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Logistics hub set to blossom on former mall site

Posted By: The Toledo Blade on September 9, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


The site of the former North Towne Square in Toledo will have new life as a distribution and manufacturing hub.

NorthPoint Development is planning three giant logistic and manufacturing warehouses on the 58-acre site near I-75 and U.S. 24 that once was the home of the popular shopping mall and movie complex.

The mall fell on hard times and closed in the early 2000s before being torn down in 2013 and 2014.

NorthPoint, a national commercial developer based in Kansas City, expects to have the first of the three warehouses open by June, 2023. Total investment is pegged at $84.6 million. The new complex is dubbed the Toledo Trade Center.

Representatives from NorthPoint held a ceremonial groundbreaking of the project Thursday. They were joined by Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and various state and local dignitaries.

NorthPoint Chief Marketing Officer Brent Miles said businesses that lease the buildings are expected to create at least 339 permanent jobs and 564 total jobs, including construction.

NorthPoint plans to start the other two warehouses later this year and finish them by the end of 2023.

Mr. Miles said he anticipates between six and nine tenants between the three warehouses with up to 50 percent being auto-related suppliers wanting to be close to Jeep in Toledo and auto plants in Michigan and Ohio.

The buildings could house warehousing, logistics, parts sequencing and assembly and light manufacturing.

North Towne Square opened in 1981 and was remembered by Toledo City Council member Theresa Morris as a big attraction to District 6, which she now represents.

Now the site is being repurposed for industry, serving, like the district, as a gateway into Toledo and Northwest Ohio.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said as a 7-year-old he met his football idol at the mall, star running back Billy Sims of the Detroit Lions.

And as it stood abandoned for years, the mayor said it represented to him a sort of metaphor for the disinvestment that had plagued Toledo.

The site’s rebirth, likewise, is metaphoric of Toledo’s recent success in redeveloping old brownfield sites and luring such companies as Amazon to the area, Mr. Kapszukiewicz said.

“This is an important day for what this project symbolizes,” he said.

The warehouses, which Mr. Miles said resemble giant sticks of butter, will span about 285,000 square feet each and be built on speculation for tenants who have yet to be identified.

Most warehouse and logistic centers around Toledo to date have been built to suit for a specific tenant.

The nearly $85 million total price tag will be financed, in part, with $55 million in lease revenue bonds from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

Authority CEO Thomas Winston said at the groundbreaking that the authority will own the property under the financing agreement and pay the interest and principal on the bonds through a lease with NorthPoint.

He said the public portion of the partnership is what’s needed “to make the economics work.”

The rest of the cost will be financed with private capital that NorthPoint can tap.

During brief remarks, NorthPoint Regional Vice President Mark Werner thanked Olympus Ventures of Edina, Minn., for its support of NorthPoint projects.

The Toledo complex will add to NorthPoint’s commercial developments in Ohio. The company has 31 other buildings in Ohio, including a presence in North Baltimore south of Toledo and a 12-building hub in suburban Columbus, Werner said.

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