General Motors Lands

edited January 2016 in Lansing
This probably deserves its own thread now.
RACER Trust expects 'to get a deal' for ex-GM properties

LANSING - The status of four former GM plant sites changed to “not available” last April because the interest shown by a qualified buyer created a “very high probability of closing a deal,” according to RACER Trust’s redevelopment manager.

The fact that nine months have passed without reaching a purchase agreement is no cause for concern, Bruce Rasher, RACER’s chief properties negotiator, said Thursday.

“It is not unusual, and there’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Rasher, who joined RACER in 2011 and who served two terms as mayor of Marshall, Michigan in the 1990s. “The underlying proposal from this prospect and the prospect itself are both sound.”

Rasher said a confidentiality agreement prevented him from identifying the would-be buyer unless and until a purchase contract was signed.


The Lansing Economic Area Partnership, which could play a role in negotiating tax incentives, “is engaged directly with a potential prominent developer for the sites,” Bob Trezise, LEAP’s president and CEO, said Thursday.

“It’s complicated,” Trezise said. “There’s a lot of ifs, but we’re very hopeful.”

Nevertheless, “There’s nothing imminent,” he said.

It sounds like this developer(s) is playing hard to get - probably over the level of incentives - but hasn't pulled out of negotiations. I kind of wish someone would find something out and leak it to the press. So far, what's been leaked is that we know we're talking about industrial development and likely auto-related, but that's it.


  • The key words there are "There's nothing imminent." This is going to take awhile to unfold it sounds like. I'm almost wondering if it could be for battery production, I could easily see one or both plants begin making hybrid versions of their respective cars that would require batteries. In a perfect world it would be GM buying back the properties for a new limited production, Craft Center-type factory that they now lack.
  • Whoever was considering these properties has tabled their plans: Former GM sites back on the market
  • Now that that project has essentially fallen apart, are we ever going to find out who it was? That it was taking them so long and the decision kept being pushed back gave me pause even then, but I really thought we were close.
  • I doubt we'll hear who that party was unless their plans resurface. I'm really hoping for a non-industrial use however far fetched that may be.
  • I also thought why all the secrecy? Other projects have been announced before they even have funding. A new huge factory with lots of jobs would have been good, but it seems like that is not going to happen this time.

    Here is another of my far fetched thoughts. I could really see streets and blocks being laid out, and a new neighborhood of residences and small industry. Like what we have in many Lansing neighborhoods. The west side Verlinden neighborhood is so nice, I could see single family homes and townhouses that reference the English cottages and bungalow/craftsman style going into apartments closer to Saginaw from north to south, and a new small business area on Saginaw, urban style buildings at the street,parking out back. Perhaps going from residential to mixed to small industry from east to west with more of the small industry by the rail road tracks. I have been back for a while now and it still kind of shocks me when I go by that huge empty space, it use to be such a busy area.
  • edited September 2016
    Well, we finally get a look at who was angling for these sites last summer. The LSJ is reporting that it was a company out of Missouri.
    Chad Meyer, the president and chief operating officer of NorthPoint Development of Riverside, Missouri, confirmed his company signed a letter of intent on the properties in the summer of 2015 but said the sale was never finalized.

    “During our due diligence, we didn’t really generate any strong or tangible demand that would lead to our redevelopment of that project,” Meyer said. “We had to drop it due to lack of demand.”

    Meyer said his company “would love to … find a way to help get that (property) back into productive re-use.”

    “If we think we could create some demand for an industrial project over there, we’d be right back in the soup in a hurry,” he said, citing the quality of the local work force as further incentive for completing a sale.

    Hopefully, demand for industrial space is ramping up.
  • edited November 2016
    A Kansas City company has agreed to buy and redevelop all four of the Lansing area’s former General Motors properties that were abandoned when the automaker declared bankruptcy in 2009.
    Developer buying four Lansing-area ex-GM properties

    The deal won't close until NorthPoint completes it's due diligence and "seeks approval for its projects". Great to see life coming back to these empty areas of the city.
  • Just about to post this. lol I'd have liked to see a bit more creative (i.e. mixed) use of the land, but it's sat empty long enough. Time to get moving.
    NorthPoint’s plans to build a mix of manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facilities, primarily for the automotive sector, could produce hundreds of jobs.

    NorthPoint has developed more than 28 million square feet of industrial property in eight states and previously bought RACER Trust properties in Kansas City, Kan., and Lordstown, Ohio.
  • Yeah, I was hoping for mixed use too, at least in the area by Eckhert.
  • edited November 2016
    The old Lansing Car Assembly site next door to Eckert is not part of the RACER Trust lands. Those went with GM proper to allow for expansion of Lansing Grand River next door. RACER Trusts owns all the property on the westside.
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