Former GM plant site

Excavator works on site of former GM plant in Wyoming. (April 18, 2012)

Plans are moving forward quickly for redevelopment of the massive former GM manufacturing plant site along 36th Street in Wyoming.

The site, which currently looks like an empty construction zone, was once a thriving manufacturing hub for seven decades, employing generations of workers. However, the recession took its toll and GM closed the plant.

"It is time to move on," said Brigit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, which has partnered with the city of Wyoming and developer Lormax Stern to redevelop the site.

Though there are no tenants lined up for the key location yet, backers of the project are hoping to attract businesses that will carry on the site's history of generating long-term economic growth.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Wyoming city officials and The Right Place announced the new name and logo for the project. It will be called Site36, and located on the original 92-acre site of GM's sheet metal stamping plant that was built in 1936.

Site36 will be developed as a public/private partnership between the city, development firm Lormax Stern, and The Right Place, Inc. Site36 is expected to be fully remediated and readied for development on late 2012.

"The site looks today nothing like it did when we came in and started this remediation," explained Jason Horton, Of Counsel, Lormax Stern.

Representatives with Lormax Stern would not release the exact numbers on the investment, but confirmed the company has spent millions of dollars restoring the key property, which is almost "shovel ready" for new construction.

"We think we are far enough along in the process and the marketing effort, that people know it is serious business," said Horton.

Phase one, which is complete, included asbestos abatement and demolition of the old plant. Currently, Site36 is undergoing complex restoration as a virtual greenfield development.

The team is working to secure one or more large, "smart" manufacturers to set up operations at the site. Developers stress the importance of the site's location, noting that it is along U.S. 131, has direct rail access from Grand Elk Railroad, and is within 10 miles of the airport.

The marketing team has met with 70 firms across the world as potential developers. The target is ideally Fortune 100-type companies from growing industries.

"The four industry clusters that we are building on are advanced manufacturing, medical device companies, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, the food processing industry, as well as, alternative energy, " said Klohs.

"We can't get into specifics, but we are looking at global companies, we're talking a 50 to 100 million dollar project."

The site will be pre-approved by environmental and government agencies, "making it one of the most sought-after sites in the Midwest," according to Wyoming city leaders,  who are excited about the possibilities for revitalization.

 "With the tools we have in the toolbox, I'm confident we will be home and we will score and in the end we will have new jobs, new development, and a better community as a result of the work we are doing here today," said Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt.

The Right Place has an overview of the marketing video for the development which can be viewed by clicking here.