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Plans to develop GM RACER Trust sites in Lansing

Michigan Business Beat
January 4, 2017 2:00 PM


Chris Holman welcomes back Tony Vernaci, Vice President, Global Business Development, MEDC, Lansing. They discuss his trip to Kansas City to partner with Brent Case from LEAP in a meeting with the commercial real estate developer who recently announced plans to develop 3 former General Motors RACER Trust sites in Lansing and Lansing Twp .The company is NorthPoint Development and they have been following General Motors around the country successfully developing similar sites in TX, OH TN & MO.  This is a move by General Motors to draw strategic suppliers closer to assembly operations in an effort to more effectively manage critical components and reduce costs.

•The plan for these sites will result in 2,000,000 sq. ft. made up from multiple facilities of 125,000 sq. ft. and up.

•Construction is targeted to start in 1 year or less

•Having key suppliers closer to assembly operations will simplify their logistics management for these suppliers and reduce costs.

•Today many of these products are shipped in returnable dunnage which can cost millions of dollars to have an adequate supply in the system Significantly lower transportation costs which have traditionally been paid by automakers.

•If suppliers have to start paying the transportation cost it will be a driving factor to influence manufacturing operations to move to the Lansing area.

•Greatly reduces supply chain risks.


As with any of Tony's trips he always leverages time to schedule other meetings and get the highest ROI. 

  • Tony met with Aviation Technical Services, a top Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) company for commercial airlines at the Kansas City International Airport
  • The company specializes in airframe maintenance, components manufacturing and engineering services.  Their corporate office and main hanger facility is Everett, WA. Where they have a very long standing relationship with Boeing.  
  • ATS’s largest customer for over 40 years is Southwest Airlines in addition to other commercial carriers. 
  • The facility in Kansas City was opened in 2012 because it was in-line for Southwest Airlines and a growth market for the carrier.
  • The hanger where they met was a vacant hanger for TWA 2 years. Today they are providing 300 good paying jobs $40+ per hour) for the local community


MRO is a strategic focus for Michigan because of the 600 companies in the state supporting the aerospace industry, over 400 are manufacturing that are already providing components into the MRO sector.  These operations a labor intense and pay premium wages. 

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