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EV battery systems plant planned for Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood

Posted By: The Detroit News on December 13, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

A new electric-vehicle battery systems plant is planned for the city’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority board approved Wednesday the transfer of a previously approved brownfield plan to USA Fortescue Piquette LLC, an American affiliate of Australia-based iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.

USA Fortescue Piquette LLC plans to invest at least $22.3 million in the project at 601 Piquette St. that will rehabilitate and perform extensive repairs to the building and parking on the property, according to documents submitted to the DBRA.

Developer Christos Moisides recently sold the 515,000-square-foot property on Piquette to USA Fortescue Piquette LLC. Moisides told the DBRA board that he sold the property because with the large amount of money Fortescue plans to invest in the site, it was more financially feasible for the company to purchase the property than for him to seek the financing needed to prepare the building to be leased.

“I will be staying on for the entirety of the project as construction manager,” Moisides said. “Very involved with the project bringing on and going through multiple bids for multiple contractors for the project that needs to gets done, for everything from abatement to revitalizing the project.”

Plans for the site will lead to high-tech manufacturing, allow for the expansion of existing businesses in the city and create a viable industrial property, according to briefing documents. Detroit City Council approved a brownfield plan for the site in October.

Pre-development activities are expected to begin in early 2024, according to documents. The developer requested $11.8 million in tax increment financing reimbursement.

“Our intent for this facility is to create zero-emissions power systems and becoming a tier one supplier to multiple industries,” said Melanie Melendez, head of global manufacturing for Fortescue. “So we are looking to evolve that and create close to 600 jobs by 2030 with an investment in the facility.”

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