News

Fremont council to consider grant to study new uses of NUMMI site

4,700 employees to be affected by plant's closing on April 1

The Fremont City Council at its meeting tonight will consider applying for a $385,000 grant from the federal government to study how to reuse the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. auto plant that's slated to close on April 1.

City staff members are recommending that the city seek the grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which provides financial assistance to communities that are experiencing difficult economic circumstances by awarding planning and technical assistance grants.

The 370-acre NUMMI plant, which is located near Interstate Highway 880, is a major employer for the city and the region. Hundreds of its workers live in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley with more commuting from homes acrss the Altamont Pass.

A report by Fremont Economic Development Director Lori Taylor says 4,700 people work at the auto plant and the facility also contributes to the employment of another 20,000 throughout the state, as many suppliers rely on NUMMI for business.

NUMMI was a 25-year-old joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but GM announced in June that it would withdraw from the partnership and Toyota announced in August that it wouldn't order any more vehicles from the auto plant after the end of March.

Taylor said federal funds pay for studies of four components: an economic and market analysis strategic plan, a land use alternatives study, an infrastructure and cost analysis and a financial assessment.

She said the economic and market analysis would look at new uses for the site "with an emphasis on new and sustainable sources of revenue and employment generation, including new retail, commercial, manufacturing, research and development, hospitality and entertainment opportunities."

Taylor said that among the possible land use changes at the NUMMI site and surrounding property is building a new baseball stadium for the Oakland A's.

She said the study would therefore look at a total of 450 acres and cover an area larger than just the NUMMI facility.

The City Council's meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. tonight at the council's chambers at 3300 Capitol Ave. in Fremont.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News, contributed to this report.

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