TOLEDO, Ohio — A new agreement between the city of Toledo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could bring hundreds of jobs and a new 250,000 square foot facility to support Jeep production in the area.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will present the legislation to Toledo City Council next week. The agreement would allow FCA to purchase a 40-acre plot of land formerly occupied by Textileather and MedCorp to develop the vehicle customization facility. The land would be sold for $1, as an incentive for FCA's proposed $23 million investment.
The vehicle customization facility would support Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator production at the nearby Toledo Assembly Complex. FCA estimates the new facility would be operated by 300+ people.
"We are very excited about the potential of 300 new jobs to our community. These are jobs are coming when we have an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in our community," said Brandon Selhorst, commissioner of economic development. "These are good-paying jobs. They will have an annual payroll of around $12 million. So these are good-paying jobs around the time when we're recovering from the pandemic."
In exchange for the reduced sale price, the city will authorize a tax increment financing for the property before selling it. This economic development financing tool will generate property tax revenue to fund public improvements and will allow the city to recoup its $6.8 million investment into the prior acquisition, demolition and remediation of the Textileather and MedCorp properties.
“Several years ago, FCA was evaluating numerous scenarios of how to expand production to meet the rising global demand of the iconic Jeep Wrangler. There was uncertainty about the future of production of the Wrangler because of the limited ability to expand the largely landlocked Toledo Assembly Complex," said Kapszukiewicz in a media release announcing the proposal on Friday. "In an effort to retain the facility’s existing workforce and production of the Jeep Wrangler, which has only ever been manufactured in Toledo, the city proactively worked with its economic development partners, including JobsOhio, to redevelop the shuttered Textileather and MedCorp properties into a 40-acre site ready for development."
As part of the agreement, if FCA does not develop the property as intended within four years, the city will be allowed to buy the property back for $1.
WTOL reached out to FCA for comment following the announcement.
"The iconic Jeep brand has a special connection and history with Toledo and all of its residents. We appreciate the City Council’s consideration of this proposal and would like to thank the City of Toledo and the Mayor’s Office for all of their efforts. At this time, we have no further details to provide," said an FCA spokesperson.