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Carbon Motors still part of plan to revive Connersville plant

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Connersville Mayor Leonard Urban says the city east of Indianapolis has agreed to sell a vacant Visteon auto parts plant for approximately $4 million to a buyer specializing in returning such sites to the tax rolls.

Urban briefed the City Council and the Board of Public Works Tuesday about "a buyer that wants to put jobs" in the factory that auto parts maker Visteon closed in 2007 and sold to the city two years later.

Urban said a Carbon Motors Corp. police car plant still proposed for the site would fill about a third of the space. When Carbon lost out on a $310 million federal loan in March, it threw its Connersville prospects into doubt, but Urban says Carbon is lining up new capital. Carbon Motors announced in 2009 that it would hire 1,500 workers to build high-tech police cars in the plant, which the city bought from Visteon.

The Connersville News-Examiner reported that Urban said the sale should close by Dec. 20. Urban said in a telephone interview that he can't reveal the name of the buyer until the deal closes. But he said the deal means that the city about 50 miles east of Indianapolis will recover most of the more than $4 million in environmental cleanup costs it has spent.

After losing out on the federal funding, Carbon added a venture capitalist to its board of directors to help raise the millions of dollars needed to get the project off the ground.

"They're out raising capital. Things are going right down the road like they're supposed to," Urban said.

Carbon Motors' Chairman and CEO William Santana Li said Wednesday that the company is trying to get private funding for the project and still hopes to open a plant in Connersville.

"This doesn't change anything for Carbon Motors. All this means is that we may or may not have a new landlord," he said.

Urban said the new owner of the plant would work to fill the space Carbon doesn't need.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is working with the city and the proposed new buyer while still working on a deal between the city and Carbon Motors, spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock said.

 

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  • Venture Capitalist
    Great idea - we have been "going" to employ 1500 people in Connersville SINCE 2009. We've been on this project - first in Atlanta GA - since 2005. So NOW - we think its a good idea to bring on a venture capitalist to help us raise the money. HELLO - they are FOOLS.
  • LSP
    Is this the same LSP Energy that filed Chapter 11 in FEB relative to their MS projecT?
  • Connersville
    Word on the street is that LSP Energy is getting new $$ from the Dept of Energy and buying the building.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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