UP buys 160 acres near Tesla-owned old Fremont NUMMI auto plant
- Published Thursday, January 13, 2011, by the Oakland Tribune
Union Pacific buys 160 acres near Tesla auto plant
By George Avalos
Union Pacific Railroad Co. has bought 160 acres next to the Tesla Motors auto factory in Fremont and plans to use the site for transportation activities, the rail carrier said Thursday.
The railroad bought two parcels Dec. 29 from New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., Alameda County records show.
"We plan to develop the property at an undetermined point in the future to provide service for our freight rail customers," said Aaron Hunt, a Union Pacific spokesman.
One parcel is directly north of the Tesla factory and the other is directly south, Hunt said. CB Richard Ellis, a commercial realty firm, has been seeking buyers for the property, including the railroad's new parcels.
"We would like to learn more about Union Pacific's interests and how we could work together," said Lori Taylor, city economic development director. "We want to ensure the land is developed to maximize its potential."
The property consists of 370 acres and a 5.5 million-square-foot factory. NUMMI, a venture of General Motors and Toyota, built vehicles at the Fremont property for 25 years. The NUMMI factory closed in April.
"We are trying to set up a meeting with the railroad," Taylor said. "We don't have a confirmed date to meet."
Fremont hopes to fashion a plan for the overall use of the old NUMMI site.
The primary current activity at the site revolves around Tesla's fledgling factory for electric cars. Tesla bought the NUMMI factory in October and plans to begin production in 2012.
Union Pacific has a big intermodal transportation complex at the Port of Oakland and one in Lathrop. The company also has some rail yards in the East Bay.
"They are a major distributor of goods and services in the Bay Area and they own a lot of rail lines here," said Doug Norton, a CB Richard Ellis senior vice president.
Union Pacific has a rail line next to the parcels it bought in Fremont.
"In California, we do a lot of intermodal, a lot of agricultural business, a fair amount of automotive," Hunt said. "We serve all kinds of customers. This property acquisition will help us to serve those customers at some point in the future."
Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477.
[BATN: See also:
Tesla reopens 20% of Fremont's shuttered NUMMI auto plant
Tesla, Toyota to jointly make electric cars at Fremont NUMMI plant
Tesla and Toyota team up to build electric cars at old NUMMI plant
Officials seek to fill NUMMI plant; HSR train manufacturing eyed
HSRA's Kopp proposes switching NUMMI plant to building rail cars