Detroit City Council To Vote On New FCA Plant On Tuesday

"We're going to deal with the chronic poverty in this city."

May 20, 2019 - 6:25 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Detroit City Council is set to vote Tuesday whether to approve a land swap that would be the final piece in a deal that would bring a new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant to the city, along with an estimated 5,000 new jobs.

FCA said in February it plans to invest $4.5 billion in the Motor City and retool, revamp and re-open the shuttered Mack Avenue Engine Plant on the city's east side. The plan would also include converting the Jefferson North Assembly Plant to build new versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Officials say the Mack Avenue plant would bring just under 4,000 new jobs to the city, while 1,100 more new jobs would be added at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.

Some have called the deal 'too quick' in the making, while others support the potential agreement between FCA and the city out of the sheer number of jobs it would bring. Speaking live on WWJ's Mayor Monday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he is optimistic the deal will get done on Tuesday.

After FCA honors United Auto Worker Contracts, 100 percent of the new jobs at the plants would first be offered to Detroiters, according to Duggan.

"We're going to deal with the chronic poverty in this city. We have to have jobs that somebody with a high school degree and training can get, and that's what we've done, and of course the most important part of this agreement," Duggan said. "It'll be up to us and Detroit At Work to create a list of eligible Detroiters ready to go, but all of our Detroiters will be interviewed first before they talk to anybody from the suburbs."

The council will vote to approve a controversial land swap that would see several parties receive new land. The city says the land swaps were necessary to push the deal through with FCA.

"Basically, in two and a half months, we’ve assembled 228 acres, we’ve come up with a plan where Fiat Chrysler can build a $2.5 billion plant and hire 5,000 new workers who average $56,000 a year," Duggan said.

Those in opposition of the deal say it was 'too quick in the making, and a land grab for big business.' 

City Council is set to vote at 10 a.m. Tuesday.