ATLANTA (Jan. 28, 2010) – Jim Jacoby, who is leading the charge to redevelop the former Ford Atlanta Assembly Plant into an "aerotropolis," wants to redevelop the shuttered Ford Assembly Plant in Norfolk, Va., as well.
Earlier this week, Jacoby told me his company plans to buy the former Ford plant in Norfolk and develop a mixed-use project laden with alternative energy devises and uses. These would include solar panels, wind turbine production and perhaps a wind farm off the coast.
Jacoby, a former retail strip center developer, now is best known for leading the redevelopment of the former Atlantic Steel plant along Atlanta's Downtown Connector, into the mixed-use gem known as Atlantic Station (home of WNS headquarters).
The Ford Assembly Plant site on Indian River Road in Norfolk encompasses 109 acres of land zoned for industrial use and is served by, naturally, Norfolk Southern rail. More than 2.6 million square feet of manufacturing facilities remains on the site, which fronts the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River, according to CB Richard Ellis, which is marketing the site for sale. Ford closed the plant in June 2007.
Jacoby's connection with Ford probably positions him well in his effort to acquire the Norfolk plant. In June 2008, Jacoby bought the 122-acre Atlanta plant from Ford and announced plans for a mixed-use development near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A press release announcing the sale described the "aerotropolis" as "an aviation-intense business district that is expected to include office, retail, restaurants, hotel and airport parking."
It will be interesting to see if Jacoby, above right, does buy the Norfolk plant, and if so, how his plans for an alternative-energy intensive mixed-use development turn out.