Demolition is getting underway this week at the former Boxwood GM plant as the auto and truck giant announces plant closings after several years of stability.
Ryan Kennedy of Harvey, Hanna & Associates, Newark, owner of the plant site, said early work is now underway as contractors make preparations to move in large pieces of equipment.
The work will become more visible on Wednesday when crews begin to tear away at the paint building on Centerville Road, Kennedy said.
Following demolition, the site will house a few large buildings that can be used for distribution and even light assembly work.
While Amazon is largely associated with the trend, many companies are focusing on their “supply chains” in meeting the needs of retail and wholesale customers.
The plant site has rail access, although its biggest advantage is a location near Interstate 95. GM stopped assembling cars at the site in 2009 as the company went into bankruptcy proceedings.
A failed effort then took place to assemble a gas-electric hybrid from Danish car designer Henrik Fisker.
Building out the site is expected to take several years.
The Boxwood site is expected to be part of the redevelopment of Newport into a walkable community and possible commuter train stop. The former plant site is next to the historic community.
Harvey, Hanna spent a year or so looking into uses for the existing plant site, but found no takers.
Meanwhile, the auto industry continues to shrink, with GM Monday announces plans to close plants including a powertrain plant in the White Marsh area near Baltimore. The plant was built in the wake of the closing an assembly plant in Baltimore.
The Big 3 automakers are making thousands of dollars a piece from trucks and sport utility vehicles, but have found profits to be elusive from entry-level vehicles like Chevrolet Cruze, one of the vehicles to be axed in the GM restructuring.
Ford earlier announced plans to phase out car lines and Fiat- Chrysler did the same even earlier by focusing on its Jeep and Ram pickup truck lines.
Automobile manufacturing no longer takes place in the Northeast, which is away from the supply chain of suppliers. Suppliers have moved to the south as overseas companies like BMW, Nissan and Toyota open plants in nonunion areas of Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina.