Last of Former GM Plant in Moraine to be Developed with Support from Public, Private Partnership
By Eric Schwartzberg
Updated March 23, 2023
Click Here for the Article at the Dayton Daily News
The 392,800-square-foot former General Motors paint shop in Moraine will be redeveloped into a state-of-the art manufacturing facility that is unique for southern Ohio, owners of the property said Thursday.
The redevelopment of the building at what is now called Progress Park is a joint venture between Industrial Commercial Properties and Industrial Realty Group. The two companies are receiving a JobsOhio grant to help pay for the development.
The former GM paint shop south of Stroop Road is the last remaining building in 386-acre Progress Park with available space. When completed, the site will be include several factory ready amenities including it being a heavy crane-capable structure with a 42-foot clear height, significant utility infrastructure and rail potential.
Dean Miller, senior vice president of leasing and acquisitions at ICP, said the project will fill a void of speculative investment in Ohio that is focused on manufacturing.
He said the site is “a nice fit” for Dayton Development Coalition and JobsOhio in their efforts to support new manufacturing jobs.
Acquired by ICP/IRG in 2011, Progress Park has helped revitalize the central industrial corridor of the city of Moraine. Progress Park is home to nine businesses including manufacturer Fuyao Glass America. It has attracted projects that have created more than 2,700 jobs with a more than $120 million payroll.
That success reveals that the demand for a redeveloped heavy industrial building is strong, Miller said.
“We foresee additional manufacturing demand based on some new and emerging trends like reshoring,” he said. “Because of some of the supply chain disruption that went on during COVID, and because of some of the recognition of some of the vulnerabilities that companies and supply chains have related to global sourcing and globalization, we see companies starting to rethink whether they want to have their manufacturing offshore outside the United States.
“So, we think that may lead to a little bit more of a resurgence in the demand for manufacturing space.”
Rehabilitation efforts for the former GM Assembly plant are ongoing. Nearly complete is the demolition of the site including removing the entire second floor of the building, Miller said.
Once that wraps up, efforts will shift toward “putting things back together,” including new paint, lights, heat, docks and improvements to the building’s exterior, he said.
“We think it’s probably into the third quarter when we’re done with that, at this point,” he said. “(It’s) a little easier to project (that) now that the demolition’s done.”
The Progress Park speculative redevelopment project was made possible due to a partnership between the city of Moraine, JobsOhio and the Dayton Development Coalition.
Moraine City Manager Michael Davis said the city appreciates the collaborative effort with JobsOhio, DDC and ICP/IRG on the grant award effort to turn one of the last remaining structures at the former GM site into a productive building, one that is able to accommodate large manufacturing prospects requiring substantial utility power and expansive ceiling heights.
“We believe the pro-active approach by ICP/IRG to prepare the building to meet current industrial demand speaks volumes to the attractiveness of the site and the strong market,” Davis said. “We also continue to work aggressively on the remaining vacant properties along Springboro Pike and Dryden road which have seen significant investment and jobs over the last few years.”
JobsOhio said it approved an $820,000 Ohio Site Inventory Program (OSIP) grant in support of the redevelopment project.
OSIP was launched in 2020 to invest in site preparation and redevelop legacy real estate and property to accelerate businesses’ ability to create new jobs in Ohio, according to JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. It offers grants and low-interest loans to support speculative site and building development projects with no identified end user.
“Redeveloping the former GM paint building will create additional, highly attractive manufacturing capacity while continuing the revitalization of Progress Park,” Nauseef said in the release.