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FLINT, MI-General Motors Corp. is tearing down its first automotive manufacturingfacility here because it’s just too old. Company spokesman Gerald Holmes says the first Buick was made here about 92 years ago, then under control of automaker David Buick.

The plant was the first acquired and operated by GM, and later earned the name Buick City for Flint. The last Buick left the Flint plant in 1999, Holmes says.

At one time, the 340-acre factory site had 15,000 workers. Now, the old, five-million-sf buildings are due to be demolished over a 16-month period, Holmes says.

“The building is literally the oldest plant owned by the company,” Holmes tells GlobeSt.com. “The large cars, such as the Bonneville, were made there. We moved that line to the Hamtramck plant a few years ago.”

.Some GM presence will stay at the plant for now, Holmes says, such as V-6 engine and component factories under the company’s Powertrain Division. Demolition of the site will start soon, he adds, and should be finished by the end of 2002.

Holmes says the company will assist with the redevelopment of the site, which is about 2.5 miles long and 0.75 miles wide. First, however, Holmes says tests will have to be done to check for contamination.

“After the site is all clean we can start deciding what to do with the property,” Holmes says.

About 12 other such GM sites are currently being redeveloped by the company around the nation, such as a UPS facility over a former plant in Willow Springs, IL and a shopping mall over another plant in Los Angeles, he says. It depends on the site whether the company will stay involved.

“We can either help find a industrial buyer or developer for the property, or partner in such a situation,” he adds.

Flint officials have already been examining the site to bring in possible tenants, Holmes says. “There’s definitely a demand there for new industrial development,” he adds.

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