The Elio, Paul, Stu and You, Made In America: Elio Motors, from AZ inventor Paul Elio, scores a factory at former GM Shreveport in Louisiana ~ and an investor from L.A. ~ with Stu Lichter, adaptive reuse developer and head of Industrial Realty Group (IRG)
Press Release – For Immediate Release: The Elio, Paul, Stu and You – Made In America, Elio Motors scores a factory in Louisiana and investor from LA – IRG Press Release – 1.3.13
The What: Purchase of GM Shreveport Assembly Plant in Shreveport, LA; $10M investment in Elio Motors and The Elio
The Why: 84 mpg, at 100 mph
[SHREVEPORT, La. ~ Jan. 3, 2013] Stu Lichter, adaptive reuse real estate developer from Los Angeles, has never met an auto plant he didn’t like. Given the condition, function, form and finances behind the deal, of course.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the pre-eminent adaptive-reuse developer of U.S. auto plants and similar properties – just recently, Lichter and his company, Industrial Realty Group of Los Angeles (www.irg.cc) acquired facilities from Delphi Automotive and UPS in Dayton, Ohio, and Masco Corp. in Waverly, Ohio, adding to a portfolio eclipsing 80 million square feet – is now an investor, and partner, in a company that manufactures a new, unique, cutting-edge line of vehicles.
Lichter, the founder, President and CEO of Industrial Realty Group (IRG), now finds himself behind the wheel of a fresh and new automotive concept, The Elio, a three-wheeled, gas-sipping speed demon from Arizona inventor Paul Elio, touting an incredible 84 mpg.
“When I first met Paul, I thought the guy was nuts,” says Lichter of The Elio vehicle, Elio Motors and its founder. Elio Motors (www.eliomotors.com), indeed, has been a company big on prototypes, ideas, plans and potential.
“But the more I dug into it, the more I liked it, and the more I liked Paul. And the more I got to know Paul, the more I began to think, ‘Hey, this guy really is onto something,’ ” says Lichter, who is lending Elio Motors $10 million to help the company purchase the former GM Shreveport Assembly/Stamping Plant, encompassing 3.3 million square feet and more than 500 acres.
“He just needs $100 million to get this thing off the ground. We’re on our way,” Lichter said.
A press announcement for the deal is scheduled for today at 12 p.m. (Noon) CST at the plant, 7600 General Motors Boulevard in Shreveport, La. 71130.
Dovetailing with today’s press announcement featuring Lichter, Elio, representatives from The RACER Trust, the State of Louisiana and other assorted elected officials and economic-development professionals, a chunk of that $100 million has been achieved.
Additional financing details and job-creation numbers will be forthcoming as America’s newest vehicle production facility – “This will be the most modern vehicle plant in the United States,” Lichter adds – leaps from blueprints to reality.
A unique financing arrangement is being forged between credit-card companies and Elio Motors, facilitating Elio purchases by individuals with low income, simultaneously eliminating clunkers and cleaning up the environment.
To wit: Preliminary plans would allow people to buy an Elio for a few hundred dollars, through a financing plan that then provides them a new credit card. Elio buyers must purchase gas for their Elio with the card.
“Think about it: There’s a tremendous appeal to this type of plan, one that would help out the disadvantaged, while taking clunkers off the road, cleaning up the environment, and adding well-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs.”
The Shreveport plant is being marketed by The RACER Trust, a private trust created by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to clean up and position for redevelopment a portfolio of properties that formerly belonged to GM.
The RACER Trust, operated by Trustee Elliott P. Laws, owns properties at 89 locations in 14 states. The Trust sells and leases properties, such as the former GM Shreveport Assembly/Stamping plant, and the GM Mansfield-Ontario Stamping Plant in Ontario, Ohio; the latter was sold in the summer of 2012.
The GM Mansfield-Ontario Stamping Plant, located in the north/central portion of the Buckeye State, was sold to the Brownfield Communities Development Corp. (BCDC), which will be creating hundreds of new jobs at the facility (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/racer-trust-reaches-agreement-for-sale-of-former-gm-plant-in-ohio-2012-08-16).
The RACER Trust is most interested in selling, or leasing, its properties to developers who will either develop the properties themselves, or who will lease it to tenants engaged in productive reuse, i.e., creating jobs.
The former GM Shreveport Assembly/Stamping Plant was, for more than 30 years, a generator of jobs and economic opportunity in Northwest Louisiana.
Today, Lichter, Elio and The RACER Trust take a gigantic step towards ensuring that the facility continues to be a provider of steady employment, in one of America’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas.
GM began building the Shreveport Assembly/Stamping Plant in 1978, opened it in 1981, expanded it in 2002, producing light-duty pickup trucks until the summer of 2012. The company vacated the property in late November 2012.
“With all that equipment, already in place and ready to go, this deal already saves Paul and Elio Motors a ton of money in capital expenditures he doesn’t have to make.”
To say hello to your own Elio, visit the website at www.eliomotors.com, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit The Elio page on Facebook and follow The Elio on Twitter at @eliomotors (http://twitter.com/eliomotors).
The Elio Motors headquarters will be located in Phoenix.
For more information about Mr. Lichter or Industrial Realty Group (www.IRG.cc) of Los Angeles, please contact Mr. Lichter at the IRG headquarters, 12214 Lakewood Blvd., Downey, CA 90242; by phone at (562) 803-4761, or send him an e-mail at email@example.com.
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