|Winning auction bid for former Hynix plant in west Eugene tops $12 million |
The news raises hopes that the complex soon could be up and running — and hiring
The former Hynix computer-chip complex in west Eugene has been closed since 2008. (Rob Romig/The Register-Guard, 2015)
By Sherri Buri McDonald
Sept. 28, 2017
An unnamed entity on Wednesday agreed at auction to purchase the massive former Hynix computer-chip plant in west Eugene for $12.75 million, according to Ten-X Commercial, an online commercial real estate marketplace.
Other details were not available Wednesday.
The seller, Broadcom, formerly known as Avago Technologies, and Ten-X Commercial did not respond to requests for comment.
After the auction, a transaction goes into closing and the buyer conducts environmental reviews, building inspections and other due diligence, according to Ten-X Commercial’s website.
The price for the former Hynix plant didn’t climb much above the minimum bid of $10 million in the online auction, which started Monday and ended about noon Wednesday.
The auction rekindled hope among local business and economic development officials that a manufacturer might retrofit the long-shuttered facility, get it up and running and hire many local workers.
“At that price, a company should be able to start using it and start hiring people,” said Ward Wimbish, director of Greater Eugene Inc., a local nonprofit economic development agency. “We hope it’s an actual business (rather than a property speculator) that has great plans for it.”
Brittany Quick-Warner, chief executive of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, called the bid “great news.”
“The property is one we desperately want to get somebody into,” she said. “We’re excited for the potential job growth, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity there to employ the types of folks who have been unemployed or underemployed for a long time in our community.
“I would anticipate it would be a high-wage company that would come in there and really improve the job prospects for our community.”
The 300-acre property is in the west Eugene Enterprise Zone, which exempts industrial equipment from local property taxes. If the new owner is a large manufacturer, it could qualify for tax breaks worth millions of dollars.
Hynix, formerly Hyundai, spent $1.5 billion to build and equip the 1.2 million-square-foot complex. The factory operated from 1998 to 2008, when it closed amid a memory-chip market downturn. The closure eliminated more than 1,000 jobs.
The winning auction bid of $12.75 million is substantially less than the $21 million Singapore-based Avago Technologies (now Broadcom) paid for the same property in an online auction two years ago. The $12.75 million price is about a third of the property’s $36.7 million real market value listed in Lane County tax assessment records.
After acquiring the property, Broadcom announced it would hire about 230 people and spend $400 million to convert the plant to make silicon chips for cellphones, with production starting in September 2019. But Broadcom scuttled those plans in late 2016 and listed the property for sale.
The property auctioned on Wednesday included an 852,371-square-foot plant at 1830 Willow Creek Circle, with three floors above ground and two floors below ground, an adjacent 220,602-square-foot utility building and a 118,320-square-foot, six-story office building at 4950 Pitchford Ave. Those buildings are on 201 acres.
The property also includes a site ready for construction of a building with a 300,000-square-foot footprint, plus 120 acres for further expansion, according to the online auction listing.
Bidders were required to place a deposit of $50,000, which will be applied to the winning bidder’s purchase price and refunded to any losing bidders.
Ten-X also will charge a 5 percent fee on the winning bid, so the buyer will pay $637,500 in addition to the $12.75 million.