Old GM Plant Clean Up Seeing Progress

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LANSING (WILX)-- Progress is finally being made in cleaning up the old GM plants off of Saginaw corridor.

The former Lansing Craft Centre and Car Assembly Plant have been cleared of all debris thanks to RACER Trust.

Cleaning the sites has been no easy task. It's been seven years since the plants were vacated; and for the first five years no one had been delegated to clean it up.

In 2011 RACER Trust was formed to clean up and redevelop all GM properties that had been left behind in the bankruptcy. RACER was given $18 million dollars to oversee the cleanup, "more than enough money needed" according to Cleanup Manager Grant Trigger.

Since 2011, RACER has been working on the initial clean up of the debris, conducting environmental tests, and conducting investigations of the areas.

This month they are finally submitting their plans to the State. Construction on the site cannot continue without the states approval. Trigger hopes to hear back from the state in the fall, and if the plan is approved he hopes to start to construction by early 2014.

"Depending on the content of the plan approved we could be working on the sites for several more years."

Trigger says there have been several companies that have expressed interest in the properties, but no one has purchased any portion of the sites as of yet.

With not much more that they can do on site until they get the states approval, RACER is trying to use this time to focus on finding a developer. Trigger says they've been trying to extend their market outreach, and Mayor Virg Bernero says RACER was meeting the potential developers this week to try to spark interest. RACER was unable to confirm or deny any recent meetings with developers.

Because the area is contaminated some portions of concrete slabs must be left alone.

"The concrete will limit what can be done with the area," says Trigger. "Only industrial development will be allowed."

Bernero says he's just happy that progress is being made.

"It's not about what I want there. It's about what can be there, and what can be successful. All I want are jobs and vitality for the city."

Once a developer decided to invest in the area they will be able to start building while RACER is still cleaning up, speeding up the process.

"The problem is just finding the right developer," said Bernero.

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