Mayor announces $66M redevelopment agreement for long-vacant American Motors HQ


Mayor announces $66M redevelopment agreement for long-vacant American Motors HQ

  • NorthPoint Development, which is currently redeveloping the site of the former Cadillac Stamping Plant, plans to clear AMC site build new employment center
  • Massive structure has sat vacant since 2010
  • Developer will build new 728,000-square-foot facility on 56-acre site
  • NorthPoint to recruit tenant; New facility expected to employ 300+ permanent workers

DETROIT, Michigan - The city of Detroit is about to say goodbye to another massive vacant eyesore that will be replaced with a newly constructed employment center that will bring at least 150 new construction jobs and over300 new permanent jobs to the city’s far west side, Mayor Mike Duggan and officials from NorthPoint Development announced today. 

The city and Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority recently reached an agreement with Missouri-based NorthPoint Development to demolish the 2-million-square-foot former headquarters of the American Motors Company (AMC), which has sat vacant along Plymouth Road on the city’s west side for more than a decade.  In its place will be a new campus comprised of 728,000-square-feet of new Class A Industrial Space that would be suitable for a new automotive parts supplier, estimated at a cost of $66 million.  

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The general footprint of the proposed development site is framed by Plymouth Road on the south, I-96 on the north, Strathmoor to the west and the Conrail tracks behind Shirley Street to the east.

“One by one, we are taking down the massive vacant buildings that for too long have been a drain on our neighborhoods and our city’s image and putting something new in their place,” said Mayor Duggan.  “We’re seeing that happen now at the former Cadillac Stamping Plant where Northpoint is building a new parts facility for Lear, we’re about to see them do it again here at the former AMC headquarters. I expect we will announcing plans for other such sites in the city very soon.”

Under the proposed development agreement, Northpoint would pay nearly $5.9 million for to acquire 56-acres  of publicly-owned property, including the city-owned AMC property, approximately 26 residential parcels owned  by Detroit Land Bank Authority, and an 8.5-acre parcel immediately to the west recently purchased by the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Northpoint will undertake environmental remediation and demolition of the existing AMC complex and that cost would be credited against the purchase price. 

“This redevelopment is a sign of continued collaboration to deliver jobs and reestablish property value for the community, said Tim Conder, Vice President of Acquisitions for NorthPoint Development. “Mayor Duggan places the community as a priority when considering how to tackle these projects.”

The project will require various public approvals, including the approval of the land sales by the Detroit City Council, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and the Detroit Land Bank Authority.  In addition, any brownfield and other tax incentives will require appropriate public approvals, including City Council approval.  

If approved in early 2022, demolition could begin in late 2022 and construction could begin by the middle of 2023.  The new facility likely would open in late 2023 or early 2024.

“DEGC looks forward to working with the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to garner approvals for this project,” said Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, Executive Vice President, Economic Development & Investment Services, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “Early actions by the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority have been key to maximize the development footprint for this property. We are excited about the current efforts being deployed to reactivate vacant and obsolete properties as future employment centers to create more jobs for Detroiters.”

“Whether it is a 66-million-dollar investment like the AMC site or a Detroit homeowner investing a hundred-dollars in a Side Lot, each property the Detroit Land Bank Authority sells makes a positive impact on neighbors and helps fulfil our mission to restore blighted, vacant property to productive use. The land bank is proud to support the City’s efforts to secure redevelopment opportunities like this which create good jobs and improve quality of life for neighbors,” Saskia Thompson, executive director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Mayor Duggan’s Group Executive for Jobs & the Economy and Detroit At Work, said that Northpoint will recruit a tenant that will provide preference for Detroiters in the hiring process, similar to what it did with Lear at the former Cadillac Stamping Plant.

“Our partners at NorthPoint made it a priority at their development at the former Cadillac Stamping Plant to recruit a tenant that would give Detroit residents first priority in the hiring process and they delivered with Lear,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, City of Detroit Group Executive - Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work. “We are thrilled that they are bringing the same approach to the AMC site.  We expect these to be good middle-class jobs and we have a deep pool of Detroiters ready to get to work.”

NorthPoint to support improved greenspace in neighborhood

The city also plans to partner with Northpoint to make improvements to Mallett Playfield, which lies immediately to the west of the proposed development and a new greenspace beltline between the east side of the development and Shirley Street.  NorthPoint also plans several areas of green infrastructure on each side of the development to capture storm runoff and to create a natural buffer between the development and neighboring residential areas.

Residents in the area that have lived in the shadow of the vacant complex expressed their support for the plan.

“For far too long, this plant has come to represent the decline and disinvestment this community has endured for years,” said Pastor QuanTez Pressely of Third New Hope Church, which sits just a few blocks away on Plymouth Road. “However, this announcement today signals to community residents and stakeholders alike that we have not been forgotten. We hope that this investment will spark other businesses and corporate partners to see the great potential this community has.”

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