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PITTSBURGH-General Motors Corp. has placed its estimated 500,000-sf, metal-stamping auto parts plant in suburban West Mifflin on the selling block, a move that could evolve into a new use for the structure as a regional distribution center, area industrial real estate brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

GM officials confirmed Aug. 16 they are trying to find a buyer for the 56-year-old Allegheny County plant. If a buyer isn’t found, GM plans to close the plant in December, as it initially announced in November 2005. The planned sale and shutdown is part of the automaker’s nationwide strategy to close 11 plants across the US and Canada in a move to halt its growing financial losses, the company previously said.

Although officials at United Auto Workers Local 544 in Pittsburgh remain buoyant that the plant will continue to operate as a manufacturing facility of sorts under new ownership, area real estate brokers familiar with the property and the West Mifflin submarket tell GlobeSt.com the structure most likely will be reborn as a bulk warehouse property. “If a buyer can take it off GM’s hands at a firesale price, it’s entirely feasible the property could be transformed to a new use, possibly as an industrial real estate product, ” a broker who says he could be involved in near-future negotiations on the plant’s sale tells GlobeSt.com.

The plant employs 367 full-time workers. Most of the plant’s products are metal parts for Chevrolet Cobalts assembled in Lordstown, OH.

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