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How Detroit Is Luring Firms To Its Vacant Industrial Land


Detroit has about 20 square miles of vacant land within its boundaries, and both government and private entities are trying to attract manufacturers and other industrial users to it. It is not as tough a sell as it might seem, reports the Detroit News, quoting Detroit Economic Growth Corp.'s Peter Chapman.

Chapman said prospects want to be within a robust cluster of automotive and other advanced industries, which Detroit already has, along with sizable open space. That is a good combination of site selection factors.

The city is undertaking a land-mapping analysis to identify vacant and underutilized sites that could be assembled into spots for industrial development. Also, quasi-government groups such as land banks are empowered to acquire and clean up such land, to make the sites competitive with the suburbs, and buy adjacent lots to make larger usable sites.

The Interstate 94 Industrial Park on the city's east side is a solid example of such redevelopment. The latest addition to the 186-acre park is auto parts supplier Flex-N-Gate, which will occupy a 350K SF plant there in 2018. 

Also, ArcelorMittal plans to move into a 317K SF building in the I-94 Industrial Park to make steel blanks for the automotive industry. Linc Logistics’ 500K SF facility was the first new tenant there after Michigan made the industrial park a tax-free zone. Elsewhere in Detroit, Sakthi Automotive Group is planning a 180K SF expansion.