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Third Time's A Charm For Abandoned Ind. Plant?

Companies are interested in a never-used $100M factory that's already seen two planned tenants file for bankruptcy.

TIPTON, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a central Indiana county are hoping the third time is the charm for a sprawling factory that's already seen two planned tenants file for bankruptcy.

Tipton County officials say they're say getting telephone calls from companies interested in the never-used plant about 40 miles north of Indianapolis that cost more than $100 million to build.

"We have responded to a number of telephone calls from companies interested in the building," County Commissioner Mike Cline told the Kokomo Tribune ( ).

Colorado-based Abound Solar had planned to employ 800 to 1,000 people at the factory near Tipton until it announced in late June that it was filing for bankruptcy.

County officials had worked for the last couple years to get Abound Solar to move into the 800,000-square-foot factory along U.S. 31. The company planned to make solar panels with thin-film photovoltaic technology at the factory.

The factory space originally was built for German company Getrag, a parts manufacturer that was going to produce transmissions for a former Chrysler Corp. Getrag filed for bankruptcy after Chrysler LLC pulled out of a financing options agreement and left the plant without a primary customer.

Investment company W.W. Reynolds is listing the building at $39.5 million, Cline said.

"This is a new, state-of-the-art facility that has never been used," said Linda Williamson, interim economic development director. "There was an investment of more than $100 million."

A task formed has been formed to try to find a tenant. Tipton County had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in May, nearly a full percentage point above the state's 7.9 percent. Cline said local officials have been in contact with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for assistance and support in finding a tenant.