Former Boxwood Road GM facility to be redeveloped
WILMINGTON — Wanxiang America Corporation and Karma Automotive announced plans today to take initial steps to redevelop the Boxwood Road facility. CBRE Group, Inc. has been engaged to market the site for sale.
“We believe the location of the Boxwood Road facility is outstanding and anticipate an array of interest in the site,” said Larry Krueger, managing director of Wanxiang Real Estate. “From the moment that we acquired Karma Automotive (formerly Fisker Karma) and assumed ownership of the Boxwood Road site, we have committed to state leaders that we would work to maximize jobs and economic activity there. We have now received sufficient feedback from the market to know that the first step should be to take down the existing buildings while we market the property to a range of interested parties.”
The site contains several features that make it attractive, according to officials. It is located in the center of the mid-Atlantic corridor, has an industrial rail line on site, and is just minutes away from I-95. This locational advantage means that any future occupant would have easy and quick access by multiple forms of transit to most major cities on the east coast, including New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Boston. Access to the nearby Port of Wilmington as well as the New Castle and Philadelphia airports means that international markets can be reached easily as well.
Dennis Dougherty, president of Karma Automotive, also noted that the high quality workforce and schools in Delaware are among some of the factors that make the site an attractive option for new users as well. With its proximity to several world class universities, Delaware possesses a highly educated employee base with a diverse set of marketable skills.
“We are optimistic about the likelihood of a successful redevelopment,” Dougherty said. “We are open to a wide range of uses, from industrial, to an association with the Port of Wilmington, and potentially automobile manufacturing as well.”
“I will never forget walking into the Boxwood Road facility just hours after the workers there got the news from GM that the plant would close down,” said Governor Jack Markell. “I look forward to this redevelopment project, and hope it will ensure a brighter future for the site.”
“As someone who worked for years to keep our GM plant open, and for Delawareans who once worked there, seeing the former plant property remain vacant has been disheartening,” said Senator Tom Carper. “But in adversity lies opportunity, and just like the redevelopment of the former Chrysler site in Newark into the thriving STAR campus and the redevelopment of the former Evraz Steel site in Claymont to an area that will employ as many as 3,000, I am confident that this property will also come to life again. With its proximity to I-95 and I-495, a thriving Port, CSX Railroad, and a first-class workforce, this site has great potential to attract vibrant businesses and bring back good-paying jobs to Boxwood Road. Our challenge is to seize this opportunity, and we will.”