AFTER FAILED BID FOR TOYOTA-MAZDA PLANT, EXPERTS SAY NEBRASKA NEEDS AN INDUSTRIAL MEGA-SITE

When Toyota-Mazda’s consultants looked at Nebraska, the state’s two possible sites were near the Interstate 80 exit at Greenwood and near Nebraska City. Miles from utilities, mostly raw land, under purchase options but not owned, the sites didn’t stack up with competing sites like the ready-to-develop Alabama property. Ten days ago, Toyota-Mazda crossed Nebraska off its list partly because of the lack of a viable mega-site. The automakers were seeking 1,000 ready-to-go acres. Many development experts say only government has the staying power to buy up land and spend pre-development cash to make sites shovel ready. “We’re too conservative,” said Denny Sciscoe, an industrial real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield/Lund Co. “I don’t know if we’ll ever have anybody step up. It would take a combination of private donors and government funds, chambers of commerce and economic development funds.