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Mercedes-Benz leases old Boeing jet factory in Long Beach

July 12, 2013|By Jerry Hirsch
  • Mercedes-Benz has leased this former Boeing airplane factory in Long Beach but hasn't said what it plans to do with the site.
Mercedes-Benz has leased this former Boeing airplane factory in Long Beach… (Brian Vander Brug, Los Angeles…)

Mercedes-Benz has leased a former Boeing airplane factory in Long Beach, but it isn’t saying what it plans to do with the more than 1-million-square-foot plant adjacent to the city’s airport.

City officials confirmed that the U.S. arm of the German automaker has leased the factory from Sares-Regis Group, the developer that bought the property from Boeing.

“This is significant for Long Beach, as it will bring needed jobs and property tax revenue,” said Gerrie Schipske, the City Council member representing the district that includes the site.

Don’t expect Mercedes to start building cars at the old jet factory.

“The site is part of continual efforts to improve our regional business operations throughout the U.S. and better service our customers,” said Diedra Wylie, Mercedes spokeswoman. “We will be releasing more details in the coming weeks.”

It probably will be a facility to prepare vehicles for delivery to dealers, an increasingly important and complex process, said Jack Nerad, an analyst at auto information company Kelley Blue Book.

“The lease of the historic McDonnell Douglas/Boeing plant is a slam dunk for Mercedes-Benz,” Nerad said. “Mercedes-Benz has long been a powerhouse in the affluent Los Angeles/Orange market.”

The acquisition of the facility allows the luxury carmaker easy access to the port of Long Beach.

Schipske said any plans for the site will preserve the historic “Fly DC Jets” sign that sits atop one of the buildings.

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