KOKOMO — A former General Motors plant property on the north end of Kokomo that underwent remediation efforts to clean up contamination is seeing an “uptick” in interest from potential buyers.

The former GM Delco Plant 5 property is seeing a “recent uptick in market interest,” Bill Callen, vice president of Behan Communications, the public relations firm for RACER Trust, told the Kokomo Tribune after an inquiry.

Who exactly has expressed interest is being kept under wraps.

Callen said RACER Trust, which owns the 10-acre property, does not “comment publicly about specific prospects or potential end uses until a property is under contract, and then only if the counterparty agrees.”

That RACER Trust was receiving inquiries about the property was first brought up last week by Councilman Dave Capshaw, R-District 1, during the Kokomo City Council’s Monday informational meeting held before the board’s regular meeting.

Greg Sheline, executive director of the Kokomo-Howard County Plan Commission, said last week RACER Trust wants to put the property on the city’s well-restricted overlay, meaning no groundwater wells, other than testing wells, can be drilled on the site.

Redevelopment of the property is also restricted to only commercial or industrial uses. Other requirements include any future building there to install and maintain a vapor mitigation system to keep out airborne trichloroethene.

The Trust was created in 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to clean up and reposition properties and other facilities for redevelopment that were previously owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.

Elevated levels of TCE were found in some areas on the property, including in the soil and groundwater. Levels were found to be more than 13 times above the approved level for commercial sites and nearly 19 times above the limits set for residential properties.

Cleanup started in 2022 and has finished. It included treating the impacted soils with a material that will break down the chemicals in the soil.

TCE was used to clean circuit boards before it was banned in the 1970s.

The lot has been unused since 1991, when the former GM Delco Plant 5 facility closed. The plant assembled and tested circuit boards between 1953 and 1991. The 144,000-square-foot facility was demolished in 1993, and has since sat vacant due to redevelopment restrictions requiring the lot to be remediated before it could be used again.

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