Former GM warehouse in Flint sold

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

The trust handling properties that aren’t part of the new General Motors Co. said Monday it has sold a former GM warehouse in Flint to a company whose affiliates plan to bring more than 200 jobs to the site.

The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust said it sold the 22-acre parcel and 176,000-square-foot facility on James Cole Boulevard near Interstate 475 to Johnston’s Enterprises LLC. The company said it plans to locate Martin Transportation Systems Inc. and Bay Logistics Inc. into the warehouse. It would employ about 150 drivers, 35 to 40 office staff and mechanics and 25 warehouse staff.

“The features and location of the Flint Warehouse facility fit well with the goals and objectives of both MTS and Bay to continue to be a significant player in the automotive production industry,” Richard E. Johnston, president of Martin Transportation Systems and Bay Logistics, said in a statement. “Reinvigorating this facility gives us the added pleasure of knowing that we are participating in the revitalization of the City of Flint, where we have been a vested member for many years.”

Martin Transportation Systems is based in Byron Center near Grand Rapids and operates 15 facilities in the U.S. and Canada. It employs more than 1,200 drivers and staff. Bay Logistics is based in Spring Lake and has 12 distribution centers in the U.S, Canada and Mexico.

“This is positive news for Flint, particularly the north side,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said in a statement. “The new jobs and economic activity at the site will create even more opportunities.”

Martin Transportation has a terminal in nearby Burton and Bay Logistics lists Flint as a location of one of its distribution centers. A spokesman for the trust said 125 of the jobs would be new hires, while other people will transition from its location in Burton. He said the company hopes to move within 90 days.

The former GM facility was built in 1985. It was assessed at $976,800. The sales price was not disclosed.

RACER was established in March 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to sell and clean up former GM properties that are not part of the “new” GM. The Flint property marks its 45th property sale.

mburden@detroitnews.com