New Plan For Shreveport’s GM Plant Has Elio Stink Already
So there's a new business slated to take up residence at the old General Motors plant in Shreveport. Or should we call it the "old Elio plant" now instead? We'll get to that in a minute.
First, the new occupant is called thyssenkrupp (yeah, with a lower case "t") and they are a German industrial engineering and steel production company. The Shreveport location is being called a "logistics" facility for thyssenkrupp, which is probably necessary for their massive $2.9 billion proposed project that will either land in Alabama or Louisiana.
This all sounds pretty solid. But there's one thing that doesn't sit particularly well with some in the Shreveport area. The role that Stuart Lichter plays in all of this.
Stuart Lichter is a "board member" with Elio Motors. He was one of the principal architects in the plan to bring Elio Motors to Shreveport. His name also appears in the various press releases and stories about the new plan for thyssenkrupp in Shreveport.
If Elio failed so horribly in Shreveport, how is Lichter still operating here? Well, we should correct something first. Even though the old GM plant is labeled as "Shreveport" a lot, its actually not Shreveport's responsibility. That lands on Caddo Parish.
So Caddo Parish runs the show on the old GM plant property. In December of 2013 (dang, 10 years ago?!?) Caddo Parish signed an agreement with Industrial Realty Group to "market and sublease" the plant. Industrial Realty Group, or IRG, has a President and Chairman of the Board, who's name happens to be Stuart Lichter.
Lichter is essentially the operator of the GM plant in Caddo Parish right now. Its up to him to find people to now rent it from him.
They did this on what they called a PILOT lease..."payment in lieu of tax". So the space is tax free for IRG and Lichter. Not only that, the payments that would be paid "in lieu of tax" were reportedly waived for IRG until 2025. To a common man, that would appear to say that IRG is getting this space at a really good rate...
You know what it usually means when guys in suits are telling you that something is "too complicated for you to understand" when you call them out on inconsistencies? Someone's making a whole bunch of money and they don't want you to know about it. Like the Emperor's New GM Plant.
After looking at all of the baggage that Lichter has when it comes to Elio Motors, and this massive (potentially free) piece of prime industrial real estate he's been sitting on, you can see why some people would hesitate to celebrate when he comes running back into the picture with another "too good to be true" proposition.
The only thing that makes this seem hopeful is that the payments in the PIOLT lease will come due in 2025. At least, according to the reports...and also as long as Caddo Parish doesn't extend that period.