US Capital Development

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


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.”

Another 150 Jobs Coming to Fenton Logistics Park As US Capital Development Adds Two More Tenants


US CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT (USCD) – formerly operating under the name KP Development – today announced that Fenton Logistics Park (FLP) is preparing to add another 150 jobs at the site of the former Chrysler Plant as two more tenants have signed leases to move into the park in Q1 2019. Skin Specialty Solutions, Inc., and Nexius Solutions, Inc. signed leases totaling just under 100,000 square feet in two separate buildings in the growing industrial park. USCD wholly owns FLP and has already delivered more than $100 million in development at the site.

Skin Specialty Solutions, Inc., leased the remaining 48,080 square feet in Fenton Logistics Park I, the first speculative building in the park which has 159,950 square feet that is now 100% leased. The company is expected to move into their new space in February of 2019 and will be creating 100 new jobs. Skin Specialty Solutions, Inc., is an online, customized skincare company that created a secure, proprietary web-based technology that allows for personalized attention online.

Nexius Solutions, Inc. has inked a deal for 51,772 square feet in Fenton Logistics Park III, bringing the 169,543 square foot speculative building to 77% leased. They are scheduled to occupy their new space in February of 2019 and will be creating an estimated 50 new jobs. Nexius provides end-to-end deployment services and solutions on the latest technologies. Their services include designing, optimizing, deploying and delivering state of the art networks.

“With every tenant signed, we see increased interest in Fenton Logistics Park from others who are seeking the flexibility that new construction offers, yet desire an exceptional location that also delivers an available work force,” said Scott Sachtleben, managing principal of USCD. “Those are the same advantages that drew these two newest tenants and those that signed up over the past year, and we look forward to welcoming may more as we continue to build out the park.”

The comprehensive redevelopment of the former Chrysler Plant reflects a transformation of a brownfield site advancing toward a state-of-the-art industrial and commercial development where tenants continue to quickly occupy the new buildings. The newest tenants will join BASF, BJC, Hubbell and others, which collectively are bringing new life to the site. Upon completion, the overall project investment will achieve 2.5 million square feet of development with a value in excess of $250 million.

Jon Hinds and Katie Haywood of CBRE represented USCD in the transactions. Skin Specialty Solutions, Inc., was represented by Hal Ball at Hilliker Corporation. Nexius Solutions, Inc were represented by Jeff Hawley and Brandon Duncan at Block Hawley.

US Capital Development, formerly known as KP Development, is a real estate development company based in St. Louis with a second office in Indianapolis and has origins dating back to 1994. The firm’s efforts are now aligned under three distinct business platforms: industrial speculative development, commercial build-to-suit projects and a senior housing division operating under the brand “Oakleigh Development.”