Velfera Advancing Project With 3rd LOI

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Moving forward on a proposed $130 million electric car project remains contingent on securing additional financing, officials involved with the project say.

Velfera Auto Design, a Dallas and Baltimore-based company that recently announced its intention to build commercial electric vehicles in the region, said it has signed a letter of intent for 200 acres of land at Reynolds East Business Park in Greenville, Pa., according to a news release issued by local marketing firm Rubenstein Associates.

Velfera announced in a news release Monday it had signed the letter of intent – its third in recent months for the project – at the Penn-Northwest Development Corp. annual meeting late last month. It is acquiring sites in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania for the project.

The plan includes the construction of two 80,000 square foot facilities and a production complex for the sub-assembly of honeycomb automotive parts, said Vic Rubenstein of Rubenstein Associates and Embark Strategic Partners. The release anticipates the project could create 300 white-collar and blue-collar jobs.

If final financing and incentive programs are in place, the land will be transferred to Velfera for the construction of a manufacturing site, according to the release.

The lightweight electric vehicles would serve commercial and municipal markets, operating at costs as low as 2 cents per mile, Antonio Pierce, president and CEO of Velfera, said in early October. Production would start at up to 2,000 annually and would grow from there, he said.

Pierce also said October his company already has arranged $55 million in financing and is working with communities and the states on the remainder of the $130 million.

Brad Gosser, executive director at Greenville-Reynolds Development Corp., which manages the Reynolds East Business Park, confirmed Monday afternoon the letter of intent was in place for the property.

“We have an agreement in place for things to happen based on other things taking place,” he said.

In early October the East Liverpool Community Improvement Corp. signed a letter of intent to enter into negotiations with Velfera to sell 80 acres at the site of the former Riverview Florist Co. once the company obtains financing for what it says will become a 260,000-square-foot plant that turns out small electric vehicles, employs 180 at first, and possibly as many as 300.

Velfera has another letter of intent to acquire about 90 acres on King Graves Road just off state Route 11 in Trumbull County, where the company plans to build larger vehicles as well as a testing center.

A fourth property designated as a state-of-the-art test track and large vehicle assembly plant is being negotiated for a site in either Mahoning or Trumbull counties.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.