Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 21, 2012

Chrysler buys Getrag building

Plant to build nine-speed transmissions.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune staff writer

Tipton — The former Getrag Transmission building in Tipton County has been purchased by the Chrysler Group.

Pat Lindley, the selling agent for W.W. Reynolds, said Friday that Chrysler has purchased the almost 800,000-square-foot building at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Ind. 28.

Lindley with Cassidy Turley in Indianapolis said he could not disclose the selling price.

Earlier this week, the Tipton County Commissioners and Tipton County Council approved a 10-year personal property tax abatement for Chrysler.

The company said it will invest $162 million in machinery and create up to 850 new jobs. Plans call for the manufacturing of the 9-speed transmissions to be used to help the company reach the new federal fleet fuel economy standards that begin to be phased in starting in 2016. Manufacturing operations could start as early as 2013.

The commercial appraisal value of the building completed in 2011 at the request of Tipton County officials was $28 million.

Chrysler Group LLC confirmed that it has closed a deal to purchase a 781,500 square-foot facility on a 103-acre site at the intersection of Ind. 28 and U.S. 31.

This acquisition, along with the abatement request approved earlier in the week by the Tipton County Council on a potential $162 million investment and additional 850 new jobs, continues to build the business case for potential investment and future employment in the region. At this time, the company has no additional information to share about its plans for the building.

The building which is approximately 80 percent complete went on the market in July when Abound Solar, which planned to lease the property from W.W. Reynolds, filed for bankruptcy.

The asking price on the property was $39.5 million.

Mike Cline, president of the Tipton County Board of Commissioners could not be reached for comment Friday.

During the Monday meeting Commissioner Jane Harper said that the project has come full circle for Chrysler and the community since 2008.

She said the beginning of the relationship with Chrysler is due to some give and take by both sides.

“This will be a time of healing for the community and I look forward to this project coming to fruition,” Harper said.

In 2007 Getrag Transmission and Daimler Chrysler announced it planned to build a $580 million plant in Tipton to construct transmissions.

That partnership ended in 2008 with Getrag filing for bankruptcy.

In 2010 Reynolds purchased the facility with the intent of leasing it to Abound Solar for the manufacturing of solar panels. Abound Solar went bankrupt earlier this year.