Former General Motors plant in Wilmington, DE to serve as model for Smart Redevelopment
For more than 200 years, manufacturing has been core to the American identity. As the home of the automobile, airplane and countless other inventions, factories and other manufacturing facilities have long supported countless families and entire communities across the country. Today, however, just 8% of U.S. workers are employed in manufacturing – a massive drop from the 22% share the sector held in 1970. In Harvey Hanna & Associates’ home of Delaware, a former General Motors plant in Wilmington which once employed some 6,000 people has sat dormant since 2009. While federal efforts are underway to restore manufacturing jobs, the reality is that the industry has been in decline due to shifting economic winds that are unlikely to reverse anytime soon. While those jobs remain of great interest in our economic discourse and in factory towns across the country, one thing that is largely missing from the conversation is the condition and future of the many facilities where smokestacks and conveyors belts sit collecting dust. The good news, however, is that many of these properties are brimming with redevelopment potential for the 21st Century economy. Last year, our company, Harvey, Hanna & Associates, Inc., a commercial redevelopment firm, purchased the former General Motors plant in Wilmington – just a few miles drive from our headquarters in Newport, Delaware – with the intention of transforming the site into a thriving business and distribution campus.