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This Is What’s Left Of Old GM

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This Is What’s Left Of Old GM

It's been three years now since American taxpayers forked over billions of dollars to put General Motors through bankruptcy. The new version of GM is back on its feet, making money again, even if its shareholders would like to see their stock do better.

But vestiges of the automaker still permeate the American landscape, from Massachusetts to a small town in Indiana and all over its home state of Michigan.

Old GM exists as a collection of the bankrupt company's mostly unwanted properties, including a church and a golf course, being sold off at cut-rate prices with the proceeds going not to the taxpayers but instead to a private trust.

Call them the GM Orphans: everything from homes to a rectory to full-sized assembly plants and landfills. These are the properties that GM once owned, and which are now for sale through the Racer Trust. It was set up after the GM bankruptcy to take title to 89 properties in 14 states, and it's been extraordinarily up front about its efforts to find buyers for this motley portfolio.

Today, at GM's vacant Willow Run plant near Ypsilanti, Mich., the trust is holding an open house and seminars for federal, state and local officials, as well as developers who might be interested in the properties. It will showcase some properties and give tips for renovating them — something like those weekly pet adoption spots you see on TV news.

But, like any trustworthy adoption agency, Racer can't just hand out these former GM sites to anyone who shows up. Buyers have to follow six criteria that were set down in an agreement reached between the Departments of Treasury and Justice, the EPA, the attorneys general in the 14 states, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York State, which owned land that was polluted by a GM plant.
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