A year later, GM plant attracting developers

A year later, GM plant attracting developers

 

By Thomas Gnau, Staff Writer

Updated 9:50 PM Wednesday, December 23, 2009

 

On the one-year anniversary of the final production day at General Motors Corp.’s last-operating local plant, Moraine leaders were confident that a developer will take over the site, perhaps early in 2010.

“It’s one of our primary focuses,” Dave Hicks, Moraine city manager, said Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Dec. 23, 2008 was the final working day at the SUV assembly plant between Kettering Boulevard and Springboro Pike. The closure immediately put about 1,000 employees out of work, but as recently as 2006, the plant employed about 4,000 people, assembling mid-size SUVs such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

Hicks expects the buildings and surrounding land to be sold, maybe as early as the first half of next year. Two possible developers have expressed interest.

One developer is Downey, Calif.-based IRG (Industrial Realty Group). IRG bought more than 50 acres of former Delphi Corp. property around Cincinnati Street off Interstate 75. The company also is known outside Dayton for redeveloping a former Ford assembly plant in Lorain, as well as the Goodyear headquarters complex in Akron.

Stuart Lichter, IRG principal, toured the former GM plant at Hicks’ invitation last June.

“We don’t believe manufacturing is at an end in the United States,” Lichter told the Dayton Daily News in July. “We’ve never believed that.”

Lichter could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Another developer is Covington Capital, which controls the former Cooper Tire building off Dryden Road. That company has performed $400,000 of improvements to the Cooper building, even before having an end user for the site, said Mike Davis, Moraine economic development director. Davis sees that as a sign that Covington is being aggressive about finding a new user.

“We have an interest in it,” Michael Skunda, Covington Capital managing director, acquisition, said of the former GM site. “It’s an asset that needs to be redeveloped from its current state. We’ve got a significant investment across the street from it (Cooper Tire). We’re looking at it.”

The site could be put to industrial or distribution uses, he said. “Probably a lot of things other than residential and retail.”

Davis said two companies have shown interest in 10 acres each of the old Harrison Radiator site on Dryden, which is comprised of about 70 to 80 acres total still owned by the company disposing of property GM discarded through bankruptcy this past summer.

Davis said the company disposing former GM assets — Motors Liquidation — may want to sell all former GM properties in Moraine to one buyer. But he cautioned that there are no guarantees at this point.

 

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