Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Economy

Collins touts jobs as Overland Industrial Park project begins

In the battle to create jobs, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins is confident Toledo “will win this war.”

The cause for his optimism, at least Friday, was construction of a 100,000-square-foot, $5.5 million spec building at Overland Industrial Park, the site of the former Jeep factory off Central Avenue.

At a groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Collins and other officials — including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) — said the development would attract new economic opportunities in the spirit of its historic former occupant.

The project — part of a larger effort to reinvigorate the old factory site — marks a new approach to development in northwest Ohio, said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. He said from conception to funding to construction, the warehouse was a “collaborate effort” that brought together the private and public sectors.

No tenant, however, has agreed to occupy the building yet. Last month Lucas County commissioners considered the site as a potential location for a new county jail, but learned port authority restrictions limited the land to “manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and warehouse operations.”

Marketing a new facility for those purposes would take place on a national level, said Ed Harmon, managing partner of Overland Industrial Park I, LLC, which was created to partner with the port authority on the development.

Airgas Inc., a distributor of medical gases and welding equipment, is also constructing a 40,000-square-foot facility in the southwest corner of the 111-acre lot.

Fully developing the site is especially important because of its proximity to I-75 and I-475, Miss Kaptur said.

Formal construction on the spec warehouse, a class-A industrial space, will begin in the next several weeks and take about six months to complete.

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