Ex-GM property sale is final

LORDSTOWN – A Kansas-based developer looking to convert more than 170 acres of former General Motors Corp. land into an industrial park has closed on the property.

RACER, or Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, assigned the task of overseeing the sale and redevelopment of former General Motors Corp. properties, announced earlier this month it had reached an agreement with NorthPoint Development for the purchase and development of the 173.5 acres of vacant industrial property adjacent to the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant on Hallock Young Road and state Route 45.

On Monday, RACER’s Bill Callen confirmed that the deal was finalized Friday and that NorthPoint now owns the property.

“It’s very good news,” Callen said, noting RACER has sold nearly three dozen former GM properties.

The transaction is expected to bring up to 1,500 jobs to the area. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The RACER trust took over dozens of properties nationwide that were vacated by GM during the company’s 2009 bankruptcy.

NorthPoint plans to develop the property into an industrial park with a combination of industrial, warehouse and light manufacturing uses. Chad Meyer, NorthPoint president and COO, has said the project likely will cover 1.5 million square feet. He explained that the property is an ideal location for automotive suppliers and logistics companies to set up shop close to the automaker, a trend taking shape across the country. Meyer said the strategy falls in line with GM’s goal to boost on-time deliveries, cut transportation costs and “ensure quality parts and materials.”

Meyer explained that NorthPoint is in contact with potential occupants but declined to provide specific information because talks have not been finalized. He noted the Lordstown park, similar to other NorthPoint developments, would not be auto industry specific, meaning NorthPoint would be open to working with other types of manufacturing / distribution companies or those in the oil and gas industry.

Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said he received word about the closing on Monday.

“It’s very exciting. I’m just waiting for (NorthPoint) to come into town so we can talk about what’s next,” Hill said.