Commonwealth Development Buys IN Site for Affordable Housing Project

The company is planning 35 units on the former site of a Chevrolet plant in Muncie.

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Muncie, Ind.—Commonwealth Development Corporation of America has acquired about 5.7 acres in Muncie, Ind., for an unspecified price, on which it plans to develop 35 units of affordable housing. The property will be known as Fourteen91 Lofts.

The site has frontage along 8th St., extending from its intersection with South Elliot St. Fon du Lac, Wis.-based Commonwealth, a part of affordable housing specialist The Commonwealth Cos., is planning to construct three buildings on the site: two with 12 housing units and the other with 11 units.

The seller of the site, a former Chevy plant, was Racer Trust (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust). The unusual organization was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.

Racer is thus one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history. When the trust was formed, it owned properties at 89 locations in 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Northeast.

The trust was created by a settlement agreement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court between the federal government, the 14 states where the former GM properties are located, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which owns land adjoining one of the properties in Upstate New York.

The Muncie sale was part of the trust’s holdings of more than 65 acres in the city. Racer took ownership of the property, the site of the former General Motors Manual Transmissions of Muncie manufacturing operation, in 2011. GM ceased operations at the site in 2006 and completed demolition of buildings in 2009 (the site is pictured before the demolition).

Racer is marketing the remaining acreage for sale, seeking a buyer who will invest in redevelopment and job creation. Nearly all of the remaining acreage is located on the north side of West 8th Street, west of South Elliott Street, and is served by an active rail spur.

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