Modeled after popular vehicle resorts in Europe, a development group plans to convert a former General Motors industrial complex along Woodward Avenue south of downtown Pontiac into an auto collector’s paradise, complete with a one-mile track.
Called M1 Concourse, the 80-acre site will offer condominiums to car enthusiasts looking for a secondary residence or the ultimate man cave. The $60-million project will offer up to 350 units built with garages that can accommodate between two and 50 vehicles. Prices will start at $130,000, in addition to a monthly maintenance fee.
The mezzanine-level condominiums will be complemented by a 7,000-square-foot member clubhouse, a 40,000-square-foot events center, an outdoor exhibition area, auto-related shops (paint, parts, detail, repair, restoration), and a public restaurant with a large parking lot.
“When you look at the annual Dream Cruise (in mid-August), you have an entire summer of cruising, but there’s no place off Woodward where you can test your car or truck beyond the posted speed limits,” says Brad Oleshansky, founder and CEO of M1 Concourse in Birmingham. “We intend to be a destination throughout the year.”
A corporate lawyer and former CEO of MXM Health, a health care training and marketing firm in Ferndale (formerly Big Communications), Oleshansky says M1 plans to close on the property in January with RACER Trust, which was set up during General Motors’ bankruptcy proceedings to sell off the automaker’s unused real estate holdings. A sales price was not disclosed.
So far, M1 has 325 reservations, Oleshansky says. “People will be free to customize their garages and condos, which can include a lounge, an office, a movie theater, a poker room, or a living space for the weekend. We believe the project will take three to four years to complete,” he says.
Work on the track, which will offer a 1/3-mile straightaway and a variety of turns, will start in the second half of 2014; the track will open the following summer. Work on other sections of M1 will begin in March, with the first units to be ready in time for the Dream Cruise.
Among several consultants and strategic partners for the development are JPRA Architects in Novi, which designed the Somerset Collection in Troy, along with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Platinum Motor Cars, Arrow Racing Engines, and two law firms: Honigman and Dykema.
Oleshansky plans to offer commercial office space of up to 100,000 square feet on the site, preferably to an automotive supplier. “It’s amazing to me that metro Detroit doesn’t have a project like this, so I’m glad we can bring this forward, especially along Woodward,” he says. db