The City also accepted a $2 million grant from Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for the same purpose
FLINT, Mich.—October 25, 2022
The City of Flint has allocated $3.25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding towards Ashley Capital’s planned redevelopment of the Buick City brownfield. The City of Flint administration submitted a resolution to allocate the funds, which Flint City Council approved during its Oct. 24 meeting.
At the same meeting, City Council voted to accept a $2 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for the Ashley Capital project. The Genesee County Commissioners already approved a $3.25 million ARPA allocation at their Oct. 12 meeting.
In addition, the City hopes to leverage an additional $8.5 million in funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. MEDC will vote on the proposed allocation next month.
The City of Flint is working to assemble this $17 million public, private, and charitable funding collaboration for the purpose of site preparation of the brownfield. That includes removing concrete slabs and underground utilities infrastructure.
Ashley Capital is under contract to purchase the 350-acre former Buick City site from Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust, and plans to develop a state-of-the-art industrial park that is expected to bring about 3,000 jobs to the City of Flint.
Those jobs could pay upwards of $17 per hour. Ashley Capital plans to invest about $300 million in the site, pending a period of due diligence that ends in early 2023.
The Buick City site comes with significant environmental challenges, including PFAS contamination. According to the current purchase agreement, RACER Trust would continue environmental remediation in specific areas of the former Buick City site after the sale is finalized, while Ashley Capital would begin redevelopment on 290 acres that are ready for build. Ashley Capital would redevelop the rest of the site when environmental cleanup is complete.
“It’s inspiring to see the public, private, and charitable sectors come together to make this project work,” City of Flint Economic Development Director Samantha Fountain said. “This site was left with unique challenges to redevelopment, and without this collaboration, the project wouldn’t be possible. This is going to spur economic revitalization, especially for Flint’s northside. I’m excited to see the ripple effect this major investment will have, hopefully allowing adjacent small businesses to thrive.”
Ashley Capital brings the largest private capital investment that Flint’s northside has seen in several decades. The resulting development, located in Flint’s 3rd Ward, will include between seven and nine new high-quality light industrial/warehouse buildings, totaling between 3.5-4.5 million square feet of available space.
“The Ashley Capital deal is going to be transformational for Flint residents,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “After multiple attempts to bring investors to the former Buick City site over the years, we were able to put together a funding collaboration for site preparation that is a true game-changer. We’re taking one of the largest brownfield sites in Michigan and transforming this liability into an asset for economic development. This is going to have a major impact on economic opportunity and quality of life for Flint residents.”
The Ashley Capital redevelopment would also mean a boost in property and income tax revenue for the City of Flint, increasing the stability of funding for city services like police, fire, water, and street maintenance.
Ashley Capital specializes in brownfield redevelopment and has worked with RACER Trust to redevelop multiple former GM sites in Michigan, like the 120-acre GM Delco Plant in Livonia. Ashley Capital was able to bring Amazon Inc. and Republic National Distribution Co. to the Livonia site.