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$70 million economic development, 500 new jobs announced for industrial site at old NorthTowne Square Mall

Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development bought the land for "fair market value," and plan to convert the vacant land spanning 60 acres into an industrial park.

TOLEDO, Ohio — At least 500 new jobs are coming soon to the site of the former NorthTowne Square Mall in west Toledo when a $70 million economic development project gets underway next year.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and other city officials made the announcement Thursday at a news conference. Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development purchased the vacant land from the city for "fair market value" of $45,000 per acre, and plans to convert the vacant land spanning 60 acres into an industrial park.

"It's 15 years in the making and represents another piece of the economic development success story Toledo has become over the last several years," Kapszukiewicz said. "This was the big one. This is the one we've worked so hard for so many years to develop."

The mayor said many developers showed interest in the land over the years, but the city waited until the right plan and offer came along. He said some developers liked the space and presented good ideas, but would only offer $1 for the parcel.

Plans call for NorthPoint to erect two buildings totaling 860,000 square feet. Ground will break on a 300,000-square-foot "spec" building in the spring.

The city envisions the space being home to advanced manufacturing and Tier I automotive suppliers.

"We wanted and always knew the best use would be an opportunity aligned with the auto industry," Kapszukiewicz said. "They provide the highest wages and most opportunity for growth. The model has already been used to some extent at the Overland Industrial Park."

Toledo Commissioner of Economic Development Brandon Sehlhorst and his team worked to unravel red tape involved in a series of cross-easements dating back to agreements formed in the 1980s when the mall was built. Kapszukiewicz said those issues are part of the reason it took 15 years to redevelop the land.

Sehlhorst said the spec building will set Toledo up for success.

"In today's ultra-competitive world of economic development, it's all about eliminating risk and increasing speed to market," he said. "This building will put Toledo in a very competitive position to compete for opportunities going forward."

NorthPoint plans to have operations started by the end of 2022. All parties feel the 500 jobs figure is a conservative estimate and expect there to be many more by the time the project is complete.

The development will also create 200 construction jobs.

NorthPoint is one of the largest developers in the country with $9.5 billion in capital raised since 2012. This is the company's first investment in Toledo.

Tim Conder, vice president of acquisitions, listed several reasons for entering the Toledo market.

"There's a lack of Class A product," Conder said. "As we see in the automotive industry, their supply chain needs to be changed and we feel there's an opportunity. And the labor pool available is a highly skilled work force. You can build buildings all day long, but if you can't find the workers, that's a problem."

The mall opened in 1981 and originally featured three major anchor stores,  a movie theater and several shops and restaurants.

The property covered 758,000 square feet. 

It ceased operations on Feb. 21, 2005, and was demolished in January 2013.