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Industrial projects get site readiness funds

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Ion Power Delaware City Harvey Hanna & Associates Site Readiness Grant program

Harvey Hanna & Associates have plans to redevelop the Ion Power site near Delaware City into a new industrial park. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Several large industrial projects around the state have received $1 million state Site Readiness Fund grants in recent weeks, laying the foundation for economic development engines of the future.

On Monday, the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance, signed off on two of those grants, while it approved another in October. Each of the grants are considered Level II grants, or those that fund actual site work rather than planning or design.

Since the $20 million fund’s launch in January, the state has granted nearly $12.7 million to projects around the state.

Logistics Propperty Company of Chicago will now develop the First State Logistics Park in Glasgow. | PHOTO COURTESY OF D2 ORGANIZATION

On Monday, the largest project approved was First State Logistics Parks, which will be a three-building industrial park off Old Coochs Bridge Road in Glasgow. The $140 million project has already attracted DuPont as a tenant, which will lease a 395,000-square-foot building under construction at the site for an expansion of its semiconductor-related manufacturing line.

The grant would fund site work and utility extension and connection for the non-leased portions of the business park that will target manufacturing, light industrial or warehousing.

Mark Glagola, head of Northeast development for Logistics Property Company, said the Chicago-based developer chose their first site in Delaware due to geography near Interstate 95, but also a stronger talent pool than they were seeing elsewhere.

“We loved what we saw labor pool as opposed to some of those alternatives [like Baltimore, Philadelphia or southern New Jersey], which didn’t have people or were tapped out,” he said.

Harvey Hanna & Associates is planning to redevelop this site near the Delaware City Refinery. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CDF

The second project approved for support by the CDF is a new industrial park to be developed by Harvey Hanna & Associates near Delaware City. The 18.5-acre site at 720-50 Governor Lea Road, just north of the Delaware City Refinery, is proposed to be redeveloped into 240,000 square feet of light industrial manufacturing.

The $37 million redevelopment of the former Ion Power site would be yet another brownfield project for HHA, which has specialized in reclamation of such sites in the past including the Boxwood auto plant that is now the massive Amazon facility and the former Chicago Bridge and Iron site in New Castle that is now the Twin Spans Business Park.

Company leaders told the CDF that they don’t have a tenant in mind yet, but were hopeful to find a light manufacturing use, as those tenants typically stay at a given location longer than a distribution or logistics client. They have yet to go through the county’s planning process for the project, however, which means they are at least a year away from breaking ground.

Finally, in October the CDF signed off on supporting the Milford Corporate Center, a 182-acre business park under development by the city with the assistance of developer NAI Emory Hill and management firm Tsionas Management. A $1 million grant will help with site work and preparation for development.

The nearly $21 million project will create 27 lots measuring between 4 acres and 12 acres, varying in potential use from light manufacturing to offices. The project has reportedly already drawn interested from some local businesses as well as some new prospects.

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