Groundbreaking held for new spec building at former Jeep siteWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceremonial ground was broken June 13 at Overland Industrial Park, site of the former Jeep plant, for a new 100,000-square-foot spec building that is expected to create around 50 jobs.
“This land speaks to a rich history,” said Nadeem Salem, board chairman of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “A groundbreaking today marks the beginning of new life. We were fortunate as a board to have listened, and break ground on a 100,000-square-foot building on this iconic site.”
The building’s description is short for “speculative,” which means it does not yet have a tenant. However, based on demands in the market, plus the eventual improvement of an I-75 interchange, its developers remain optimistic.
“We hear from companies all the time,” said Paul Toth, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority president and CEO.
Airgas Inc., the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, already announced last spring it will construct a facility at Overland, bringing an additional 25 jobs to the area.
Mayor D. Michael Collins praised the location, calling it “hallowed ground,” and that the groundbreaking offers more proof that Toledo is “a city on the incline.”
“We will win this war (on jobs), and we will put Toledo on the map,” said Collins.
The spec building is a collaboration of several public and private groups, including the Port Authority, Overland Industrial Park I LLC, City of Toledo and Lucas County.
“I really look at this much more than a groundbreaking,” Toth said. “It represents many organizations coming together for a common goal.”
The Port Authority purchased the 111-acre former Jeep site in 2010 for $95,000 with the intent to create a master plan and develop the site over several years. The idea is steadily coming to fruition. Just last fall, the Port Authority completed a new main entrance roadway located off Central Avenue.
Toth expects the entire site to generate 500-700 jobs when the industrial park vision is finally complete.
Not only does the property sit along the Norfolk Southern rail line and is just miles from the turnpike, Jeep Assembly Plant and Port of Toledo, it is situated at the busy I-75/475 split, which sees 125,000 motorists everyday.
“We’re standing in a place which is the most traveled nexus in Northwest Ohio. This is the place. It will draw people,” said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Construction of the spec building is expected to begin this month and is estimated to take six months to complete.