NorthPoint Development, a growing player in local industrial real estate and development, wants to attract new manufacturing opportunities to the 80-acre site of the old General Motors Fairfax plant that was demolished in 1987.
The firm has an agreement with a federal agency and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County to acquire the property near the current General Motors Fairfax plant. Should the environmental and engineering review prove satisfactory, that transaction will close by summer and construction could begin this fall.
The redevelopment plan calls for up to 1 million square-feet of industrial space to be built in four or five projects valued at about $40 million. When fully built-out over six- to 10 years, what’s being called the Central Industrial Park is projected to create about 2,000 jobs.
“To see a brownfield site get redeveloped into a premier manufacturing and industrial park, and create an opportunity for new industry that hasn’t existed for 30 years is thrilling to be part of,” said Chad Meyer, NorthPoint chief operating officer.
The property is where the original North American Aviation plant opened in 1941 to manufacture B-25 bombers. After the war, GM used it as an auto plant until it was closed in 1986 after the auto maker opened its new Fairfax facility.
When GM declared bankruptcy during the recent recession, its surplus property was taken over by a federal agency called RACER or Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust. It was RACER that reached the deal with NorthPoint and the Unified Government for the transfer.
“NorthPoint’s planned Central Industrial Park represents a strong commitment to the community, with more than $40 million in capital investment and projections for 2,000 new jobs,” Elliott P. Laws, a RACER trustee said.
George Brajkovic, economic development manager for the Unified Government, said the new NorthPoint redevelopment effort is the second to be announced for the Fairfax area. Last fall, the UG reached an agreement with the Industrial Realty Group to manage and redevelop what’s called the “public levee” property.
“We think both of these will lead to further redevelopment around Fairfax,” he said.
Meyer said NorthPoint plans to spend $3 million upfront on redeveloping the site, building a rail spur into the property from the nearby Union Pacific tracks and improving other infrastructure in the area. Improvements to Kindleberger Road and Fairfax Trafficway also are planned, Brajkovic said.
NorthPoint is developing the Horizons Industrial Park in Riverside and recently took over as lead developer at the new BNSF Intermodal facility scheduled to open this fall in Edgerton.
ARTICLE BY: KANSAS CITY STAR – BY KEVIN COLLISON
Date: Friday, April 5, 2013