TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Leaders broke ground on a big economic development project for the Glass City, Monday. A $700 million investment in east Toledo on Millard Avenue off Front Street to be specific.
Eventually the land will be home to a hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant, new technology, and the first plant of its kind for Cleveland Cliffs.
"We are going to have a 494 feet tall tower that is our reactor, it can be seen from everywhere. It will be a beaker, it will be a reference of the resurgency of Toledo, Ohio," said Lourenco Goncalves, the CEO of Cleveland based company.
"This reinvestment will help modernize the steel industry of this country, we will become a major supplier of the most modern product that will move into mills across this region," said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
Kaptur said this re-anchors Toledo as a major supplier in the steel industry. The port, rail connections, along with major roadways in the area made Toledo attractive for the HBI plant.
Throughout construction, 1200 construction jobs will be created, and when it's all said and done 130 permanent jobs.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz believes this is a big reason Toledo was ranked third among mid-sized cities for economic development by Site Selection magazine a couple weeks ago.
"People notice that, companies notice that and a buzz is created about what is going on in Toledo. This is the rust-belt city that turned it around. This is the rust-belt city that reinvented itself and figured out how to compete and how to win," said Mayor Kapszukiewicz.
Environmental concerns are a common question when talking about this plant, but city leaders are sure, it won't be an issue. Mayor Kapszukiewicz believes this company is responsible.
"This is a company that literally wins awards for developing processes and systems to make sure that there is limited environmental impact, if any environmental impact," said Kapszukiewicz.
The plant is expected to open by 2020.