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Rail Car Approval Means Manufacturing Plant at Washington and Santa Fe

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, September 25, 2009, at 05:17PM
Rendering of Planned AnsaldoBreda Plant

Rendering of the proposed AnsaldoBreda manufacturing and assembly plant at Washington and Santa Fe.

Despite serious concerns about AnsaldoBreda's past performance, Metro's Board of Directors yesterday decided to approve a $300 million contract with the firm for new rail cars.

That's a big win for the Mayor and the Community Redevelopment Agency, both of which have been counting on the firm as an anchor tenant for their proposed Cleantech Manufacturing Center just southeast of Downtown.

The Italian rail firm has pledged to construct a manufacturing and assembly facility on the site, located near Washington and Santa Fe. In a press release sent out yesterday after the vote, CRA said that the facility would create over 1,000 jobs, roughly 70% of them permanent.

The Manufacturing Center site is a former brownfield that once housed Crown Coach's school bus manufacturing facility. 14 of its 20 acres will be occupied by AnsaldoBreda, though some of that land is surface parking that could be reclaimed for future development.

The Metro Board twice postponed a decision on the rail car contract, claiming that vehicles the company had delivered were 6,000 pounds overweight, used too much electricity and were behind schedule.

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