NUMMI may be shutting down the plant, but that doesn't mean managers are packing their bags and leaving for greener pastures right away. The company still owns the land the plant sits on, and according to Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman, NUMMI is paying for security on the site, and a whole lot more. Here, let the Mayor tell the story:
Did you catch that last bit about NUMMI covering the clean up? Chris O'Brien of the San Jose Mercury News is not so sure that's for real.
UPDATE: The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $333,000 grant to the Fremont to help the city figure out what to do next.
On a hopeful note, Solyndra, the solar panel maker, has signed on to occupy more than 1.4 million square feet of space in Fremont. David Miller, a Solyndra spokesman, told the San Francisco Business Times, “The Bay Area has one of the most innovative and creative tech workforces in the world and being able to attract people with the experience from the semiconductor and other tech industries we needed to build our solar business was important.”
The company got a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. That loan, combined with $198 million in equity financing, provided capital to buy land and build a 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Kato Business Park.
Now the company's signed a $45 million, 12-year lease for 506,940 square feet in the Page Technology Park, to serve as a back-end site for the Kato plant. Miller said Solyndra wanted its facilities to have access to I-880, but also be within walking distance to its other properties.
Ultimately, Solyndra expects to have 1,500 workers in Fremont alone. It currently has 1,000 worldwide.