Jeep deal now a done deal with 5,000 jobs and $2.5 billion investment on the way
Fiat Chrysler’s new Jeep factory on Detroit’s east side is now a done deal.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced at a late Friday afternoon news conference that agreement has been reached on all the elements needed for FCA to move ahead building the new Jeep assembly plant near Mack and St. Jean.
Construction should start this year with a planned opening date of late 2020.
FCA plans to invest $2.5 billion in the Jeep plant and the adjacent Jefferson North Assembly Plant, creating an estimated 4,950 jobs.
Among the details Duggan announced:
- FCA agreed to pay for a $35-million package of community benefits, including $19 million for workforce training and education, with millions more to build a buffer wall around the new plant and to demolish or renovate homes in the area.
- The city turns over about 215 acres of land assembled for the project to FCA. The final big piece of that includes about 80 acres owned by the Moroun family that operates a parking lot for the Chrysler plant that earns the family about $3 million a year in lease payments. The city will pay the Morouns $43.5 million and give them 117 acres of publicly owned land scattered throughout the city, mostly in spots adjacent to property the Morouns already own. Several property owners, including DTE Energy and businessman John Hantz, also agreed to swap their parcels for city-owned land elsewhere.
- FCA’s UAW members get first crack at the new jobs, but after that, residents of Detroit will be next in line before the general public.
The deal now goes to City Council, where debate should begin this month with a goal of final approval within weeks.
The deal is a major economic boost for the city, with several spin-off jobs expected for each one in the FCA plants. That major portions of it got done in a little over 60 days proved remarkable.
“This is a historic day,” Duggan told the media, and added, “Detroit’s going to be a place that makes things.”
Council Member Scott Benson echoed that, saying, “Five years ago we were in bankruptcy, but we’re not going to go back.”
And Mark Stewart, chief operating officer of FCA North America, told the media, “We appreciate the tireless efforts of Mayor Duggan and his administrator and the Neighborhood Advisory Council to reach this important milestone.”
First announced two months ago, the tentative deal hinged on whether the city could assemble land from several private owners, including the Morouns, and negotiate a community benefits agreement to benefit residents. Duggan said late-night meetings this week worked out the final details.
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