If you have driven past 801 Boxwood Road in Wilmington, Delaware lately – neighbors and commuters alike will notice something they haven’t witnessed since 2009.
Daily activity is now routine at the once thriving former General Motors automobile assembly plant on Boxwood Road. On October 25, 2017, Harvey, Hanna & Associates, Inc. (HHA) of Newport announced the completed acquisition of the 142 acre site by their affiliate Boxwood Industrial Park, LLC. The property includes in excess of 3 million square feet of former automobile manufacturing space.
For the neighboring communities, New Castle County, and the State of Delaware, the acquisition has created a proud sense of hope and positive outlook for the future at a site that once provided over 5,000 jobs.
The new owner, Boxwood Road Industrial Park, LLC, is now formulating the best redevelopment options for the site, given its Heavy Industrial zoning, the improving regional economy, and the needs of the marketplace.
Significant progress has been made since the acquisition on formulating the best and highest use for this unique property. HHA is working with land use planners and engineers, energy and environmental consultants, governmental officials and economists, among other experts. Specifically, HHA is evaluating two major options for redeveloping the site:
- Rehabilitating some or all of the existing buildings and infrastructure on the site for a potential new manufacturing, distribution, or industrial use; or
- Demolishing some or all of the existing buildings to allow construction of a new 21st Century logistics and fulfillment-related campus.
HHA’s property management team has worked relentlessly since taking ownership of the property. These improvements have made an immediate impact on the overall curb appeal. Recent activities include:
- Removal of weeds and debris in the parking lot
- Installation of a new security fence
- Landscaping of the property including removal of weeds, shrubs and overgrown vegetation from around the front office building.
“We are excited to bring our vision to realty over the next few years at Boxwood Road,” said E. Thomas Harvey, III, Chairman and CEO, HHA. “We are confident our vision for this site will create thousands of jobs during constructing and thousands more well-paying permanent jobs.”
From its successful redevelopment of Twin Spans Business Park in New Castle, Delaware, HHA brings a wealth of experience with projects of this nature. Similar in scale to the Boxwood Road facility, Twin Spans Business Park is a 135 acre and 2 million square feet Class A commercial warehouse, distribution and office campus. Formerly an obsolete manufacturing facility operated by Chicago Bridge & Iron, the Twin Spans campus is today 100% leased and employs over 1,000 people.
“We are proud to be in a position to help attract quality companies and jobs to Delaware,” said Thomas J. Hanna, President, HHA. “This is a rare availability of centrally located industrial property within our region and offers compelling value to a wide array of prospective tenants. We feel it’s well positioned in the I-95 Corridor to capitalize off the soaring logistics industry.”
“The chief initiative of the New Castle County Department of Economic Development is to support small business. Job creation and increasing the quality of life for the residents of the county are our top priorities,” said Tamarra Morris, Economic Development Director – New Castle County Office of Economic Development. “The new development of the former GM Plant at Boxwood Road marks a tremendous opportunity to support economic development through job creation. New Castle County and Harvey Hanna & Associates have forged a partnership to collaborate on this project and other initiatives throughout the county that support our top priorities. The Harvey Hanna story is one that exemplifies why Delaware is a great place to be somebody.”
Greg Buckley, neighbor and owner of nearby Buckley’s Auto Care is excited about the possibilities at the site. “As someone who not only lives blocks from the site, but who also owns and operates small business in the community, you get excited because you know what a boon to the area a project like this would be,” said Buckley. “It’s a great location, multi-modal infrastructure, surrounded by great schools and a community that is 100% behind it. I personally can’t wait to see it all unfold.”
For Thom Harvey and Thomas Hanna, this site has long been on the company’s radar featuring deep roots and personal ties. Mr. Hanna’s father worked at the property as a Plant Engineer when General Motors assembled Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Buicks. Mr. Harvey lived adjacent to the plant and he, his father and Hanna all worked together in the waste industry managing the commercial hauling from the massive auto plant, and other plants similar to the Boxwood Road plant, for over 25 years.
Redevelopment plans will be announced in the future as HHA continues to formulate its decisions for the site. Simultaneously, HHA is planning future public meetings and local events to establish a communications platform directly with the community to keep all stakeholders informed of major milestones associated with the site redevelopment.
Frequent updates and project announcements will be available at www.harveyhanna.com and on the company’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and YouTube.