The City of Moraine

Moraine GM plant may get buyer

The company that owns the former General Motors plant in Moraine may identify a buyer for the plant in the next two months, observers say.

Motors Liquidation Co., which owns the former GM assembly plant at Stroop Road and Kettering Boulevard in Moraine, will invite potential buyers to submit written bids by Oct. 25. A decision on who may buy the 4 million-square-foot plant could then follow in mid-November, with a sale possibly being closed in February 2011, several people familiar with the sale have told the Dayton Daily News.

Tim Yost, a spokesman for Motors Liquidation, declined to confirm precise dates, saying, “Deals can take on a life of their own.”

But others familiar with the process did confirm the dates.

“I have heard Oct. 25 for the bids to be submitted, and the closing could be done in early 2011,” Meghan Dubyak, a spokeswoman for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Saturday.

Dubyak also said Moraine officials will be given an opportunity to offer their thoughts on any potential buyer. Moraine leaders have said in recent weeks they’re concerned that a scrap company will buy the property and simply tear it down.

Mark Barbash, chief development officer for the Ohio Department of Development, also said those dates are close to his understanding of how the process will unfold.

“The next two months will be critical” for the sale of the plant, Barbash said. He praised the city of Moraine and Montgomery County for closely following the fate of the plant.

Dave Hicks, city manager of Moraine, believes the plant could be one of the first former GM facilities in the nation to find new ownership. “The city is excited by the fact that Motors Liquidation has developed a specific timetable,” Hicks said Saturday.

He stressed that “it’s very important” to the city and region to make the property productive again.

At least three companies or individuals have expressed interest in the plant in the past two years. Stuart Lichter, owner of California-based Industrial Realty Group, has long expressed his interest in the property, as has Covington Capital, which controls the former Cooper Tire building off Dryden Road. Last month, Boston-based First Highland Development and Management Corp. confirmed its interest.

Lichter could not be immediately reached for comment Saturday. No one answered phones at First Highland offices Saturday.

Last month, Yost said Motors Liquidation had not accepted any offers for the plant. The company wants to sell to a developer that has a “firm redevelopment plan,” he said then.

Motors Liquidation, sometimes called “old GM,” owns more than 100 plants, offices, land tracts and other properties that GM discarded in bankruptcy last year.

GM closed the plant in December 2008, putting about 1,000 employees out of work. As recently as four years ago, the plant employed more than 4,000 people.

Thomas Gnau




2012 The City of Moraine

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