Online auction could land Janesville’s former General Motors site new owner by November

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JANESVILLE, Wis. – After more than a year of sitting as a 200+ acre vacant lot, Janesville’s former General Motors site could see new ownership as soon as November.

Working with online auction agency The Future of Real Estate as well as local Coldwell Banker staff, the site is listed in three parcels online.

For two of the sites, split at more than 100 acres each, bidding starts at $750,000.

This is a big, big chunk of property,” said Bill Mears, who is brokering the site for Coldwell Banker. “When it comes to marketing vacant land, it is a little bit more challenging than the three-bedroom ranch home.”

Mears says the two train lines on the property will make it an attractive option for out of state suppliers looking to ship by both truck and rail.

It’s sort of a no brainer when you look at the rail infrastructure that’s here,” Mears said. “And the access to I-90 via four-lane highway out to it.”  

Those behind the sale made the decision to split the land into multiple parcels and turn the selling process to an online auction after initial plans to sell the property as one piece were struggling to take hold.

I think the challenges here is the fact that we’ve got two large parcels of land. They have not really been divided up into an industrial park yet,” Mears said. “We’re trying to get to that point. I think that’s the whole idea of the auction we’ll be having is. Maybe somebody with a little more experience in industrial park development would be interested in buying it.”

Should the land be developed, it could hold major ramifications for job creation in the city. 

A 100-acre site could have 500 to 800 or even 1000 jobs,” said Gale Price, Janesville’s Economic Development Director. “You could have 2,000 jobs here again on this site if it’s fully developed. The prospects for that is awesome for the community.”

Just having development here is very exciting,” Price said. “It’s something I look forward to, it’s something we think about in the economic development office every day. When I think about what this site could hold when it comes to job creation and job opportunities for people, that’s what’s most exciting for us in economic development. We want to see people succeed, employed, and living a good life.”

The auction will last until November 11.