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Buick City may become "opportunity zone" under Kildee legislation

Congressman Dan Kildee speaking at a House Ways and Means Committee meeting on November 16, 2021.
Rick Brewer
Congressman Dan Kildee speaking at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on November 16, 2021.

Michigan's fifth district Congressman Dan Kildee introduced a bill this week to help revitalize the former manufacturing district Buick City in Flint.

The government’s opportunity zone program was established to foster new economic growth in America’s poorest cities and neighborhoods.

But under the current eligibility criteria, Buick City cannot become an opportunity zone and, therefore, not offer any tax incentives for redevelopment.

Kildee saod there has been interest in re-building Buick City for over a decade.

"The incentives haven't been enough to overcome the cost of development," said Kildee. "And that's one of the reasons that this legislation is so important. If we're going to use...reuse existing industrial land, we've got to make it worthwhile."

Kildee said Buick City revitalization would be focused on manufacturing jobs. He says there will be a focus on green energy and affordable housing.

"It's a lot easier to do that when there's demand for housing," said Kildee. And the way to create demand for housing is to make sure that there are good jobs that are going to be around for a while. And that’s the piece that we’re trying to fill with this legislation."

The bill now waits for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rick Brewer is a general assignment reporter covering central and northern Michigan for WCMU Public Radio.
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