Duggan updates redevelopment of Cadillac Stamping Plant
Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan and other city officials gathered Wednesday at the site of the former Cadillac Stamping Plant on the city's east side to show off the demolition and discuss a $48 million project at the site that will create 450 jobs.
The building is being torn down to make way for a previously announced 684,000-square-foot industrial building that will employ workers in the automotive and manufacturing sector.
“This has been a high priority for this city to take it from a site of blight to a site of jobs," Duggan said as he stood at the demolition site with large piles of rubble and construction equipment behind him.
Duggan was joined by NorthPoint Development CEO Chad Meyer, Councilman Scott Benson, Inner City Contracting President Curtis Johnson, Nicole Sherard-Freeman, the city's group executive of the Jobs and Economy Team and Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, executive vice president of economic development and investment services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.
Inner City Contracting LLC, a certified 51% minority-owned, Detroit-based contractor, is leading the $6 million demolition of the century-old plant, with 51% of workers building the new facility required to be Detroit residents. Demolition began in March this year.
Johnson of Inner City Contracting said things have gone well working with the Missouri-based Northpoint on the demolition. He thanked his team members who joined him wearing neon yellow shirts.
"This isn’t no play thing to me," he said. "I’ve got kids there. I go to church here. I bet heavily on the city of Detroit and by the grace of God it’s getting paid off today."
Meyer said he expects demolition to be complete by the fall and for the facility to be open in about a year.
A tenant for the property was not disclosed Wednesday. Meyer said an announcement could be made in about a month.
NorthPoint Development has said it will ensure that the future tenant prioritizes hiring Detroiters through candidates provided by the city’s employment agency, Detroit at Work. Stellantis recently hired 3,000 Detroiters through that process.
Meyer said Wednesday that the company had been looking to develop property in the city for about three to four years and at the stamping plant site for a couple of years. He said labor demographic data lead them to believe that there will be ample residents interested in working at the site.
"There is a lot of this workforce that could walk to work, which back in the '50s, '60s, '70s, that was a source of pride when mom or dad could pack their lunch boxes and walk to work," he said. "This is a prime example of that. The availability of a workforce was a prime driver."
Sherard-Freeman said that based on Detroit at Work's database of 40,000 residents, she knows there will be Detroiters to fill jobs at the site. She noted the site's proximity to Stellantis' Jefferson North plant; also nearby is General Motors' Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center
"We already know there are Detroiters in the area who are interested, available," she said. "We can get in touch with them whether they're willing to walk to work or they would prefer to drive. Is there an active, ready, willing labor force in this area? Absolutely."
The stamping plant dates to 1925, when it was built for the Hudson Motor Company. Designed by Albert Kahn, the factory sent automobile bodies to the Hudson main assembly plant at Jefferson Avenue. GM bought the plant in 1956 and used it to build hoods, fenders and bumpers for Cadillac cars. The 915,655-square-foot plant has sat mostly vacant since the 1980s; the Ivan Doverspike Company ran a limited operation there until 2015.
The redevelopment project is part of the city and the DEGC’s ongoing to meet the demand for industrial land and to attract business.
“This project goes to the very core of what the city, state and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation are doing to attract new business, jobs and investment to the city of Detroit,” said Hairston-Bridges with the DEGC. “With such a strong market demand for advanced manufacturing facilities and a short supply of Class A Industrial space, one of our most important priorities is to put contaminated, blighted property into productive use."
Detroit City Council approved a 12-year tax abatement for the project in January. In December, the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund board approved $3.3 million in brownfield tax credits to demolish and plant and build a multi-tenant industrial and manufacturing facility.
Of the approximately 520 million square feet in the Metro Detroit industrial market, there are only seven large buildings available that meet a 30-foot clear-height requirement, according to the MEDC.