Buyer plans redevelopment of 4 ex-GM properties in Lansing

Four Lansing-area properties with long ties to Michigan’s automotive history appear headed toward repurposing by a Midwest development.

The properties – including sites of three former General Motors Corp. factories – are among the remaining listings in Michigan by RACER Trust, which is selling off GM’s excess real estate from its bankruptcy.

NorthPoint Development of Kansas City put the four properties under contract in mid-November, according to a news release from RACER Trust.

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The company “plans to build a mix of manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facilities, primarily for companies in the automotive sector,” according to the release.

The properties total 260 acres in three communities: Lansing, Lansing Township and Delta Township.

Lansing Plant 2, 72.47 acres on West Saginaw that is vacant except for a 14,000 automotive service building.
Lansing Plant 3, 102.75 vacant acres on West Saginaw. It’s zoned heavy industrial, and environmental studies show 1,4 dioxane contamination. RACER set aside $5.3 million for the cleanup plan, which RACER documents show is being finalized by the state.
Lansing Plant 5, 26 vacant acres on South Canal Road.
Lansing Plant 6, 57.26 acres adjacent to plants 2 and 3.
While Plant 5 has always been vacant land, other parcels touch Michigan’s automotive heritage. Plant 6 once housed an early facility for Durant Motor Works, a predecessor of GM, which began its Fisher Body Division there in 1935. Plant 2 once was home to a factory from 1910 that was adapted over the years to produce the EV-1 electric vehicle before it closed in 2006.

Annual property taxes paid on all four parcels total about $210,000 per year.

“There will be an extended period in which NorthPoint undertakes due diligence and planning and seeks approvals for its projects before the sales close and construction begins,” according to RACER.

NorthPoint has acquired other former GM sites through RACER, and previously had these properties under contract before that deal fell apart in 2015, according to the Lansing State Journal.

NorthPoint officials have not been available for comment. The company has a growing portfolio of industrial development, focused on manufacturing and logistics, according to its website. Projects are located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey and Ohio.

One division of NorthPoint specializes in senior housing, operated under the Stonecrest brand. Two of its properties are located in Oakland County.

Other NorthPoint divisions include multi-family properties and self storage.

The plans for the Lansing area remain in development. All involved expect the results to generate jobs in the region.

“NorthPoint projects have resulted in hundreds of jobs and created new economic vitality and opportunities for a growing number of communities,” Elliott Laws, an administrative trustee of the RACER Trust, said in a release.

RACER Trust was set up in 2011 so that GM could emerge from bankruptcy as RACER took over the sale and environmental clean up of its obsolete and excess properties. Among them: 52 in in Michigan, including the 5 million square foot factory in Ypsilanti Township that now is home to the American Center for Mobility.

As of January, 19 of the properties had been sold. About 23 now remain listed.

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