Leaders propose location for potential Tesla plant

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- Local leaders think they’ve found an ideal location for an electric car manufacturer’s multi-billion-dollar battery plant.

New Mexico is one of four states Tesla Motors is considering for their battery plant and, if they come here, lawmakers say they’ve found a spot that would be mutually beneficial for both the company and the Albuquerque community.

Leaders have had places in mind in the past, like the barren Mesa Del Sol area, but now, City Council President Ken Sanchez is speaking up about another prime location.

South of I-40 and west of Unser lies 50,000 acres of Atrisco Land Grant property ripe for development.

“We more than could accommodate Telsa to locate here in Albuquerque’s Westside,” says Sanchez.

The electric car company requires between 500 and 1,000 acres of land for the battery plant. It’s a project that’s expected to create more than 6,000 jobs and billions in construction spending – a prospect leaders like Sanchez says could transform the city.

“The Westside, I believe, is the final frontier for growth and development in this great city and I just feel that we are ready for this type of industry here on Albuquerque’s Westside,” explains Sanchez.

The land, once owned by real estate development company Suncal, is strategically located near the interstate – a truck cargo corridor Tesla could use.

Plus, it’s in close proximity to neighborhoods hungry for work.

“If they decided to locate on Albuquerque’s Westside, they would find themselves welcomed into a very vibrant community with a ready, willing and able workforce to help assure their success,” says state Sen. Sander Rue.

Rue explains lawmakers have already endorsed incentives that make Albuquerque an attractive location for the plant. They’ve set aside more than $16 million for public infrastructure and job training – a pool the senator says will lead to even more prospects.

“We have done an awful lot to lay the groundwork for us to be competitive going forward so, if it’s not Tesla, it’ll be somebody else. If it is Tesla, wonderful. Hopefully, there will be more Teslas in the future for us,” Rue says.

Another incentive outlined in Sanchez’s message to Tesla is the Single Sales Factor, adopted last year. It’s a tax formula that exempts a corporation’s local payroll and property when determining its state corporate income taxes.

According to that memorial Sanchez is set to present night, sewer and water lines are already under construction for the Atrisco Land Grant Property next to the north side of the interstate.

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