Initial plans for vacant General Motors Plant in Janesville revealed

Published: Sep. 25, 2018 at 9:52 PM CDT
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Dozens of Janesville residents attended an open house at the Rock County Job Center Tuesday night to learn about the initial plans for the future of the former General Motors Plant.

The 250-acre plant closed in 2009 and was bought by the Commercial Development Company (CDC) in 2017. Both CDC and Angus-Young Associates, the architectural firm working on the development, hosted the open house to answer questions and hear input from the community.

The project is named the Centennial Industrial Park, to commemorate the nearly 100 years the plant stood at its site.

The city of Janesville’s economic development director, Gale Price, said the site will be used for manufacturing.

“This is a very good manufacturing site for heavy industrial. It has two rail services to Wisconsin and Southern and Union pacific. Both serve this site," he said.

He said the new development could create around two-thousand new jobs. Much of the 250-acre plant has already been demolished.

One couple who attended the meeting, Craig and Patricia Gramke, said they run a ministry near the plant. They said they hope the new plans will bring jobs.

“We always need more businesses and more opportunity for businesses to start, grow and expand. That’s what the area has always been; I’d be glad to see that continue,” Craig Gramke said.

Price said there has been a lot of community engagement over the plant’s future.

“There have been so many generations who have worked in this facility. Although it’s sad to see it torn down, we recognize that there is a real opportunity here to move forward as a community," Price said.

Several business owners and people who live in the area who attended the open house said they hope it helps the area.

Price said they hope to have all of the plans approved by the end of the year, so they can move forward with development in the spring of 2019.