GM Willow Run plant, situated in Ypsilanti Township, might be demolished with the exception of a small part which is to be sold to the Yankee Air Museum.
The Willow Run plant was built in 1941 by Henry Ford to manufacture B-24 bombers during World War II. It was later sold to GM and in December 2010 it has been closed. The Yankee Air Museum, located next to the plant, signed a tentative agreement to buy a 175,000-square-foot portion of the plant, once used to manufacture the Liberator bombers.
The museum, which must pay $6 million by August 1st to complete the deal, started a fund-raising campaign to buy the property from the Revitalizing Automotive Communities Environmental Response Trust, which currently controls the property discarded during GM’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. The trust’s redevelopment manager Bruce Rasher said the cleared land will be used for redevelopment.
“The trust was not satisfied with the response we were getting from the market,” he said. “The overwhelming consensus — and the advice given to the trust — was that in order to take advantage of the significant amenities there like the airport and rail and highway, as well as being located near U-M and the Canadian border, the trust really needed to offer the market a blank slate.”