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Ford plant demo nearing completion

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Developers expect to finish demolition of the old Ford Hapeville assembly plant in April or May as they make way for a 130-acre mixed-use development where one of the automaker's most popular cars was once made.

Scott Condra, senior vice president for development of Jacoby Development, Inc., briefed area business leaders on his company's plans for the site Thursday during a breakfast meeting hosted by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.

An 11-acre portion of the site, which is in Clayton County, will be secured parking lots for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's employees, Condra said.

"We purchased 130 acres," Condra said. "Twenty acres are part of Atlanta and 11 acres are part of Clayton County. The rest is part of Hapeville."

Condra said when building begins, work will likely move from the southern portion of the site to the north. He expects to be able to use some of the site's existing infrastructure.

"The sewer and utilities that are already there are good and will accommodate our site," Condra said.

The development, which Jacoby is calling an "aerotropolis," will be an Atlantic Station-type mix of office space, retail and hotels. Jacoby developed Atlantic Station on the site of the old Atlantic Steel mill.

Condra said the Hapeville development is aiming for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, and will draw power from natural sources.

"We have a joint venture with a company to have 15 acres of their solar panels on rooftops," Condra said.

Ford announced the sale of the assembly plant property to Jacoby Development last June. The plant, which had built Ford's Fairlane, Fairmont, Falcon, Galaxie, Grananda, LTD, Rachero, Torino, Thunderbird, Marquis, Sable and Taurus models, opened in 1947. It was shuttered in October 2006.

Condra said while the plant employed about 3,000, his company's future development could employ 10,000 to 15,000.

The site is located along Loop Road, adjacent to Interstate 75.

Condra said his company is still negotiating with potential tenants.