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Old Posted Oct 9, 2017, 7:08 PM
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Buyer steps up for former Fisker plant in Wilmington

Harvey Hanna & Associates Inc. has put under agreement the former General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., and is coming up with plans to redevelop the 142-acre site.

The property at 801 Boxwood Road has been idle for the last eight years and had a series of owners, but it is hoped that under Harvey Hanna’s ownership, it will have a bright future.

The property has more than 3.2 million square feet of space that, beginning in 1946, was used for assembling automobiles by General Motors. It was shuttered in 2009 when General Motors filed for bankruptcy.

It was bought in 2010 by Fisker Automotive for $20 million and the car company had plans to assemble hybrid vehicles in the plant, but that never happened.

In 2013, Fisker filed for bankruptcy and the site along with Fisker's intellectual property was bought by Wanxiang America Inc., a Chinese automotive parts maker. Wanxiang America is the seller in the transaction with Harvey Hanna.

How much the property is trading for this time couldn’t be determined, though it received a lot of investor interest, according to sources familiar with the property. Delaware is well located along the I-95 corridor and has been a strong location for warehouse-distribution centers although it has been land constrained for those seeking to expand or develop those facilities in the business-friendly state.

The Boxwood Road property is just off of I-95 and has rail running adjacent to it – that attracted a lot of local, regional and national developers to take a look at it for distribution space. Some of the options that were considered included knocking down the entire plant and building anew to converting a portion of the facility into distribution space and reviving a segment for manufacturing.

Representatives from Harvey Hanna weren’t available for interviews. However, in a statement the company said it would reveal more information on its plans in the coming weeks as it formulates them. The deal is expected to close Oct. 25.

“This is an exciting time for our community and for our company,” said E. Thomas Harvey III, president of Harvey Hannah in a statement. “We are confident our vision for this site will create thousands of jobs during construction and thousands more well-paying permanent jobs.”

The real estate company has tackled large redevelopments before including the Twin Spans Business Park in New Castle, Del. That 135-acre property had 2 million square feet of former manufacturing space. Harvey Hanna turned it into a warehouse, distribution and office campus that is now fully leased with more than 1,000 people working from it.
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