Flex-N-Gate to build new plant in Detroit, create up to 750 jobs

May 24, 2016 | By Marti Benedetti | Crain’s 

Automotive parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate Corp. will invest $95 million and buy 30 acres of city land to build a new plant that will create up to 750 jobs in Detroit, after approval Tuesday of a $3.5 million performance-based state grant.

The $1.3 million sale of the land in the I-94 Industrial Park was approved Tuesday by Detroit’s Economic Development Corp.

Urbana, Ill.-based Flex-N-Gate plans to build a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant on the site, according to a memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Once building starts, the company must complete construction within two years and the company will be encouraged to hire city residents, according to the city Economic Development Corp.

It plans to offer training to handle hiring and recruitment for the new Detroit plant with assistance from the MEDC and Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.

Flex-N-Gate received a Ford Motor Co. contract to produce additional aftermarket parts, but it has no capacity in its existing facilities in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio or Canada to fill the order. The new plant will produce the Ford parts along with other customers’ orders, according to the state memo.

The Michigan Strategic Fund on Tuesday approved the $3.5 million grant for the project to help the company with brownfield development costs. Flex-N-Gate will remediate the brownfield site, which will cost $1.3 million for which it will receive a tax credit. The EDC will apply for a property tax reimbursement. Building on a brownfield site is a more costly procedure than building on a greenfield site or a site with existing buildings, the memo explained.

The MEDC and the city will recommend approval of a Renaissance Zone for the new operation.

The company makes large body and chassis structural assemblies, full bumper and fascia system, brackets, receiver hitches and interior plastic panels and pillars.

Flex-N-Gate and its subsidiary Ventra have 11 manufacturing facilities and one research and development facility in Michigan. The company has 48 manufacturing and nine product development and engineering facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, China and Spain.

Company owner Shahid Khan also owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and the English Football League Championship’s Fulham FC.

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