The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority experienced many successes in 2013 and this year should be no different. The Port continues to make strides in the three major areas it’s focused on — continued investment in redeveloping our community’s brownfields, expanding the reach of our transportation assets and fostering economic growth in our region — all of which are instrumental in moving our community forward.
The Port Authority and its partners continue to work diligently to bring new opportunities to Northwest Ohio. The collaborative effort put forth by this group will contribute to the success of the Toledo region by identifying issues and opportunities in the community and developing action plans around those priorities.
Overland Industrial Park was born in 2013, and holds great promise for development of new jobs and commerce for our community. More than $8.5 million was invested in one of Toledo’s most historic and challenged industrial properties. Improvements to the site included foundation removal, environmental cleanup, utility installation and the construction of a new roadway off Central Avenue. Under the Port’s leadership, the site has been prepared for the next chapter of re-development, which will include the construction of two new facilities in 2014. Harmon Family Development Corporation, a local industrial developer with national experience in the development of manufacturing, warehousing and logistics operations, will break ground this spring on a 100,000-square-foot spec building. Airgas Inc., the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, will also begin construction on an 18,000-square-foot facility that will concentrate 25 jobs on the site early in 2014.
After sitting vacant for more than 20 years on Front Street in East Toledo, the Port has led the effort to redevelop the former Gulf Oil property into a new Ironville terminal. Over $18.5 million in improvements were made to the new intermodal facility that has access to truck, rail, ship and pipeline. The project has been a testament to a tremendous partnership between the Port, Midwest Terminals and the other development partners in the community.
Ironville is poised to begin operation in earnest in 2014 and will have the capability to store and handle a diverse array of cargo. This new terminal will create much needed jobs for our community and significantly contribute to the Port of Toledo’s economic impact in the Toledo region.
Success at Toledo Express Airport in 2013 included the completion of an $11 million overlay of the airport’s main runway, the beginning of a long-term partnership with cargo carriers Sierra West Airlines and Northern Air Cargo, and new energy efficiency upgrades in the airfield and terminal building. Allegiant Air added Punta Gorda, Fla. service and it was great to see an overall increase in passenger traffic.
In 2014 we will build on this positive momentum at Toledo Express and Toledo Executive Airports and work with our partners to identify new business opportunities and take advantage of the first-class infrastructure at the facilities.
The Port Authority’s operations at the airports and seaport alone support more than 10,000 jobs and have an annual economic impact of over $1 billion on the local economy, while the Port’s innovative business financing has assisted more than 300 projects with an investment of nearly $1.1 billion and a creation and retention of nearly 16,000 jobs.
There is a continued spirit of cooperation in our community that will make 2014 a very good year for Northwest Ohio. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is dedicated to moving our community forward.