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General Motors plans sale of former car plant in Janesville

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — General Motors has hired a commercial real estate firm to sell its former auto manufacturing plant and 250 acres in Janesville.

Five officials from General Motors and Los Angeles-based real estate broker CBRE met with seven Janesville officials and other stakeholders Monday to discuss the sale. Representatives from Gov. Scott Walker’s office, Rock County, Forward Janesville and the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau also were present.

The gathering went “superbly,” according to City Manager Mark Freitag, who complimented General Motors for its “honest, upfront” approach to business. His summary of the meeting reflected an understanding that General Motors and CBRE are willing to work with the city somewhat in the lead-up to a sale, the Janesville Gazette reported.

The firm will entertain any of the city’s suggestions for the request for proposals it will issue to interested buyers, Freitag said. The city also offered to help out if any of the interested buyers want to take a tour of Janesville.

The city believes another industrial use would be best given the property’s size and proximity to a highway and railway system, but Freitag expects the company and firm to entertain other ideas for the property.

In the meantime, General Motors is making progress on environmental evaluations and clean-up on the property, according to Freitag. General Motors is expected to finish a study of ground contamination in the plant’s north side as soon as April, and the company also plans to finish cleaning up ground pollution along the southern site by June, he said.

General Motors and CBRE reiterated at the meeting that they believe they’ll be able to find a buyer within a year.

A global marketing campaign will be launched in the coming weeks, Freitag said.

All parties are expected to meet again in March.

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