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Caddo Commissioners move closer to buying GM plant - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Caddo Commissioners move closer to buying GM plant

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Some Caddo Commissioners want to buy the old GM plant for $7.5 million dollars. The cash will come from the oil and gas fund, and local leaders hope it'll create a major economic stimulus for the area. Monday, the commission voted in favor of moving forward with an ordinance that frees the money. However, the parish won't only own the plant, it'll lease it out to a real estate company, which would then lease it to Elio Motors.

That real estate company is one of Elio's top investors, Stewart Lichter with the Industrial Realty Group. If the commission approves, IRG will enter a sort of "rent to own" lease agreement on the property with the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board. The board will manage the 25 year lease for the parish. IRG will develop, operate and manage the plant.

"We think the best part of this deal is that we have Mr. Lichter incentives to make it work because he is very experienced in doing this kind of work around the country," parish attorney Charles Grubb said.

Grubb adds Elio Motors will lease space in the plant from IRG. IRG must fill the rest of the property with jobs reaching a certain payroll requirement level or no incentives will be granted. Those incentives lower the monthly lease payment, which means the parish may not see a return in its investment in the form of cash but jobs.

"The less we get back, the more successful the building is," Grubb said. "If a few years from now, I'm not predicting this, but if a few years from now, we have 3500 people employed out there and perhaps even some suppliers adjacent to it, similarly to what we enjoyed in up until the downturn in the auto business with GM. Then, it would be $7.5 million well spent."

The commission will decide during their meeting Thursday if they want to move the ordinance for final approval. 

 

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