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Flint getting help from feds to repurpose former auto plant sites

Oct 3, 2016

Flint is getting millions of dollars from the federal government to help reclaim former auto plant sites.

Buick City and Chevy in the Hole were once major auto production centers in Flint. Now, the two empty industrial sites are slowly being reclaimed.

The $2.5 million grant will help with building a new automotive research center in Flint. Kettering University is developing part of the old Chevy in the Hole site for research into new mobility technology.

Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary Jay Williams says part of the Economic Development Administration grant money will establish a brownfield redevelopment accelerator in Flint, largely targeting the old Buick City site.  

“While (the accelerator) centers on automotive technology, it won’t be limited to that,” says Williams.

Williams hopes the accelerator will lead to bricks and mortar development on the old Buick City site.

So does Tim Herman, with the Flint/Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“The EDA grant will provide a critical piece of the puzzle for accelerating the redevelopment of that site and others,” says Herman.

Herman says Flint’s large brownfield sites are a “challenge” for those trying to attract investment.