General Motors Corp. plans to buy a 22-acre swathe of land for an auto mall near Highway 101 in Menlo Park, CA, south of San Francisco.

GM wants the city of Menlo Park to split its sales tax with the auto maker for the first 15 years, or until the company garners $10 million.

“It is our understanding that without this arrangement there will be no deal,” says David Johnson, the city's business development manager.

GM is projecting about $750,000 in sales tax revenue in the first year.

“This signals a very clear shift in the economic direction of our city,” Mayor Nicholas Jellins tells The Mercury News.

The decision by GM follows a three-year period that saw three GM auto dealerships flee Menlo Park because of tight lot sizes and limited visibility along El Camino Real, according to a city staff report. A University Ford lot also shut its doors this year.

The proposed auto mall site has easy access and has high visibility. GM plans to build its own dealership complex on 8.5 acres and lease out the remaining 13.5 to other auto dealers or similar retail outfits, according to a city report.