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CASA GRANDE — Construction of an auto salvage yard is expected to begin soon following a $7.8 million purchase of land needed for the project.

LKQ Corporation, an auto salvage company, plans to build a 107,000-square-foot warehouse on 120 acres on the northwest corner of Thornton and Peters roads. The building will occupy only a portion of the lot, which will be completely fenced in, and will also contain the offices for the company.

A company spokesman said the company plans to hire 55 people initially with plans to expand its workforce to 75 or 100 people in the coming years.

The land was purchased by Nelson Commercial Properties of Houston. Kirk McCarville, Pinal County specialist with Land Advisors Organization, the company that brokered the deal, said Nelson will be building the facility and leasing it to LKQ.

LKQ applied for a building permit Wednesday, said Paul Tice, Casa Grande’s planning and development director.

“They likely will start the site grading by the end of August and start building construction in October,” Tice told PinalCentral.

Crushing of cars will only be done at certain times and with a portable car crusher that operates with a four-cylinder hydraulic motor.

The warehouse will be 38.5 feet tall, much lower than the city’s height limit in the industrial area, which is 55 feet. In April, City Planner Joe Horn said the property will be fenced with a block wall on Thornton and Peters roads and will have chain-link fencing around the other two sides.

LKQ, a publicly traded company, purchases cars from insurance companies and private parties and dismantles them for parts, which it resells. The plant will keep the auto bodies in the yard until such time when a particular part is needed. The facility won’t be open to the general public.