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North Toledo property sale to Fiat Chrysler gets formal approval

Toledo City Council formally approved Tuesday the sale of city-owned property in North Toledo to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to build a $23 million vehicle customization facility near its Toledo Assembly Complex.

The vote to sell the former Textileather and MedCorp properties to FCA for $1 was unanimous. The automaker plans to build a 250,000-square-foot plant to be operated by a supplier employing more than 300 people.

The agreement is conditioned on a buy-back option that allows the city to reacquire the property for $1 if the company has not developed the vehicle customization facility within four years.

City council also authorized a 30-year tax-increment financing for the property, which will allow the city to recoup its overall $6.8 million investment into the site. The city acquired the properties in 2014 and packaged them together in hopes FCA would eventually want the land.

Councilman Rob Ludeman said Tuesday’s vote was a “special moment” because it keeps Jeep manufacturing centered in the city, and soon Toledoans will be working on increasingly sought-after vehicle customization.

“We are all 12 a part of history by our votes today on this project,” he said. “I’m really proud of what’s going to happen at that site in the future.”

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz called the deal with FCA “another chapter” in the story of how Toledo was able to maintain economic momentum in spite of the coronavirus pandemic’s detrimental impact on the economy.

“Like with Southwyck, we’ve taken a long-vacant property and turned it into a site with hundreds of jobs and economic energy,” he said. “To be enjoying major victories like this even in the middle of a pandemic just shows how much potential Toledo has.”

City officials last year sold the former Southwyck Shopping Center land in southwest Toledo to Amazon, Inc., which is building a distribution center there.

In other business Tuesday, city council authorized two settlements with AT&T for a total of $77,731, to be paid from the city’s risk management fund. City water crews in 2019 accidentally cut fiber-optic duct and cable while working at 5435 Douglas Rd. and at 1615 Starr Ave. The payment settle AT&T’s claims against the city.

Toledo City Council did not vote on authorizing $555,490 from the capital improvement fund and $18.67 million from the road improvement fund to begin the 2021 season of reconstructing residential city streets. They’ll likely vote on the matter in two weeks.

The proposed expenditure comes after voters last year approved a quarter-percent income tax increase to be used strictly for fixing residential streets.

Also on Tuesday, Councilman Katie Moline was sworn in before the meeting. Ms. Moline, a Democrat, won reelection in November, defeating Republican challenger Younes “Tony” Dia.


Posted By: The Toledo Blade on January 5, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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