National real estate developer buys large chunk of Boxwood plant site


Dermody to work with Harvey Hanna on redeveloping site as logistics center

A Nevada industrial developer will buy a large chunk of the former GM Boxwood plant site.

Dermody Properties, a privately-owned national real estate investment, development and management firm based in Reno announced it will work with Harvey, Hanna and Associates on the redevelopment of the site.

The deal between the two companies had long been rumored in commercial real estate circles, with Amazon viewed as a possible tenant. The News Journal pointed to Dermody’s development of a New Jersey site into an Amazon center.

Dermody Properties has acquired 88 acres of the 142-acre property on Boxwood Road for the project, which will be named Logistics Center at I-95 Wilmington. Harvey Hanna will retain ownership of the remaining 54 acres.

The longtime former home of a General Motors automotive plant, the 142-acre Boxwood Road property sat dormant since General Motors’ Bankruptcy in 2009. For a brief period, interior work was done in preparation for a Fisker hybrid auto assembly plant. When Fisker went belly up, the site ended up as part of the holdings of Chinese auto parts maker Waxiang.

Waxiang then sold the site to Harvey Hanna, which after determining that manufacturers would not come to the site moved forward with plans to raze the site for redevelopment as a logistics/distribution center complex.

“The property is strategically located along the Interstate-95 corridor and is set in one of the country’s most dense population bases, making it an ideal setting for distribution, fulfillment and logistics users and businesses,” a release stated.

Dermody’s oversight of work at LogistiCenterat I-95 Wilmington will be helmed by leadership based at its Morristown, N.J. office under Eugene Preston, East Region Partner.

“Harvey Hanna’s ultimate goal for the former GM plant property has always been about one thing – returning long-term, sustainable jobs to Wilmington and New Castle County,” said Thomas J. Hanna, president of Harvey Hanna & Associates. “By working with a respected, experienced and best-in-class national developer like Dermody Properties, we are ensuring that a truly first-class business and distribution campus will rise in its place. Most importantly, with this arrangement with Dermody Properties, we are dramatically accelerating the timeline at this site towards delivering jobs and creating a new economic engine for Delaware. New Castle County, Delaware is open for business.”

“After learning about Harvey Hanna’s plans for the former Boxwood plant property, Dermody Properties was immediately impressed by its nearly limitless potential,” said Preston. “Between its strategic location along the I-95 corridor, rich local labor pool, proximity to a coveted deepwater port in the Port of Wilmington, and history as a nucleus for Delaware’s economy, it represents an ideal asset for today’s booming e-commerce and logistics industries. We are excited to be working with Harvey Hanna to contribute meaningfully to this region’s vitality.”

The redevelopment program calls for the complete demolition of all dormant buildings on the former plant property, which is nearly complete. The campus will be constructed in phases, with additional green space, traffic and pedestrian improvements, improved storm water management and new landscaping buffers added to the new Class A business and distribution campus.

The proposed buildings are capable of being rail served, allowing distribution or fulfillment companies to both ship and receive goods throughout the region, and is just minutes from the growing Port of Wilmington, which handles more than 400 ship calls and 6.8 million tons of cargo each year.

The redevelopment of the former plant property represents the first phase of a much wider transit-oriented redevelopment effort by Harvey Hanna to transform underutilized areas of New Castle County, specifically in and around the greater Newport/Stanton area.

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