Repurposing Former Auto Manufacturing Sites
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Full Description:

As the automotive landscape in the United States has changed during its 100+ year presence in the country, many manufacturing facilities have closed. But in the recent economic downturn, the auto industry went through an accelerated restructuring, downsizing operations and closing more manufacturing facilities. The unprecedented numbers of shuttered facilities cripple local communities—not only because of the resulting jobs losses, but also due to the mark left on their physical landscape. It can be a very long process to redevelop automotive industrial sites, avoid blight, and replace some of jobs once supported by economic activities on the site.

In the recent industry restructuring, many fairly modern facilities that were supported by significant public investments were closed. However, these closed facilities represent opportunities for communities to reinvent themselves by finding productive, new uses for the properties. The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) received a grant from U.S. Department of Labor, at the request of the White House Council on Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, to research these opportunities. The project includes developing a database of closed and repurposed facilities as well as case study reports on seven communities that have dealt with a plant closure and attempted, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to transition the property.

Automotive property redevelopments bring with them a unique set of challenges, and this report provides communities with answers, guidance, and best practices to model as they move forward.

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