Economy
3:21 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Finding ways to revitalize old auto plant sites in Flint, Lansing on the agenda for tomorrow

Officials from Lansing and Flint are hoping a conference this week will help convince investors to redevelop some former General Motors auto plant sites.

Local leaders will meet with federal and state officials in Lansing Wednesday to discuss how to revitalize former auto plant sites in their cities. The group is going on a bus tour of the sites in Lansing this afternoon.

The former GM auto plant sites have been vacant for years. Anyone hoping to develop the properties will have to deal with pollution contamination.

But Lansing mayor Virg Bernero says the old auto plant sites present an opportunity.

“A big part of this is to say to the community… to the business community… to the real estate community… 'Hey, take a look at that,'" said Bernero. “This is sort of like a billboard saying, 'Take a look at these properties, and understand the opportunity here.'"

Bernero says federal money is available to pay for the pollution cleanup that’s needed on the brownfield sites.

The RACER trust was established to dispose of the old GM’s remaining assets. Trust officials estimate that about 60 former GM auto plant sites nationwide need to have decades of contamination cleaned up before they can be redeveloped.