Study indicates redeveloped GM plant site would create 2,100 jobs

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Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc., Newport, released a report indicating the redevelopment of the former GM plant site would have a big impact on the area’s economy.

The report, prepared by Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions, found that upon completion, Harvey Hanna’s exploratory plan for the property would produce more than $281 million in annual impact. The development would create 2,100 permanent jobs in logistics, distribution, engineering, and transportation in an array of support industries and services. The project would also create another 160 jobs annually over an estimated nine-year construction period.

“Since purchasing the former GM plant in 2017, Harvey Hanna’s plans for the property have been focused on a singular mission to create thousands of lasting, 21stcentury jobs for the residents of Wilmington, New Castle County and greater Delaware,” said Thomas J. Hanna, president of Harvey Hanna & Associates.“This study affirms our belief that creating a modern distribution and business campus can help restore this property’s long history as a vital source of employment and a nucleus for the local economy.”

According to the study, construction of the new business and distribution campus would generate a total of $6.8 million in taxes for the state of Delaware. Once construction has been completed, the site would also generate more than $7.6 million in annual revenue through personal and business taxes, as well as $2.4 million in new property taxes annually for the Red Clay School District and New Castle County.

In addition, the study found Harvey Hanna’s transformation of the former plant will also have a positive impact on property values in its immediate vicinity. It was estimated the median home price would rise 14 percent from $215,000 to $245,000 or higher, minus the effects of inflation.

“We must win the future,” stated New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “This is further proof that Harvey Hanna’s redevelopment vision could create thousands of jobs and transform our largest shuttered factory into an economic engine for generations to come.”

Filed with the New Castle County Department of Land Use in April, Harvey Hanna’s Brownfield Redevelopment concept plans call for the complete demolition of all dormant buildings on the 142-acre property, to be followed by the construction of 3 million square feet in new commercial space spread across four buildings with a lower overall size than the previous structure.

If approved, the buildings would be constructed in multiple phases, with additional green space, stormwater management and new landscaping buffers added to the new business and distribution campus. The plans require review and approval by New Castle County as well as other state regulatory agencies.

“The transformation of the former GM plant from a vacant brownfield to a thriving center of jobs and commerce holds the potential to create economic impact far beyond the property itself,” said Hanna. “By generating new jobs, raising property values and creating additional tax revenue, we hope to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Newport and other communities across the region.”

The economic data does not reflect other redevelopment efforts planned by Harvey Hanna in New Castle County, specifically in and around the greater Newport area.

The firm is currently pursuing $150 million in transit-oriented development of 400,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial transit-oriented development around the SEPTA rail station in downtown Newport, where future employees at the Boxwood Road property could live, eat, shop and play.

Harvey Hanna’s plans for the Newport development also include an environmental center advocated by town officials, as well as a Riverwalk trail that will connect with the New Castle County bicycle and pedestrian trail network currently under construction.

Harvey Hanna acquired the Boxwood Road property in 2017.

The longtime former home of the Boxwood General Motors plant, is located along the I-95 corridor. The site offers access to major markets including Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

The property is also equipped with full access to area rail lines and is near thePort of Wilmington, which handles more than 400 ship calls and 6.8 million tons of cargo each year.

Founded in 1998, Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc. is a Newport, Delaware-based real estate development company.

The company has acquired and developed more than 5.2 million square feet of space, including 2.8 million square feet of industrial space.

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