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City of Detroit acquires land necessary to complete FCA plant deal

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After cutting a deal with the Morouns, the first plant in two decades is almost certainly coming to Detroit

An aerial view of a factory and surrounding buildings. The buildings are all very long and are surrounded by parking lots and grassy lawns. FCA

After Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced in February that it would be investing $2.5 billion in Detroit to retool and modernize two east side plants that would create thousands of new jobs, the automaker then said the city had 60 days to assemble land necessary to complete the project. FCA needed the approximately 215 acres to build out parking and potentially rail lines for the plant.

Though it’s a week past the April 26 deadline, the city managed to buy the last 82 acres. At a press conference today, Mayor Mike Duggan announced the deal with a Moroun-owned company.

In other words, the transfer is almost certainly going through, pending a vote by City Council.

In April, the city swapped for 37 parcels owned by Hantz Farms in exchange for giving the tree-farming business the opportunity to buy 450 parcels for 8.33 cents per square foot. Other deals were struck with DTE and the Great Lakes Water Authority. The remaining parcels were owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

The total cost of the land comes to $107.6 million, with payment to be split “roughly” between the city and state, according to a press release.

The historic deal and development will be a transformative project for Detroit, bringing the first new automobile plant to the city in two decades. It’s part of a broader package of $4.5 billion in industrial investment in the state that FCA says will create 6,500 new jobs.

Other news related to the development:

  • FCA will let Detroiters be the first to apply for the new jobs. It also negotiated a community benefits agreement that will bring $35 million in investments to the neighborhood, much of which will go towards workforce development.
  • FCA is asking for $160 million in tax credits from a program administered by the state of Michigan.

This is a developing story, so stay tuned for more updates.