YPSILANTI, MICH. (04/02/2013)(readMedia)-- The RACER Trust today announced an agreement with International Turbine Industries (ITI) for the sale of the former General Motors Willow Run Company Vehicle Operations facility. ITI is expected to use the property to expand its jet engine repair and parts sales business.
ITI, an FAA-approved overhaul and maintenance shop, has an existing facility on Tyler Road in Ypsilanti, across the street from the former Willow Run Company Vehicle Operations building.
ITI is proposing to create 25 jobs over the next five years and invest approximately $50,000 in repairs and improvements to the 23,000-square-foot building. The company currently has 10 employees.
The remainder of the Willow Run property, consisting of more than 300 acres and a 5-million-square-foot manufacturing building, remains for sale.
"We're delighted that ITI selected this property for its planned expansion, which will bring welcomed new jobs to the community," RACER Trustee Elliott P. Laws said. "I wish ITI continued success as it grows and services its worldwide customer base."
The Willow Run property is adjacent to Willow Run Airport. GM stopped production at the facility in 2010.
ITI Owner Mark Andrews, who has worked at or near Willow Run Airport since 1988, said he considered expanding in another state but decided to stay in Michigan because of the strong work ethic of its labor force and because he wanted to give his employees the opportunity to continue living in Michigan without having to look for new jobs.
Mr. Andrews, who founded his company in 2009, said he used to check the flagpole at Willow Run CVO for wind direction every day and looks forward to doing so again.
"I can't wait to raise the flag across the street again," said Mr. Andrews, who owns ITI along with his wife, Rhonda. "RACER offered me an affordable opportunity to invest close to home, in an area we know very well, and I'm very excited not just for Rhonda and me, but also for the people we work with now and those who will be joining our team in the near future."
"I'm very pleased and proud that ITI decided not only to stay in Michigan, but to expand here and bring 25 new jobs to our community," said Brenda Stumbo, Supervisor of the Charter Township of Ypsilanti. "ITI had other options, and the fact the company chose to invest and grow here is great news. I thank Mark and Rhonda Andrews for their confidence in our local workforce and the RACER Trust for working collaboratively with ITI and Ypsilanti Township to make this deal possible."
Mr. Andrews said the new jobs will range from laborers to skilled aircraft engine technicians.
ITI specializes in engine repair, overhaul and inspection on TFE731, JT15D, CF700/CJ610/J85 and, soon to be added, CF34 engines for corporate and other private jets.
The RACER Trust has completed 26 property transactions at former General Motors locations since the Trust was established in March 2011, including several residential properties. Total sales proceeds thus far have exceeded $26 million.
About the RACER Trust: The RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the Trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast. The Trust, which is independent, was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the U.S. Government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York. For more information, please visit our website: www.racertrust.org.
The Wayne County Airport Authority wants to lengthen an east-west runway at Willow Run Airport to accommodate large cargo planes, while minimizing the impact on Canton Township.
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