Historic factory in Flint bought by General Motors

Historic factory in Flint bought by General Motors
Tue, Jul 23 detroitnews.com

GM may use the historic Flint factory to showcase historic vehicles or to host auto reveals and events for dealers and the community.General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it has purchased the Durant-Dort Carriage Co. “Factory One” building in Flint, which a GM executive has called the center of GM’s heritage.

GM might use the historic factory — some of which dates to 1880 when it was part of the Flint Cotton & Woolen Mills — to showcase historic GM vehicles

or host auto reveals and events for dealers and the community, said GM spokesman Tom Wickham. The company envisions the building would have multiple uses.

The automaker did not disclose the purchase price for the building, which was sold by Carriage Factory LP.

GM North America President Mark Reuss announced during May’s United Way of Genesee County’s annual dinner that GM planned to buy the historic 25,000-square-foot building. The brick structure sits just north of downtown Flint on West Water Street.

“We’ve begun the process of assuring that the historic significance of that factory will be realized again,” Reuss said then, according to prepared remarks.

Repairs to the roof, walls and other structural improvements, such as to the foundation to hold the weight of vehicles, will begin later this year, GM said.

“We do visualize that there would be some vehicle

displays in there, historical in nature,” Wickham said.

Reuss in May said that GM would donate $50,000 to the Durant-Dort Carriage Co. Foundation to help with its $25,000 annual budget, plus repairs and renovations needed for the Durant-Dort office building, which is across Water Street from the factory. Reuss indicated GM would continue providing financial help for the office building.

The office building is a National Historic Landmark. It was used from the late 1890s through the early 1900s by William C. “Billy” Durant and served as headquarters for the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, a horse-drawn carriage business, and Durant’s other automobile

businesses. GM was founded in 1908 by Durant. Many decisions that led to the creation of GM occurred in the office building.

“We are eager to have a chance to preserve and protect the very birthplace of General Motors,” Reuss said in his speech. “To me, it just seemed like an opportunity too great to pass up.”

The office building will continue to be owned and occupied by the Genesee County Historical Society, GM said.

GM employs about 7,500 workers in the Flint area and has announced investments worth more than $1 billion to Flint area facilities since 2009.

The company envisions the building would have multiple uses.•Historic factory in Flint bought by General Motors

General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it has purchased the Durant-Dort Carriage Co. ‘Factory One’ building in Flint, which a GM executive has called the center of GM’s heritage.

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