June 5, 2023—Under Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s watch, the city of Flint has driven over $2 billion in economic development investment in the past year alone. The city reached that total when General Motors announced on June 5 that it will invest $815 million in the Flint Assembly plant, as well as $233 million in the Flint Metal Center, positioning Flint autoworkers to stay on the cutting edge of truck manufacturing.
Ashley Capital held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 5 at the former Buick City brownfield, bringing an investment of $300 million. Ashley Capital plans to build up to 3.5 million square feet of state-of-the-art, light industrial distribution space, which has the potential to bring up to 3,000 jobs to the north side of Flint. Those jobs could pay upwards of $20 per hour.
“Today, we are witnessing a historic investment in Flint’s north side, unlike anything we’ve seen for decades,” Mayor Neeley said. “This is a promise made and a promise kept to bring renewed economic development and opportunity for Flint families, putting us on an exciting growth trajectory. I want to thank Ashley Capital for partnering with us, and for recognizing the capacity of the Flint community to be a major economic driver in our region. This is a gamechanger for Flint.”
Established in 1984, Ashley Capital has a long and successful track record of remedying blighted brownfields and breathing life back into these sites, often before tenants are secured to fill them. Ashley Capital brings a deep bench of current partners and expertise in marketing their space to other businesses. They plan to build up to 10 buildings, with the first expected to be completed in early 2024.
“Instead of having one business that’s manufacturing something that owns the site, we’re going to have a business whose job is to make sure businesses are here,” State Senator John Cherry Jr. said. “So if a manufacturer goes bankrupt or moves to a different location, Ashley Capital is still going to be here, and they’re going to have an interest in making sure there’s another manufacturer or another business that is located here. So the exciting thing for me is, we’re not going to see a repeat of what happened on this site 20 years ago.”
$16.7 million: Communities First is making fast work of a new mixed-use development at the corner of Grand Traverse and University Ave. after breaking ground in July 2022. The project will bring over 40 affordable housing units with an investment of $16.7 million.
$300 million: Ashley Capital announced their investment in the Flint Commerce Center project in November 2022 after a public-private partnership came together to support site preparation of the Buick City brownfield, including the removal of underground utilities, concrete slabs, and foundations. In addition to Ashley Capital’s investment of $300 million, the City of Flint and Genesee County contributed $3.25 million each in ARPA funds, the Mott Foundation contributed $2 million, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded a $8.5 million MSF performance-based loan with the ability to be forgiven if construction milestones are met.
$23 million: Genesee Health Systems cut the ribbon on a new Center for Children’s Integrated Services in downtown Flint in November 2022. The $23 million facility provides a host of mental health and primary care resources for children, conveniently located at the intersection of Saginaw St. and I-69 in downtown Flint.
$579 million: In addition to the investments announced today, General Motors announced an investment of $579 million in Flint Engine Operations in January 2023, equipping the plant to assemble new V-8 engines.
$10 million: ACI Plastics announced in February 2023 that it will build a new state-of-the-art plastic processing facility in Flint. This $10 million investment will create 25-30 new jobs with wages of $15-20 per hour. The new facility will make ACI Plastics the largest processor of post-consumer recycled plastic film in Michigan.
$4.3 million: Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority rounded out its fleet of renewable-energy buses with two new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. With its final two diesel buses decommissioned, MTA has completed its transition to running clean energy public transportation. This $4.3 million investment, along with MTA’s production of hydrogen fuel, positions Flint for more high-tech jobs, educational partnerships with area colleges and universities, and the development of new technologies in an in-demand industry.
$33.5 million: Flint celebrated another groundbreaking in May 2023 for a new mixed use development that will include the YMCA of Greater Flint, the Crim Fitness Foundation offices and program space, and 50 apartments. NBA Star and Flint native Kyle Kuzma donated $1 million to the project, recognizing the amenities’ potential to support healthy lifestyles and opportunity for Flint kids. The total project cost is estimated to be $33-40 million.
General Motors announced today an investment of $816 million in Flint Assembly to prepare the plant to build next-generation internal combustion heavy duty trucks. This investment will support expansion of the Body Shop, Paint Shop system updates, new tooling and equipment, and conveyer expansions. In addition, General Motors announced a $233 million investment in the Flint Metal Center for press refurbishments and equipment upgrades. These investments will help retain over 5,500 Flint jobs.
“As the grandson of retired General Motors UAW workers, I’m proud to see us carry on the legacy as autoworkers in Flint today,” Mayor Neeley said. “My grandparents came here as they migrated from the South for good paying jobs to support their family. The investments we’re seeing today will allow Flint families now and, in the future, to have the same level of opportunity, even as the auto industry continues to evolve. Across the city of Flint today, we are seeing new real estate, new amenities, and new industries, and we are proud that General Motors is part of this upward trend in growth and opportunity.”