LANSING — House Democratic Floor Leader David Rutledge (D-Superior Township) today announced his support for a project proposed by the RACER Trust to develop the former site of Willow Run Powertrain Plant. The two-phase project will result in a technologically advanced connected vehicle research center.

“This is fantastic news for all residents of Southeast Michigan,” said Rutledge. “It will result not only in job creation, but will drive innovation in automotive research, drawing on the depth of expertise and experience in this area.”

Removal and dismantling will begin this fall, and is expected to take about a year, at which point redevelopment will begin, subject to a development agreement with Ypsilanti Township. The facility, the first of its kind, will serve automakers, suppliers and related technology companies. The contracts will not impede the campaign by Yankee Air Museum to purchase and separate a portion of the Willow Run Powertrain plant to serve as a permanent home for the museum and its collections.

“This project is vital to the forward momentum of our community, and the region,” Rutledge said, “and I’m so pleased to see this progress. After years of decline, we are moving forward, entering an exciting period of reinvention and rejuvenation.”