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Portneuf Capital closes deal for former Hoku site

The former Hoku site
Portneuf Capital, LLC finalized a deal to purchase the former Hoku site from the Pocatello Development Authority in December.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In the saga of the former Hoku site, the Solargise chapter has officially come to a close.

On Monday, the Pocatello Development Authority finalized the sale of the land to Portneuf Capital, LLC. Portneuf was established by Southeast Idaho natives Darren Miller and LD Barthlome "for the sole purpose of redeveloping the former Hoku facility," according to the group's Request for Proposal.

Now, the plan is for Portneuf to turn the site into an industrial business park. According to the RFP, the group discussed the history of the site with many of those involved in its past and concluded that it was "impractical" to use the site for the purpose it was originally constructed -- as a polysilicon plant.

After Solargise's deal was terminated for "lack of performance," the PDA went back out for RFPs to which Portneuf Capital was the sole respondent.

The group paid $1.25 million for the 68 acres of land, the same appraised value that Solargise had been given, according to Melanie Gygli, interim executive director of the Pocatello Development Authority.

Portneuf Capital and Gygli both noted the use of the land as an industrial business park would align with the way the land is zoned and the goals of the urban renewal agency.

"That's, to the best of our understanding, how they're moving forward," Gygli said. "I don't know that they have anything specific signed on yet, but I know they've been working really hard to get this put together."

As part of the plan outlined in the RFP, Portneuf would construct new buildings while utilizing the already existing ones and remove equipment and infrastructure "unnecessary for the repurposing" of the site.

Portneuf hopes to begin the removal process within 10 days of closure, with the hope of having the process done in 240 days, at which point they hope to "have tenants on the property."

Portneuf Capital was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

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