DETROIT — Rust Belt cities like Detroit are improving their industrial and manufacturing landscapes by collecting, cleaning up and marketing acres of once-vacant land to job-supplying companies.
Flex-N-Gate is expected to bring 750 jobs to Detroit when it completes its 350,000-square-foot (32,500-square-meter) plant at the city’s Interstate 94 Industrial Park.
The auto parts supplier will join several other companies that are investing millions of dollars where only so many years ago manufacturing jobs were disappearing. And Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland and other former manufacturing towns have what firms are looking for: vacant land where they can build and grow.
A 2012 study said Detroit has about 20 square miles (52 sq. kilometres) of vacant land. An analysis is underway to identify parcels that could be assembled into bigger pieces to attract large manufacturers.