August 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Developers for M1 Concourse buy former GM property in Pontiac

Owners of the planned $50 million to $60 million M1 Concourse auto enthusiasts development said Thursday they have bought 87 acres of former General Motors property on the northwest corner of Woodward Avenue and South Boulevard in Pontiac.

Developers for M1 Concourse bought the land from the RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust, established in March 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to sell and clean up former GM properties that aren’t part of the “new” GM.

The two parties announced a purchase agreement for the land — which had been used as a GM validation center and once housed four manufacturing plants — in May 2013. A spokesman for the trust said the sale closed this week, but the price was not disclosed.

The development along historic Woodward will include a 1.5-mile performance track, more than 250 private garages for owners to work on or show classic or exotic vehicles, restaurants, an auto-focused shopping village and office space, according to M1 Concourse developers. Pricing for the garages will be available in six to eight weeks. The first phase of garages will be sold beginning in September and those are expected to open in summer 2015; that’s about a year behind the developer’s initial plans.

M1 Concourse says it has received more than 500 responses from people potentially interested in buying a private garage.

“It grows every day,” Brad Oleshansky, founder and CEO of M1 Concourse, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest from potential buyers.”

The M1 Concourse car country club has received preliminary site plan approval from Pontiac and the Oakland County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also approved a plan for the developer to receive up to $19 million in eligible brownfield costs — to clean up the site — over 23 to 25 years.

“We congratulate Mr. Oleshansky and his team and look forward to what promises to be a tremendous new development for Pontiac and Oakland County,” Elliott P. Laws, administrative trustee of RACER Trust, said in a statement. “This is great news both for car lovers and for the community as a whole, and represents an ongoing fulfillment of RACER’s mission to bring new investment and jobs to the former GM properties in our portfolio.”

M1 Concourse said it partnered with Birmingham-based real estate development company Uniprop, which made a “significant equity investment” into the project and will assist with real estate development, construction and finance.

Plans laid out in 2013 called for the project to include a restaurant, members’ clubhouse, 40,000-square-foot events center, outdoor amphitheater, one-mile test track and as many as 338 car condos. Oleshansky said the track now is larger and more performance-based. There will be fewer garages and instead of an events center, the development will include private function space.

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