A New Tenant For The Old GM Site? WYSO's Lewis Wallace Talks To Mike Davis With The City Of Moraine

Jan 9, 2014

GM's Moraine assembly was once an iconic Dayton-area employer. Now, most of the 4 million square foot complex sits empty.
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

UPDATE: On Thursday morning, Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown told WYSO he expects an announcement on the new tenant for the Moraine Assembly Plant as soon as Friday. Click here for the news.

It’s been just over five years since General Motors left its giant plant in Moraine, taking the last thousand jobs with it and spelling doom for Dayton’s economy, which once ran on the jobs provided by major industrial manufacturers like GM and NCR.

Drive into that part of Moraine now and you’ll see a pawn shop, a Waffle House, a couple bars, and millions of square feet of largely empty factory space.

Now Moraine leaders say they’re on the verge of a breakthrough: a mystery tenant, known only as “Project Southbound” until a deal is official, could take over the old GM plant. The project is estimated to cost $250 million, and it would bring 600-800 jobs, but until the plan is confirmed, officials have declined to name the company.

Moraine’s head of economic development, Michael Davis, explains that the property already belongs to a major industrial landlord, and has five tenants, but none large enough to serve as anchors that will fill out and revitalize the small city’s economy. He says a major tenant would change the whole dynamic for Moraine, which is why the city, the county and the state are committing funds to help with redevelopment.

An announcement about the deal could come soon.

Under Construction is WYSO’s series on growth in the greater Dayton area. We dig underneath the physical and economic markers of growth to look at the human consequences. Check back Thursdays for new installments.