Construction about to begin at old Jeep plant site - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Construction to begin at old Jeep plant site

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They're about to go vertical at the old Jeep site. It's been vacant for years, but we are now just months away from seeing new building activity there. The  Port Authority bought the old site from Chrysler and they expect to start construction late Spring or early Summer.

When it was up and running, the former Jeep plant was the oldest continually operating manufacturing plant in America, and after years of sitting empty the land is about to be re-born.

It may look quiet at the old Jeep plant site but there has been a lot happening. Matt Sapara is the Chief Operating Officer at the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority. He says most of the work has been out of site in recent months, like foundation removal and grating, but in the coming weeks it will be easy to spot. Work on the sewer and water lines as well as roads will get underway by Spring, "We could be putting up the first building this Summer and it could be occupied by this Fall. That quickly? Absolutely!"

The building does not have any tenants yet, but ort leaders are casting a wide net looking for company's to come on board, "We want to be as attractive as we can to a diverse group. The businesses that will probably be interested in the site will be logistics, light manufacturing, auto suppliers. The site is very flexible in terms of who it can appeal to."

Sapara says a second building could be going up for a company now in negotiations with the Port Authority, "We've been working with them for several months they're excited about the site we are working out the details now."

Eventually there could be up to 9 buildings on the site totaling about 1 million square feet of space and the new buildings may one day create about 1 thousand news jobs at the site. One of the biggest selling features for this vacant land is that about 125 thousand vehicles drive by it every day, "One of the shortcomings we think here in Northwest Ohio is that we don't have a lot of shovel ready sites to cater to this kind of development. That is why the Port Authority gets involved in this kind of development. This site is a crown jewel for the port and the entire community."

Sapara says this new development at the old site is going to create a ripple effect throughout the surrounding community. He says there are agencies already working to re-develop some of the homes in the neighborhood.

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