By St. Louis Business Journal

Local and state officials are seeking qualifications from firms to analyze and develop strategies for creating a multi-use commercial, industrial research park or renewable alternative energy technology park on the site of the former Chrysler manufacturing plants in Fenton.

The St. Louis County Economic Council, Missouri Department of Economic Development and city of Fenton said the scope of services also will include analysis and recommendations regarding business diversification and employment opportunities for businesses and workers in the St. Louis region that were significantly impacted by the closing of the Chrysler plants.

⿿St. Louis County has been hard at work researching and identifying emerging industries, resource-based clusters and other economic drivers that compete beyond local, state and national boundaries that may be a good fit for the site. A green alternative energy technology park may be the answer,⿝ St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said in a statement. ⿿The grant will help us further identify appropriate types of uses.⿝

Final submittal of qualifications are due no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 3. Information about the RFQ can be obtained from the St. Louis County Economic Council website.

The market analysis will cost about $1.2 million and be paid for with a mix of federal, state and local funding.

Earlier this year, Ed Montgomery, then President Barack Obamaâ¿¿s car czar, visited the shuttered Chrysler plant on the 300-acre site in Fenton to announce $1.6 million in federal funding for an environmental study to kick-start the re-use of the facility. The state contributed a $262,500 match to the U.S. Department of Commerce grant, and the county and Fenton each allocated $131,250, so the grant now totals $2.1 million.

Old Carco, formerly known as Chrysler LLC, hired Clayton, Mo.-based NAI Desco to market the 5-million-square-foot property. Prospective buyers have taken golf cart tours of the sprawling complex.

Employees at the North assembly plant assembled Dodge Ram pickup trucks until it closed in July 2009. Chryslerâ¿¿s South plant, which made minivans, closed in October 2008.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010