning up all the sites.
The news about A.E. Equities Group Holdings' interest in the Willow Run plant comes after RACER redevelopment manager Bruce Rasher told AnnArbor.com in May that the trust had fielded several offers for the plant.
Rasher said he was holding off on considering the offers until he could launch a global marketing plan.
“There is an intense amount of interest on the part of developers in this site,” Rasher said.
GM employed more than 1,300 workers at the Willow Run plant when it announced in June 2009 that the plant would close by the end of 2010. The plant — built in 1941 by Henry Ford as a bomber manufacturing plant — employed more than 40,000 people during World War II.
The most marketable portion of the site is considered the 1 million-square-foot section GM spent a few hundred million dollars to renovate eight years ago.
“That portion of the building is high-quality space with recent renovations that we think is an ideal location for another user to step in immediately and reuse it,” said Grant Trigger, an environmental cleanup industry veteran hired to serve as the cleanup manager for the 36 Michigan properties that need remediation, in May.
Among the reasons the site is attractive to redevelopers is that the RACER Trust is spending $35.8 million to clean up the environmental problems there, a process that could last for decades.