The task force working to find a buyer for the former Mitsubishi auto manufacturing plant is continuing to field inquires. An upcoming trip to an international industrial trade show in Germany could increase interest.
During an appearance on Sound Ideas, Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos, said his purpose at the trade show is to develop leads that could result in a buyer for the plant and to also to promote the community.
"For me personally, it's going to be the attempt to tell the story of our community, to talk about why we would be a good fit for a number of businesses," said Koos. "Any opportunity I get to do that, that's going to be my job, to sell this community."
Koos will join Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council CEO Kyle Ham as part of an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) delegation to the Hannover Messe 2016 Trade Fair for Industrial Technology the last week of April. Both Koos and Ham are member of the task force seeking a buyer for the Mitsbuishi plant. Koos said the DCEO is working to set up meetings with clients who would be a good fit.
Koos remains optimistic about finding a buyer and said "At the moment we think it's dead and there's nothing more to do, new interest pops up."
"I won't be wildly optimistic and say it's only a matter of months before we have a buyer. That's not the case," said Koos. "There's still continued interest in the facility and it surprises us. And some strong interest in that regard. Now, where that will take us? I couldn't answer."
Hannover Messe trade show begins April 25 with the United States as an official partner country. President Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to attend the trade show when he opens Hannover Messe with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. exhibitors will have the highest amount of exposure to over 200,000 visitors and thousands of journalists and bloggers, as well as 6,000 other economic development and industrial exhibitors from 27 exhibit halls.