Under the Hood: Redevelopment Plans for Former American Motors HQ in Detroit

by Hannah Heser

There comes a time in life when saying goodbye is the only choice. Unfortunately, Detroit, Michigan may have to part ways with the iconic former American Motors Headquarters on the city’s northwest side. They are expecting a new $66 million proposed redevelopment, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Thursday.

This site could become home to a newly constructed employment center. Officials say this will bring 150 construction jobs and 300+ permanent jobs to the city. That is quite an estimate!

An agreement between NorthPoint Development and the city is planning to sell city-owned land for nearly $5.9 million. “It will undertake the environmental remediation and demolition of the existing AMC complex, and the cost will be credited in a tax break against the purchase price,” Northpoint mentions.

More on the Redevelopment Plans

In AMC’s place, Northpoint wants to substitute two new buildings totaling 728,000-square-feet of industrial space that will be suitable for an auto parts supplier.

In addition, Duggan details the plans further for 56 acres of the site on Plymouth Road. “It’s a step to erase the ruin porn from the city’s landscape,” he says.

The sale of city parcels and other tax incentives have yet to get approval from the City Council. Also, the project will require approval from the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Opening Day of the New Complex

If they approve this in early 2022, they can start recreating it a few months after. Officials say the facility might be able to open in 2023 or early 2024.

Tim Conder, the vice president of acquisitions for the Missouri-based company, mentions that this is the second project NorthPoint is remodeling in the city. Conder also says there will be robust demand for industrial space, and the AMC site is ideal.

“We have good access to the roads and freeway,” he adds. “It will be easier to get into the city and cover other areas within Detroit Metro.”

AMC was the final company to occupy the given space. They originally built it as a Kelvinator appliance factory in 1926. This corporation establishes 10 years prior by Nathaniel Wales, an engineer in Detroit.

Other Information on the New Development

When introducing the first fully done refrigerator in 1925, the company grew quickly and began construction on the site with Amedeo Leoni, designer of the plant.

The power plant includes an office complex at the front of the building with a three-story factory area.

As time flew by, the company merged with automaker Nash Motors, receiving its new name, “Nash-Kelvinator.” It emerged in the year 1954 with Hudson Motors, then eventually transformed to the American Motors Corporation. This makes the largest merger in U.S. history.

Everyone has high expectations for the redevelopment plans. The project is going to be amazing once it’s complete. Stay tuned!