The Herald Bulletin

December 4, 2013

RACER Trust meets in Anderson

Group discusses strategies for selling GM properties

By Zach Osowski
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — The RACER Trust met with Anderson community members in a private meeting Wednesday to discuss marketing strategies for the former General Motors properties in the city.

Liz Boyd, a consultant for RACER Trust, said the meeting is part of an ongoing series of meetings taking place across the country. Boyd said the meeting was "very productive" but there will not be any announcements coming soon regarding the future of the properties.

RACER held the meeting with Mayor Kevin Smith, site selectors, construction companies, real estate brokers and other community members to discuss possible ideas on how to sell the property.

The RACER trust was created after the GM bankruptcy to take control of former GM properties, clean them up and sell them to create jobs for the communities.

"The bankruptcy court didn't want communities like Anderson to be saddled with the empty properties," Boyd said.

Originally, the group had properties in 14 states. It has since knocked the number down to nine states, thanks to some sales.

Currently there are three properties in Anderson the group is trying to sell. The Venture 2000 Industrial Park and Delphi 1 Plant, both at 2915 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and Anderson Industrial Park, at 32nd Street and Hamilton Place.

Part of the cleanup process involves environmental cleaning at some of the sites. Both of the sites at MLK Boulevard were checked and traces of chlorinated volatile organic compounds were found in the soil, according to the RACER website.

Boyd said the group is required to work with each individual community on what to do with the property. What they do with each property varies. A property in Delaware was turned back into a manufacturing plant for hybrid and electric cars.

Boyd said the group had good discussions about a plan for the properties but did not say what the ideas were.

"We got some great recommendations today and there was a great sense of partnership in the room," Boyd said.

She did not give any indication as to when something might be done with the property.

Smith, after attending the meeting, headed to Washington, D.C., for the Mayor's Automotive Council, a meeting for the nation's mayors with issues similar to Anderson's.

He said the two meetings were in the same vein as far as a future for the former automotive properties.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB or call him at 640-4847.