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GM bids to buy land for a new battery factory in Lordstown

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

General Motors wants to build a new battery factory in Lordstown, Ohio, right next door to its former car assembly plant that it shuttered and sold last year.

The automaker said it has a purchase agreement to buy a 158-acre vacant site in Trumbull County, Ohio. It is land GM once owned, but surrendered during its 2009 bankruptcy.

GM is also in discussions with Village of Lordstown leaders on incentives to build there and the automaker has filed permits with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build on some 66 acres of wetlands located on the property, said GM spokesman Dan Flores.

"It's the first of many steps," said Flores. "It's a big step forward and it gets us closer to making this project a reality. This will position the Mahoning Valley to be a major force in battery cell development."

Next door neighbor

GM announced in December that it would partner with LG Chem to build batteries for electric vehicles. GM would build that battery factory at this site. GM has said the new battery plant will create 1,100 jobs after it's built and operational.

 

GM hopes to close the purchase in the first quarter and start construction in the spring, Flores said. Flores declined to disclose the price it has agreed to pay for the property.

Late last year, GM announced it sold the 6.2-million square-foot Lordstown Assembly facility to Lordstown Motors Corp. after idling the plant last March.

This proposed site is near that Lordstown Motors property, but it is currently owned by NorthPoint Development, an industrial real estate development company in Riverside, Missouri, said Flores.

GM left the property behind with the "old" GM after the "new" GM emerged from bankruptcy about a decade ago. Flores said RACER Trust, which was created to sell or redevelop the old GM properties after bankruptcy, sold the land to NorthPoint in 2014. It's sat vacant since.

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