Sale of former Hummer plant continues to inch forward

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - A large economic development project continues to inch forward.

Tuesday, the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission did its part to clear a path for the sale of the former H-2 production plant.

Eventually, plans call for 960-employees to work at the plant by the end of 2024. That’s where Electric Last Mile Solutions plans to build an electric powered delivery van.

“Because they don’t own the building, they can’t be in the facility,” explained St. Joseph County Economic Development Director Bill Schalliol.

Today the redevelopment commission put Last Mile’s name on a lease for a piece of the plant parking lot that the county owns.

County officials were somewhat surprised to learn that is the only thing they’re being asked to do: The project will move forward without any request for local tax abatement.

“This new company has come in and said that was the past, this is now,” Schalliol said. “So, our understanding is their commitment, as part of the incentive package they did with the state, was a $238 million investment into this site. So, you know, that’s a huge investment and then no ask of the county for any incentives on top of that, that’s a that’s a real win for the county.”

The project is in line to receive up to $13 million in state tax credits and training grants.

Schalliol says test production is now going on at Last Mile’s company headquarters in Michigan and that the start of local production is expected to begin soon after the sale closes in late May or early June.

“They anticipate as soon as they take possession of the property to start hiring employees. They’ll be developing product over the course of the summer and building product by early fall, so it’s a project on an incredible fast track,” said Schalliol.

The last company with plans to build vehicles at the plant—SF Motors, did receive a $1.4 million tax abatement from the county. The SF Motors project never did make it off the ground.

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