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NORTHBROOK, IL-Hilco Real Estate LLC has been hired to sell two former Chrysler plants in the Midwest. Old Carco LLC, previously Chrysler LLC, is unloading the 1.8-million-square-foot engine manufacturing facility in Kenosha, WI and the 1.2-million-square-foot axle manufacturing facility in Detroit.

Richard Kaye, an EVP with Hilco, tells GlobeSt.com that the large properties will be offered as turnkey operations. However, if there are no takers, the equipment and sites will be sold separately. Intellectual property will also be included among the Kenosha plant assets.

The Detroit plant, a 48-acre site at 6700 Lynch Rd., was purchased by Chrysler in 1928 and produced rear drive axles, front drive axles and differentials. The 109-acre Kenosha plant at 5555 30th Ave. was an American Motors Corp. property until Chrysler acquired it in 1987. Both plants were not included in the Fiat Group SpA takeover of Chrysler.

It’s unclear if the properties, both built in 1917 and likely facing environmental issues, have any potential users. “There’s been a lot of interest,” Kaye says. His company is handling several other automotive plant sales since Chrysler and General Motors declared bankruptcy, including 16 GM plant properties, he says.

The automotive business decline has contributed to a loss of property values in Detroit, says Mathew Fenster, executive director of Paragon Corporate Realty Services Inc., based in Troy, MI. “With a shrinking employment and population base, we now have a glut of office, industrial, retail and residential real estate. We have seen values plummet as a result as a result of the surplus,” he says.

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