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Shuttered Janesville GM Plant Sold To St. Louis-Based Company

Company Has Indicated Plans To Demolish The Facility

closed down General Motors plant in Janesville
This photo taken Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, shows the closed down General Motors plant in Janesville, Wis. Andy Manis/AP Photo

The shuttered General Motors plant in Janesville was officially sold to be redeveloped this week.

Commercial Development Company, Inc., based out of St. Louis, purchased the site, but hasn’t confirmed what will take the place of the plant.

GM put the plant on standby status in 2009. The company didn’t officially close the plant until 2015.

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The facility is roughly 4.8 million square feet and located near downtown Janesville.

Last year, the city officially recognized the area as the South Jackson Street Overlay District. The distinction requires preliminary and final development plans be sent to the Janesville Plan Commission for review. That process includes public hearings giving Janesville residents some say over what is built on the site.

Gale Price, Janesville’s economic development director, said the Commercial Development Company has indicated they plan to demolish the site for redevelopment.

Price also said this is a step toward opportunity because the site has sat dormant for years.

“If you don’t redevelop those sites and they just stay, you know they’re idle and vacant, they become part of the urban wasteland and you know you don’t want to see that in your community. You want to just continue to move forward,” he said.

Despite the sale of the plant, Price said Janesville will always be known as a GM town because of the city’s history.

Assistant to the Janesville city manager, Maggie Darr, agreed with Price’s sentiment. She characterized the feeling as, “bittersweet.”

“You know while there’s a bit of sadness within the community that we’re closing the chapter there,” Darr said. “I think the uncertainty over the last several years has, you know, made people uncomfortable.”

Commercial Development Company wasn’t immediately available for comment for this story.