NorthPoint Development

Developers Talk PPP Success, Jobs Creation in Redeveloping Former Auto Plant Sites

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Cooperation between public agencies and private development firms has manifested in redevelopment of – and reinvestment in – former automotive manufacturing sites across the St. Louis region.

This message came from a panel of experts who weighed in on past and present economic development successes in repurposing sites that once manufactured automobiles into vibrant business parks today.

The virtual panel spoke May 27 as part of FreightWeekSTL 2021, a week-long campaign held in partnership with the Inland Marine Expo. FreightWeekSTL 2021 provided industry leaders in development, real estate, logistics, freight, shipping and carrying with sessions and events spotlighting St. Louis’ global connectivity as a multimodal gateway for raw materials and finished goods.

Current evidence of such redevelopment success is Northpoint Development LLC’s 1.3 million-square-foot facility in Wentzville, formerly the General Motors automotive plant and now a GM suppliers’ location known as Wentzville Logistics Center. Mary Lamie, VP of Multimodal Enterprises for Bi-State Development and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, said the recent expansion of the former Wentzville plant has created more than 4,300 direct jobs and represents a $1.5 billion private investment – the largest private business investment in Missouri history. The facility is nearly 100 percent occupied.

Two other St. Louis-centric automotive plant redevelopments are further evidence of successful redevelopment and subsequent jobs creation, according to Doug Rasmussen, president and CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners.

One is the former Ford Motor Co. plant in Hazelwood. Panattoni Development Co. invested $250 million into the 160-acre site beginning in 2008 to repurpose it as Aviator Business Park, generating more than 1,500 permanent jobs.

The other is the former Chrysler plant in Fenton. US Capital Development bought the site in 2014, investing $300 million into it and redeveloping it as Fenton Logistics Park – creating 2,000 jobs in the process.

“The model for success for each of these locations focused on the bi-state region’s long history of supporting our manufacturing and logistics cluster,” Lamie said.

All three automotive site redevelopments included various public financial incentives in the mix.

“It’s incredible to think about what occurred at these locations and what’s there now,” said Rasmussen, who moderated the panel. “It’s a great story of rebirth resiliency, excellent locations, and the ingenuity and determination to get things done through valuable public-private partnerships.”

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NorthPoint Development Announces Plan for New Industrial Park in St. Louis Metropolitan Area

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FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailJLL retained as exclusive leasing agent

NorthPoint Development has announced plans for a new 600-acre, seven million-square-foot institutional quality industrial park in Pontoon Beach, Illinois. Gateway TradePort will begin taking shape this March when crews break ground on the park’s lead building, Gateway TradePort 1, a 540,000-square-foot building set to deliver in early Q4 of this year.

NorthPoint has retained commercial real estate firm JLL as the exclusive leasing agent and marketer for the project. David Branding, SIOR, managing director of JLL’s industrial real estate platform, has been named the project’s lead leasing agent. The company previously represented NorthPoint’s Hazelwood Logistics Center, which delivered its last of eight fully occupied buildings in July 2018.

Gateway TradePort is located at the intersection of I-270 and I-255 in one of St. Louis’ fastest growing submarkets; an area that has delivered more than 5 million square feet of new industrial warehouses since 2014. NorthPoint has delivered more than 3.7 million square feet of new industrial warehouses in St. Louis. This is the company’s fourth industrial development in this market since 2016, and its first development in St. Louis’ Metro East submarket. NorthPoint closed on the land purchase on January 31, 2019.

Johan Henriksen, vice president of development for NorthPoint Development, said, “We are excited to work with David and JLL on our proposed Gateway TradePort. This park will complement our offerings on the Missouri side using our formula for success: great location, continuous spec program with flexible building layouts, along with market leading tax abatement for bulk users in the Metro East submarket.”

Pontoon Mayor Mike Pagano said, “The Pontoon Beach Village Board and myself are very excited about the new development coming to Pontoon Beach. Gateway TradePort will bring many construction jobs and many regular jobs after completion. This new development will be very good for all our surrounding communities.”

A private real estate investment firm focused on outstanding risk adjusted returns through acquiring, developing, and operating industrial properties on a national platform. The firm was founded in 2012 and has developed more than 58 million square feet for tenants such as Chewy.com, Home Depot, Amazon, Walmart, GE, and General Motors. 

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. For further information, visit jll.com.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail