A driven Detroit-based entrepreneur named Brad Oleshansky is in the midst of transforming a vacant plot of land in Pontiac, Michigan, that was once home to a huge General Motors factory into every car enthusiast's dream come true.
Called M1 Concourse, the facility is billed as a haven where car buffs can store and work on cars while mingling with other like-minded enthusiasts. It will initially be made up of individual garages -- which the company calls condos -- that buyers will be able to turn into a fully equipped repair shop, a living room-like lounge with a couch or anything in between. Some units will be simple single-story garages, while more expensive ones will come with a mezzanine.
Every garage regardless of size will be climate-controlled, making it possible to change a clutch even during Michigan's harsh winters, and they will all feature a private bathroom. A team of security guards will patrol the site 24 hours a day to ensure that the cars are safe.
All told, the 87-acre facility will eventually boast over 250 individual garages. Later on, it will be expanded with a 1.5-mile race track, numerous restaurants, a large parking lot where clubs can organize car shows, a retail village where tenants can buy tools, parts and other miscellaneous car-related products, office buildings and even a dealership.
The project sounds ambitious, and it is, but so far everything is going according to plan. The groundbreaking ceremony that was held earlier this week attracted over 200 guests, and the first 80 garages have already been spoken for. The project will create over 100 permanent jobs in Pontiac so it is enthusiastically backed by residents and city officials alike.
"[This project] helps create a place where people want to live, work and play. If you don't do things like this, then talented people are going to leave (Michigan)," explained Mark Morante, an executive at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
It's not too late for gearheads to purchase their own private car condo. Currently, there are six 600-square foot units available for $125,000 each, one 1,200-square foot unit listed at $250,000 and two 2,400-square foot units each priced at $500,000, though additional units will be listed for sale in the coming months. There are also about 50,000 classic, muscle and exotic cars in the Detroit area, so the remaining condos are expected to sell out quickly.
The track will be built by the end of next year, and Oleshansky expects the first tenants will be able to move in next spring. Owners will not be allowed to live in the condos, but they will be able to spend the night there if a project ends up taking longer than expected … which they always do.