Port Authority to focus on transportation, logisticsWritten by Paul Toth | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of leaders from our region recently shared our vision for the Toledo-Regional Economic Plan — a cohesive effort that began with the Meta-Plan and continues to grow under a collective unity of purpose.
The plan is based on the main points of the Ohio Department of Development’s strategic plan. The outcome of the plan is to bring greater clarification to the overall economic development service system and provide the forum for gathering resources and creating action plans around our clusters of development.
Through several studies conducted by the state and local agencies, we have identified five cluster areas of strength for Northwest Ohio:
1. Advanced and alternative energy
2. Advanced manufacturing and materials
4. Transportation and logistics
5. Architecture, engineering and construction Services
Our focus at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will mainly be on the transportation and logistics cluster. It is clear that this region is a robust international transportation, distribution and logistics hub, and that there is a convergence of mature air, rail, maritime and highway transportation assets here. Some of the future developments you will hear about over the coming months include:
In May, the port authority acquired the former Chevron Property (now renamed Ironville Docks) on Front Street. The additional 181 acres makes the Port of Toledo the largest land mass seaport on the Great Lakes. Midwest Terminals of Toledo is developing Ironville Docks for manufacturing and heavy industry. The additional property allows Midwest to grow its current Seaport Operations and expand into new industries — creating jobs in our region.
In November, the state of Ohio announced that Lucas County would be the recipient of a $5 million Job-Ready Sites program grant for this property — a first for Lucas County. The grant facilitates the much-needed infrastructure improvements and transformed the project’s timeline from 10 years to three.
Toledo Express Airport
Toledo Express has a $640 million economic impact on the region, and we will work closely with our cargo partners to expand our offerings to facilitate growth.
A port authority investment of $1.8 million in roadway, water, sewer and utility infrastructure brought 750 acres of development-ready property to life near Toledo Express, and a new roadway improves access to the area. A newly constructed 80,000-square-foot warehouse — housed in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) — has become home to two tenants, and construction plans for a second warehouse in the FTZ are under way.
Utilization of our resources
CSX has demonstrated its recognition of the region’s transportation advantages and strategic geography with its decision to develop a major transportation and logistics facility in North Baltimore. To capitalize on this development, we are focusing on the creation of an inland distribution hub in various locations around our region. The hub will allow inbound goods to be quickly off-loaded and moved to distribution centers for subsequent handling and redistribution within the country.
Our region is the perfect destination for moving products into and out of the American Midwest and Canada. In fact, 43 percent of United States and 47 percent of Canadian markets are within a 500-mile radius of our region. This close proximity coupled with the development in North Baltimore uniquely positions our region to capitalize on transportation and logistics needs nationwide.
As we begin 2009, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is committed to working hard for our community and closely with our constituents to drive development and job creation in our region through our transportation and logistics assets. We are proud to serve this area and will continue to do all that we can to ensure a viable future.
Paul Toth is interim president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.