The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:15 pm

Auto parts distribution site proposed

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

NorthPoint Development of Kansas City, Missouri, wants to build a giant distribution facility in the county-owned, shovel-ready Stonebridge Business Park in Lafayette Township.

The $32 million project would be across Lafayette Center Road, south of the General Motors plant, east of Fogwell Parkway and west of Zubrick Road.

Using the name NP Fort Wayne 40 LLC, the company recently filed paperwork with county departments saying NorthPoint plans to create at least 200 jobs at the site with average salaries of $30,000 and a payroll of $6  million.

Plans show a 790,000-square-foot building with 80 truck bays and a possible expansion of 230,000 square feet.

A purchase agreement for the land will be discussed at today’s meeting of the Allen County Redevelopment Commission, and a tax abatement proposal and a secondary development plan will be discussed Thursday at meetings of the Allen County Council and the Allen County Plan Commission.

NorthPoint bought 40 acres in Stonebridge in late 2014 for $2.04 million and had a renewable option to buy an additional 84 acres. This purchase is for 41.7 acres.

The proposed purchase price is $2.23 million, but under the proposed purchase agreement, credit will be given for previously purchased options and a previous purchase of land that will be swapped for land at a slightly different location in the park.That drops the sale price to about $1.12 million.

NorthPoint has facilities that work with GM plants in Kansas City; Lordstown, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Plans for Stonebridge were not just for a warehouse to aid in supplying parts to the GM plant on a just-in-time basis but also for additional buildings where parts manufacturers could co-locate, NorthPoint President and Chief Operating Officer Chad Meyer said in October.

Meyer could not be reached Monday.

NorthPoint’s interest in Stonebridge came to the forefront last year in a rezoning battle over a 765,000-square-foot truck and rail transfer facility on land zone agricultural along Winters Road. That plan was proposed by Crown Enterprises of Warren, Michigan.

That proposal for a so-called truck hub ultimately was turned down by county commissioners after neighbors bitterly protested the plan, citing county planning documents they said precluded industrial development north of GM.

Neighbors said NorthPoint and Stonebridge were a better alternative for a large-scale trucking facility.

The Redevelopment Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. today. The County Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and the Allen County Plan Commission business meeting will begin after a public hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday. Meetings take place in Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

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