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UPDATE: Caddo GM plant purchase - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Caddo GM plant purchase

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General Motor's former assembly plant isn't in Caddo Parish's hands just yet. Its more than 3 million square feet of factory space sits unused. Hundreds of jobs were lost when GM shut the plant down.

Caddo Commissioner Stephanie Lynch filed a lawsuit to stop the parish from buying the plant. Lynch claims to want better reassurances that jobs will be created there. Judge Leon Emanuel denied her injunction to delay the purchase, pending the outcome of a trial. She filed a notice of appeal on the decision Thursday, but the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board is now free to purchase the deal whenever it wants from RACER Trust. A number of reasons have caused delay, including a lessee financial issue. Even so, Parish officials are still confident in the purchase deal.

"I think we're in absolutely great shape to see this thing through, and it will happen," Randy Lucky, assistant parish administrator, said. Lucky says the $7.5 million to purchase the plant is secure. Though, he's not sure of the deal's closing date.

"The date has been moved like two or three times," Lucky said. "I'm not sure what the final date on it is. All I know is that the commission has taken action to make sure the $7.5 million is ready to go to meet whatever deadline it is we need to meet."

Lawyers handling the deal confirm future lessee Industrial Realty Group could no longer borrow around $5 million from a local bank and had to elsewhere. That's caused some delay. Lucky says changes the plant's buyer has too.

"It started out with us dealing with Elio. Then, it ended up with the IDB dealing with IRG and Mr. Litcher," Lucky said. "So, because it's changed a couple of times, I think that may be the reason for the delay."

Lucky believes the wait is worth it. He says the parish stands to gain more than it looses.

"The building, just for scrap, has been appraised at $8.4 million," Lucky said. "The 500 some odd acres of land also come along with that, plus 100 percent of all the mineral rights come along with that. So, we feel good about where we are."

The $5 million IRG needed to borrow is to help with Elio Motor's funding.

Eilo Motors will only sublease space in the plant under the deal. The Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board will own the plant and manage leases for the parish.  IRG will lease the property as a whole. It'll sublease to Elio Motors and other manufacturers.

 

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