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Miller Canfield Congratulates Deal of the Year Winner

January 6, 2020

Business Facilities magazine has awarded the Michigan Economic Development Corp. the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) $4.5 billion investment and expansion in the City of Detroit and four other Michigan plants.

Miller Canfield was honored to serve as counsel to the City of Detroit and its Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in the deal, which included one of the largest and most complex urban land assembly projects in Michigan's recent history. In February 2019, FCA announced it would convert its idled Mack Avenue Engine factory to an assembly plant. The following week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced during his State of the City address that the City would facilitate the expansion, which is expected to bring 5,000 new jobs to the City, by assembling more than 200 acres of land needed by FCA. Because of the project schedule, the Mayor also announced the deals—and the City's deal with FCA—would be completed in 60 days.

"This was a massive undertaking, with many stakeholders—the City and City Council, FCA, the State of Michigan and the Michigan Strategic Fund, as well as the multiple property owners in the City—working together at breakneck speed," said Miller Canfield CEO Michael McGee. "We are all very proud of our team who shared the City's vision and had the skill and tenacity to work with multiple parties to make it happen. This project proves that urban redevelopment is every bit as viable as development in open spaces outside of city centers."

Business Facilities considered more than 40 high-profile projects nationwide before selecting the MEDC project. The magazine's Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said in the magazine's announcement that the expansion "should erase any doubt that Michigan remains the undisputed automotive champ of North America … Motown is putting the pedal to the metal on its impressive economic resurgence."