Wilmington, Del. (April 16, 2018) — Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc., a leading Delaware-based commercial real estate redevelopment firm , today announced it has submitted an exploratory plan for its redevelopment of the former General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del. into a thriving, state-of-the-art business, fulfillment and distribution campus.
The Brownfield Redevelopment plans, provided to the New Castle County Department of Land Use under its Redevelopment Ordinance, call for the demolition of the 3-million-square-foot former automobile manufacturing plant structure at 801 Boxwood Road. Under the plan, Harvey Hanna proposes the construction of a modern campus designed to attract and retain 21st century businesses and jobs, serving as a new economic engine for the region.
“As a Delaware-based firm with deep personal and professional roots in this area, Harvey Hanna knows first-hand the significance that the former General Motors plant property has to Wilmington and New Castle County,” said Thomas J. Hanna, President of Harvey Hanna & Associates. “These plans represent a critical first step in rebuilding this storied property into a modern distribution and business campus that can provide a critical source of jobs and serve as a new and lasting economic engine for the entire region.”
The concept plans call for the complete demolition of all dormant buildings on the 142-acre property, to be followed by the construction of 3 million square feet in new commercial space spread across four buildings with a lower overall footprint than the previous structure. If approved, the buildings would be constructed in multiple phases, with additional green space, improved storm water management and new landscaping buffers added to the new business and distribution campus. The plans are conceptual in nature, and must be reviewed and approved by New Castle County as well as other state regulatory agencies.
The redevelopment of the former General Motors plant – which at its peak employed more than 6,000 people – is the first step in a wider effort by Harvey Hanna to transform underutilized areas of New Castle County, specifically in and around the greater Newport area.
In addition, the firm is pursuing the development of 400,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial transit oriented development nearby the SEPTA rail station in downtown Newport, Del., where future employees at the Boxwood Road property can live, eat, shop and play. Harvey Hanna’s plans for the Newport development also include a Riverwalk trail for walking, biking and other recreation, as well as the re-opening of the Newport passenger rail station. This planned river walk is environed to interconnect with the New Castle County bicycle and pedestrian trail network that is currently under construction.
“When Harvey Hanna purchased this site last year, we always knew our immediate goal was to modernize the former plant property and provide new jobs to the hardworking residents of Delaware,” said Hanna. “However, the resulting economic impact of this transformation also holds the potential to transform the greater Newport area, and position this area for success for decades to come.”
The exploratory plan was created in conjunction with Newport, Del.-based Apex Engineering, a civil engineering firm with nearly 25 years of experience in New Castle County and the surrounding area. In partnership with Harvey Hanna, Apex will analyze and devise plans for the redevelopment, including the preparation of all preliminary and final site plans for review and approval by New Castle County. The firm will also coordinate with both the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DELDOT) to ensure that all applicable environmental and infrastructural standards are met during the redevelopment.
“Apex Engineering is thrilled to begin working on the regeneration of a property that was once one of the great economic drivers in this region,” said Steve Davies, President of Apex Engineering. “We take tremendous pride in this project and are honored to have the chance to play a role in its transformation into a state-of-the-art facility that can bring thousands of jobs back to New Castle County.”
Harvey Hanna acquired the Boxwood Road property in 2017 with the goal of redeveloping its more than 3 million square feet of industrial and office space. The longtime former home of a General Motors automotive plant, the property is strategically located along the I-95 corridor and is set in one of the country’s major population base, making it an ideal setting for distribution, fulfillment and logistics users and businesses. Offering easy access to major markets including Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C, the property is a springboard to multiple major U.S. highways, including I-95, I-295 and I-495.
The property is also equipped with full access to area rail lines, allowing distribution or fulfillment companies to both ship and receive goods from across 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.
About Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc.
Founded in 1998, Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc. is a Newport, Delaware-based real estate development company with a significant record of success related to the acquisition, redevelopment and repopulation of underutilized properties in the Mid-Atlantic region. Led by Thom Harvey and Thomas Hanna, the company has acquired and developed more than 5.2 million square feet of space, including 2.8 million square feet of industrial space.
Harvey Hanna has deep personal and professional roots in Newport and the surrounding Delaware community, and the company’s comprehensive understanding of both the Boxwood property’s history and the Newport community has helped shape its vision for a first-class commercial campus that will become a critical economic driver for the region.