14C — May 25 - June 7, 2018 — Industrial / Distribution Centers — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


I ndustrial R eal E state & D istribution C enters Thomas J. (T.J.) Hanna, Harvey Hanna & Associates Former General Motors plant in Wilmington, DE to serve as model for Smart Redevelopment F or more than 200 years, manufacturing has been core to the Amer-

manufacturing – a massive drop from the 22% share the sector held in 1970. In Harvey Hanna & Associates’ home of Delaware, a former General Motors plant in Wilmington which once employed some 6,000 people has sat dormant since 2009. While federal efforts are underway to restore manu- facturing jobs, the reality is that the industry has been in decline due to shifting eco- nomic winds that are unlikely to reverse anytime soon. While those jobs remain of great interest in our econom- ic discourse and in factory

towns across the country, one thing that is largely missing from the conversation is the condition and future of the many facilities where smoke- stacks and conveyors belts sit collecting dust. The good news, however, is that many of these properties are brimming with redevelop- ment potential for the 21st Century economy. Last year, our company, Harvey, Hanna & Associates, Inc., a commer- cial redevelopment firm, pur- chased the former General Motors plant in Wilmington – just a few miles drive from our headquarters in New-

port, Delaware – with the intention of transforming the site into a thriving business and distribution campus. We recently filed concept plans that call for the demolition of 3 million s/f of businesses across its 142 acres, in fa- vor of new, modern build- ings with a smaller overall footprint, enhanced green space, improved storm water management and new land- scaping buffers. By updating the property, our plan is to create a new facility designed specifically to capitalize on the rise of e-commerce and the steadily rising demand

for distribution facilities, lo- gistics centers and other uses suited for industrial space. Most importantly, we believe the redevelopment holds the potential to create thousands of jobs for an area that is still grappling with the loss of one of its largest employers nearly a decade ago. We are hopeful that our plan in Wilmington can help serve as a model for the smart redevelopment of un- derutilized former factory sites and other industrial properties throughout the country. Many of the ele- ments that made industrial properties like the former GM plant in Wilmington an ideal place for manufacturing will also help those properties succeed in the 21st Century. Proximity to dense popula- tion and highways –and in our case, the growing Port of Wilmington, the south- ernmost deep water Port as one would enter the Dela- ware River from the Atlantic Ocean—all are huge pluses for e-commerce companies, as well as burgeoning food and pharma delivery services. These kinds of properties in the Mid-Atlantic are at a particular advantage, as In- terstate 95 – particularly its stretch in the most densely populated area of the country between Washington, D.C. and Boston - already repre- sents one of the most sought- after corridors in the U.S. for fulfillment and distribution companies. Manufacturing is core to the American identity – the jobs it creates and the fami- lies it supports has always been elemental to the prog- ress of our nation and its place in the global economy. As this changes, so too must the face of our manufacturing communities and the places in which they work. Doing so will help communities here and across the U.S. to compete and enjoy continued economic success and en- hanced quality of life in the 21st Century. Thomas J. (T.J.) Han- na is the president of Delaware-based Harvey Hanna & Associates, a commercial real estate re- development firm that has acquired and developed more than 5.2 million s/f of space in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

i can i den- tity. As the home of the automobile, a i r p l a n e and count- l e s s o the r inventions, factories and other manu-

Thomas Hanna

facturing facilities have long supported countless fami- lies and entire communities across the country. Today, however, just 8% of U.S. workers are employed in

Commercial • Multifamily • Retail • Industrial 267–314–8635 www.rhappraisals.com PA-NJ-DE

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