Michigan Considering Logistics District in Detroit - Global Trade Magazine
  September 15th, 2015 | Written by

Michigan Considering Logistics District in Detroit

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  • The anchor for a Detroit logistics district is the U.S.-Canada Gordie Howe bridge, expected to open in 2020.
  • Report says the Detroit area could emerge as the “Silicon Valley of logistics.”
  • A proposed logistics district could generate 22,000 new jobs in Michigan, including 8,000 in Detroit.

A report delivered to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in March and lately revealed thanks to reporting in the Detroit Free Press indicates the state is considering creating a logistics center in Detroit.

The anchor for the potentially massive project is the Gordie Howe International Bridge that is expected to open a new supply route across the U.S-Canadian border in 2020.

The $1.6-billion plan also includes developing hundreds of acres of vacant land and redeveloping the underused Coleman A. Young International Airport.

The vision is for the logistics district on 1,000 acres adjacent to the airport where a cluster of manufacturers and suppliers would operate in new, modern facilities. The Delray portion of the district would focus on logistics operations.

Thousands of jobs could be created in Detroit by building the special district, says the 197-page report authored by consultants WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and obtained by the Free Press through a public records request. The report says the Detroit area could emerge as the “Silicon Valley of logistics.”

The report, which cost the state nearly $700,000 is being studied by the governor’s office.

Acquiring and improving land for a Detroit logistics district would cost the state $380 million, according to the report, and could require relocating residents. The plan would also involve decommissioning the airport.

The report discusses some potentially controversial topics such as the possibility of relocating Detroit residents who live in the proposed district, decommissioning the airport, and approving a public investment of up to $530 million.

The report also discusses why Detroit is a prime location for a large-scale logistics district. The city is close to three interstate roadways, four major railroads, and a river. Major infrastructure projects, including the Gordie Howe bridge and the Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal, are in one stage or another of development. There is vacant land available near existing industrial sites that could be developed into factories, warehouses, and other logistics facilities.

The district that could generate 22,000 new jobs in Michigan, including 8,000 in Detroit.