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Published: Thursday, 5/5/2011

New life sought for ex-parts plant in Fostoria


FOSTORIA -- Economic development officials here have begun marketing portions of the former ThyssenKrupp Atlas plant in hopes of transforming the 48-year-old building into an incubator for start-up technology and energy businesses.

The 316,000-square-foot facility has been vacant since the automotive supplier stopped making automotive crankshafts there in 2009. It was purchased last year by Industrial Asset Recycling Inc., a suburban Detroit firm that specializes in "repurposing" former manufacturing sites for other uses.

On April 20, the city of Fostoria and the company were awarded $297,000 in Clean Ohio state funds to help remediate any outstanding environmental issues on the 29-acre site. Joan Reinhard, executive director of the Fostoria Economic Development Corp., said much of the money will be used to remove the building's woodblock floor and replace it with a concrete floor that is more desirable to potential tenants.

"The remediation will probably take 12 to 18 months to complete," Ms. Reinhard said.

In a letter to supporters about the project, Ms. Reinhard said Mr. Bones and local development officials agreed that "it would be a grave injustice to scrap out and dismantle the building; from there we began the long process of brainstorming and have continued to work with the new owner on proposed end uses."

The air-conditioned facility is being marketed for $2.50 a square foot in sections as small as 40,000 square feet, according to the company Web site. Ms. Reinhard said about 100,000 square feet are "ready to occupy at this time."

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