Chevy Commons, also known as the old Chevy in the Hole site is a large, 60+ acre property located on the Flint River, a few blocks from downtown. The manufacturing complex was established in the 1930’s as one of General Motors’ four major production facilities in Flint. Chevy in the Hole once contained 17 buildings; at its peak, the complex employed around 8,000 workers. Plant closings and building demolitions started in the mid 1990’s and continued through 2004. After the demolition activities, the majority of the site was paved over with asphalt to minimize the movement of residual contamination.
The Flint Riverfront Restoration Plan was vetted by the public and adopted by the City of Flint’s Master Plan, Imagine Flint, which focused on creating connected green space along the banks of a rehabilitated Flint River. This also focused on future plans for Chevy Commons. This vision was adopted again through the City of Flint’s Master Plan in 2013. Residents supported recommendations to transform this site into an asset for economic development, as well as a mix of both active and passive community open space. The plan includes Chevy Commons within the University Ave Core area of the Place Based Land Use Plan.
The City of Flint was awarded a $1.6 million United States Environmental Protection Agency Revolving Loan Cleanup Sub-grant from the Genesee County Treasurer to address environmental concerns and construct the initial phases of a landscaped cap on Chevy Commons. The Genesee County Land Bank has been managing the process of addressing environmental contamination concerns, developing the site design and construction plans, and completing the first phase of development. A group of partners was invited to participate in a technical advisory group to help build support for redevelopment, use and maintenance of the site. The group included representatives from surrounding neighborhoods, nearby institutions and organizations with a potential interested in programming and using the site.
In 2017 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality supported Chevy Commons by funding the site $3,000,000 through the Surface Water Quality Initiative Fund. These funds were used to finish remediating and greening the site.