Construction firm to buy former GM land for new HQ

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

A local construction management firm plans to build a new corporate headquarters on former General Motors company land in downtown Pontiac, a trust tasked with selling former GM property said Tuesday.

RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust said it has reached an agreement to sell 3.66 acres of vacant property at University and Woodward to the George W. Auch Company for a new headquarters. Terms were not released. The site formerly was used by GM as an employee development center, prototype vehicle engineering and construction location. It initially was developed in the 1950s as an auto dealership.

The firm is planning to build a 20,000-square-foot two-story facility and will retain 40 to 50 engineering, construction management and administration positions in Pontiac. The company, founded in 1908, plans to move from its office on South Paddock Street in Pontiac.

“Auch has a well-established reputation for excellence in planning, management and service, and RACER Trust is thrilled that we were able to play a role in keeping a community institution at home in Pontiac,” Elliott P. Laws, administrative trustee of RACER Trust, said in a statement.

Auch said it searched the tri-county Metro Detroit area for a headquarters site and is pleased to continue to be based in Pontiac, its home since 1985.

“Our decision to remain in Pontiac has resonated well with our employees who are all looking forward to new innovative and collaborative workspace in a walkable downtown setting,” Vince DeLeonardis, president of Auch, said in a statement.

RACER Trust last week announced it has sold a less-than-one-acre parcel on Centerpoint Parkway in Pontiac to HB Dynamics Ltd., which plans to build a warehouse and office for its brokerage and distribution company.

The trust was 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.” To date, the trust has sold more than 50 sites.

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