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GM looks to turn former Pistons’ Palace site in Auburn Hills to an EV parts plant

General Motors is looking to build a new parts plant to support its production of electric vehicles in Auburn Hills at the site the Palace once occupied, the automaker confirmed Friday.

The automaker plans to spend $200 million on the parts plant, which will support the assembly of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup, and create about 1,000 new jobs there, according to Automotive News.

The roof structure and columns of the former entertainment arena, the Palace of Auburn Hills, implode on July 11, 2020. The demolition company is Schostak Brothers &  Company Inc.  planned and executed the implosion, which advances preparations for future redevelopment of the surrounding land.

The roof structure and columns of the former entertainment arena, the Palace of Auburn Hills, implode on July 11, 2020. The demolition company is Schostak Brothers & Company Inc. planned and executed the implosion, which advances preparations for future redevelopment of the surrounding land.

GM spokeswoman Maria Raynal declined to confirm that figure said it was premature to comment on the job or investment figure. But the plant would have about 350 workers per shift, according to documents filed with Auburn Hills, Automotive News reported.

Raynal said in a statement, “General Motors has identified the former Palace of Auburn Hills site as a potential location for a supplier park to support its Orion Assembly Plant, which will be expanded to produce electric pickup trucks. The company is still determining the scope of work and which supplier will have operations in support of the plant.”

GM will build the Silverado EV at nearby Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township as well as at Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck starting next year. GM has said the two plants will allow GM to build about 600,000 electric pickups a year.

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup's full-width front light bar will make it instantly recognizable.

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup’s full-width front light bar will make it instantly recognizable.

Orion now assembles the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV, but GM said earlier this week it would end production of the Bolt EVs by year-end to focus solely on Silverado EV production. At that time, GM has said employment at the Orion plant is expected to roughly triple there. GM currently employs 1,270 hourly and salaried employees at Orion.

Construction of the new EV parts plant is expected to start in July and be completed by November of next year, Automotive News reported. The facility will cover 87.3 acres of the site where the former Palace sat until it was demolished three years ago. The facility will have 1.05 million square feet of EV parts assembly and distribution space and an additional 50,000 square feet of office space, according to the documents filed.

The city of Auburn Hills has been planning for a new use of the site for the last seven years, Kevin McDaniel told the Detroit Free Press Friday.

“While we were disappointed when the Palace of Auburn Hills closed, we viewed it as a new opportunity,” McDaniel said in an email. “At that time, our team developed several possible scenarios for the site that included a large-scale development with other complimentary uses. It was important that a comprehensive redevelopment would occur, given its prime location. We have received a development application on behalf of General Motors to build a facility in support of their nearby Orion Assembly Plant. Along with many months of advance planning and site design and given the proximity in our community to the Orion Assembly, we have every expectation that General Motors will proceed as proposed.”

McDaniel called it “a significant project” that would be “a tremendous strategic investment in our community. It would also build on our reputation as being a ‘hub’ of electric vehicle development and manufacturing.”

Crain’s Detroit Business first reported the planned development in early March. The property is co-owned by a developer and Pistons owner Tom Gores, who paid $22 million for it in 2019.

Fans erupt with joy during the fourth quarter of Game 4 between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals Sunday, June 13, 2004, at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Fans erupt with joy during the fourth quarter of Game 4 between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals Sunday, June 13, 2004, at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Pistons played at the Palace from 1988 to 2017. They are now playing at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

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Contact Jamie L. LaReau: [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: GM eyes former Palace site in Auburn Hills for a new EV parts plant