Kate Archer Kent

Phoenix-based Elio Motors has formally announced its agreement to buy the former Shreveport General Motors plant, where it will build three-wheeled vehicles that it says will get more than 80 miles per gallon.

The startup car maker will use one-third of the 3 million acre plant site. Elio Motors said it will hire 1,500 workers by late 2015. Founder Paul Elio said at Thursday's news conference at the plant that he aims to create good-paying U.S. jobs, whether they’re unionized, he said, is up to his workforce.

The former General Motors plant in Shreveport has officially changed hands. GM’s lease is up and the court-appointed RACER Trust will now maintain the property. The Trust took title last year as part of the GM settlement agreement. Redevelopment manager Bruce Rasher says marketing efforts will be stepped up since the plant’s 3.1-million square feet are now vacant. Rasher says he’s optimistic that he’ll find a buyer, and he’s following up on promising leads alongside state and local economic developers.