Electric Car Plant Deal Close?
The delays have been many.
In December 2002 local backers of a long-rumored electric car plant said a groundbreaking was imminent on the parcel northwest of Sutherlin. City officials were hopeful the arrival of Korean car maker Advanced Transportation Technology R&D would touch off a wave of industrial development and job creation at the site.
But the year passed and still the land sits vacant. But with the dawning of another year comes buzz that a deal is again close to the offing.
Mike Parker, a local engineer handling infrastructure on the site, said this month that a California-based group of investors was close to finalizing a purchase of a 600-acre chunk of land from owner Alaska Sutherland Knolls Corp., including the 200 acres annexed and rezoned by Sutherlin in 2002 to accommodate the car plant and other industry. Parker said there would be “more than one industry” locating at the site, noting that the car maker is only one of numerous businesses interested in the site.
By mid-December, Sutherlin City Manager Bud Schmidt hadn’t seen any documentation of an impending sale, but felt that “things are going well and that this is moving forward.”
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