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Detroit projects win nation’s top deal award two years running

Feb 24, 2020

For a second straight year, Business Facilities magazine has chosen a Detroit project as its Deal of the Year. For 2019, the Fiat Chrysler expansion was named the top economic development project in the U.S.

FCA’s $4.5 billion investment in Detroit and nearby Macomb County was selected from a group of 40 nationally recognized projects, including major deals in Georgia (for lithium-ion battery production) and Texas (a new Uber hub).

“The Fiat Chrysler expansion should erase any doubt that Michigan remains the undisputed automotive champ of North America,” said Jack Rogers, Editor-in-Chief of Business Facilities. “Motown is putting the pedal to the metal on its impressive economic resurgence.”

FCA’s investment, which includes a new Jeep Grand Cherokee assembly plant, will bring more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs to the region over the next three decades. It represents the largest automotive assembly plant deal in the U.S. in a decade and is the first new automotive assembly plant in Detroit in more than 30 years.

To bring this project to Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan led a collaborative team that included the City and its Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority; DEGC; Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Michigan Strategic Fund; Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; DTE Energy; and many others.

Staff at the City, DBRA, DEGC and MEDC assembled more than 200 acres of land to site the project in Detroit. It wasn’t an easy task — the timeline was short, many parcels had different owners, and each had its own level of readiness.

“Gathering land for the new automotive assembly plant was crucial to FCA’s investment and was only possible through the strong partnership in place between all parties involved. By working together, this project not only expands the company’s operations, but allows FCA to continue to contribute to Detroit’s economic comeback while boosting local economies in all corners of the state.” – Business Facilities

Sequential to land assembly, DBRA and the DEGC worked on securing property titles, local incentives, infrastructure improvements and state tax incentives with the Michigan Strategic Fund, all while managing environmental considerations.

The recognition for the FCA investment is especially notable in light of Detroit winning the 2018 Deal of the Year award for Ford Motor Company’s purchase of the Michigan Central Depot. Ford continues to work with the City, DEGC and others to renovate the historic train station and redevelop other surrounding areas in the Corktown neighborhood.

Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.

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