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FLINT, MI-General Motors has taken the first steps toward reveloping its massive Buick City operations here. The former manufacturing center will be marketed as the Century Business Center. The world’s largest automaker has made a request for proposals for the site.

During peak production at the six-factory, 235-acre complex, the company employed as many as 28,000 auto workers and turned out hundreds of Buicks and other large-model cars each day. Buicks were manufactured at the facility for about 100 years until production ceased in 1999.

GM has engaged Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle to market the site. The auto giant says the RFP is the first step toward planned future redevelopment for the site, which could be redeveloped for industrial, commercial, recreational, residential or institutional/educational uses.

“We’re optimistic to see this property redeveloped to fit the needs of the community,” says Doug Rothwell, executive director, GM Worldwide Real Estate. “GM is looking forward to continuing our relationship with the state and local organizations and working with Jones Lang LaSalle to identify a potential new use for this property.” GM is working with the City of Flint, the Flint-Genesee Economic Growth Alliance, the Flint Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the governor’s office on potential redevelopment options for the site.

“This is an extraordinary property with a supporting infrastructure that would be prohibitively expensive to duplicate in a ‘green field’ location,” says John Lynch of Jones Lang LaSalle. “That, in combination with the state’s incentive package, makes this a remarkably low cost location to do business. With that advantage in hand, we are confident that we can help GM convey this property in a way that leads to both a successful development and a center of job-creation.”

“The former Buick City site will be the largest brownfield redevelopment project in the nation, and our administration is committed to finding a new use for it that will bolster the economy of not only Genesee County, but all of Michigan,” says Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. “Flint has the tools to train high-tech workers and a workforce that is ready and able to provide highly skilled labor for a manufacturer or a tech company.” The recent $500,000 grant from the MEDC will assist the city and the community in their efforts to support the project.

“The City of Flint is 100% behind this project. It is our number-one economic development priority. We are committed to using all the tools available to partner with General Motors and the development community to make this project a success,” says Todd Brian, director of the City of Flint Economic Development Corp.

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