Janesville By Neil Johnson njohnson@gazetteextra.com 

Check out the auction page here.

Want to bid on 114 acres of former General Motors factory property on Janesville’s south side?

You’ve got until 5 p.m. Nov. 11 to vie for the property through an auction now being advertised online.
You also could opt to bid on the 112-acre former JATCO haul-away yard that’s along Kellogg Avenue, just south of the main GM plant site. Or you could try to buy both. The “minimum bid” for each of the two properties starts at $750,000, according to online listings for the large properties.

Then there’s a 14-acre parking lot parcel on West State Street just east of the main plant site that’s being listed for sale for a minimum bid of $250,000, according to the listings.

Commercial real estate broker the Future of Real Estate has listed the collective 250 acres as a “rare industrial infill development opportunity” in an auction “event” that’s being managed by Future of Real Estate brokers and Janesville broker Coldwell Banker McGuire-Mears & Associates.

Signs advertising the auction also are on display on the chain-link fences that surround the former GM properties.

It’s not the first time the former GM site has been put on the market since its owner, St. Louis firm Commercial Development Company, bought the defunct plant property from GM in late 2017 and began clearing it.

GM shuttered the Janesville plant in 2009, during the Great Recession.

The auction could mark a new chapter for the cleared out property after the state Department of Natural Resources OK’d the bulk of the former main plant site for an environmental cleanup plan.

After more than a year of environmental review, the DNR gave the nod to Commercial Development’s plans to leave in place heavy concrete foundations from large swaths of the main plant site. Commercial Development has said it views the concrete at the main plant site as cover for contamination underground from nearly 100 years of industrial use.

Under Commercial Development’s proposals, redevelopment could occur using the concrete at the main site as a base that would continue to cover contamination and leave it undisturbed, the company said in proposals to the DNR.
The auction listings come with a volume of closing cost sheets and environmental reports from the DNR and Commercial Development, most readied for the listing during the month of July.

Anyone who seeks to bid on the properties is required to place a $1,000 bid deposit and submit a financing plan.

People who seek to tour the sites are being asked to register through the auction site for temporary access to the property.

The $750,000 minimum bids for the two main properties are well below initial asking prices for the properties when Coldwell Banker first began marketing the properties in 2018. At that time, the main plant property had a sticker price of $7.4 million, and the former JATCO site was being marketed for $7.3 million.

As of Tuesday, the two Coldwell Banker listings from 2018 remained active.

Commercial Development bought the property in 2017 for $9.6 million, according to state Department of Revenue property transfer records.

A Future of Real Estate broker listed on the auction advertisement could not be reached for further details on the auction.

Commercial Development spent the last few years removing the 2 million square feet of former auto manufacturing plant structure and equipment from the main site. The former plant site and the haul-away yard to the south since 2018 have been identified as an industrial redevelopment site suited for new manufacturing, warehousing and logistics development activity with access to existing rail spurs and a large-scale electric substation.

The property is largely cleared. But on Tuesday, a Gazette reporter observed a large end loader scooping up and dumping what appeared to be broken concrete or rock rubble that remains piled along the west side of the former plant’s main site.

Over the last year, even as the former plant site remained under environmental review, local brokers said they fielded interest in the properties.

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