250 jobs: Moroun Purchased Land in Detroit for Auto Project


Published Date : Mar 12, 2015

Mr. Manuel Moroun, a Billionaire businessman, is planning to construct a new automotive provider facility in Detroit, which will add 250 new jobs at the long-fallow I-94 Industrial Park.

An arm of city government, the Detroit Economic Development Corp., voted this morning to sell forty acres of land in the park to Crown Enterprises, a development firm possessed by Moroun. The Crown is working with a still-unnamed auto provider and one of the Detroit 3 to construct a brand new 400,000-square-foot unit.

The 40-acre footprint is bounded by Miller streets and St. Cyril, Georgia, Sherwood. The procurement price is US$56,000 per acre, or US$2.24 million.

The deal, if completed, would create a big boost for the I-94 Industrial Park, which up to now has remained something of an embarrassment for the city. Planned since the mid-1990s, the nearly 150-acre tract of land on east side of Detroit was cleared by the city in the expectation that new market would be attracted by the combination of open land and proximity to expressways and rail lines in the site.

But new growth did not come, and for many years the site was overgrown with scrub vegetation and was the site of illegal dumping. One of the few enterprises already operating there is a logistics operation owned by Moroun that opened there in 2004.

A presentation this morning to the EDC board indicated the new project would be up and running later this year. The president of Crown Enterprises, Mr. Michael Samhat, declined to name the supplier. It was unclear this morning if it would be a production facility or a logistics operation of some kind.