RACER Trust seeking redevelopment plans for former Buick City site

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FLINT (WJRT) (3/13/2018) - Redevelopment of the sprawling Buick City site in Flint is likely, but it may not come in the form of a previously released plan.

RACER Trust, which took over custody of the 364-acre site when General Motors filed for bankruptcy, put out a call for offers to buy the land. The industrial holding company is seeking offers from developers to which it can sell the land.

The C.S. Mott Foundation and Michigan Strategic Fund have committed $23 million to redevelop the property as an environmentally friendly industrial park with some new public amenities, including a recreational trail along the Flint River.

However, neither organization owns the land and no pending purchase agreements have been announced.

RACER Trust said in a statement that it is discussing purchase agreements with several prospective buyers interested in redeveloping the property to create jobs for Flint and restore tax base there. It does not specifically name the state and foundation's joint venture.

“We look forward to seeing what else the broader market envisions for this property,” said Elliott P. Laws of EPLET LLC, which serves as the administrative trustee of RACER Trust. “Our goal is to identify the best possible redevelopment option for Buick City and Flint that is consistent with the Trust’s mission. We believe this call for offers will help us accomplish that.”

RACER is planning to sell the entire property in one transaction or subdivide it and sell to multiple buyers to achieve the largest economic benefit to Flint.

“We are very pleased with the level of interest in Buick City," Laws said. "By calling for these offers and at the same time exposing this tremendous investment opportunity to an even broader market, we expect to generate a host of exciting plans for the intensive development of our Buick City property.”

Parts of the Buick City site already have been sold to Lear Corp., which is building a new automotive seating plant, and to American Spiralweld Pipe, which manufactured pipes for the new Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline to supply Genesee County water.

No other parts of the property are named in a purchase agreement or option.

"We will continue to focus on attracting new investment and jobs to our Buick City property until the job is done,” Laws said.

RACER Trust says a similar call for proposals for a large tract of land in Indianapolis resulted in a $500 million mixed use development.

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