Ford Sells Norfolk Assembly Plant Property to Jacoby Development, Inc.; Virginia Renaissance Center Planned

Mar 18, 2011, 10:19 ET from Ford Motor Company

DEARBORN, Mich., March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Ford Motor Company has sold the Norfolk Assembly Plant property to Jacoby Development, Inc.

  • Jacoby has, in turn, sold a portion of the 100-acre site to Belgium-based Katoen Natie (KTN), a global logistics provider which will invest $12 million in a new warehousing and distribution operation that will create 225 new jobs

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today announced the sale of the Norfolk Assembly Plant property in Norfolk, Va., to Atlanta-based Jacoby Development, Inc.

As part of the transaction, Jacoby, in turn, sold a portion of the 100-acre former Ford Plant to Belgium-based Katoen Natie (KTN), a global logistics provider which will invest $12 million to establish a new warehousing and distribution operation. KTN will invest $10.5 million to purchase a portion of the former Ford Plant and refurbish the 662,000-square-foot former body shop. KTN will invest an additional $1.5 million in new equipment. The project is expected to create 225 new jobs.

Ford worked closely with the City of Norfolk and the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure the best use of the site – the largest privately owned, industrial-zoned, contiguous property in Norfolk. Ford did not disclose terms of the sale.

Along with Jacoby, KTN worked with the City of Norfolk, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, and the Virginia Port Authority in selecting the site.

"We are delighted we were able to engage all of the stakeholders – the City, Commonwealth and the Port – to select a buyer committed to delivering a viable and exciting development that we are confident will serve the community well," said Donna Inch, Chairman and CEO, Ford Land.

Jim Jacoby, Chairman of Jacoby Development Inc. added, "This transaction that includes KTN's investment leverages the site's strategic location and provides what we are calling 'The Virginia Renaissance Center' with an economic anchor that allows us to turn our attention to the sort of renewable energy-related manufacturing that will take advantage of the area's strong labor force."

Frank Vingerhoets, President of KTN's North America subsidiary, chose the location "due to its excellent proximity to the Port and its appeal in attracting new customers to KTN. We see the Hampton Roads region and our Norfolk division as having a very bright future."

Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim said, "We have appreciated our long relationship with Ford Motor Company and look forward to working closely with Jacoby Development. On behalf of myself and the entire City Council, I welcome KTN to our Norfolk business family. In these challenging times, we are grateful not only for their investment in the City, but particularly thankful for the value added jobs they will create."

The Commonwealth of Virginia supported the transaction by providing financial assistance to KTN through the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and Virginia Jobs Investment programs. Governor Bob McDonnell said, "It is gratifying to see the former Ford Assembly Plant being brought back to life," said Governor McDonnell. "We appreciate all of the care and consideration that was given to ensuring that this important property landed in the right hands. In addition to creating 225 new jobs for the Commonwealth, the company will further enhance port operations with the addition of this waterfront facility. We are pleased to provide support to KTN and we welcome the company to Virginia."

Jacoby Development's experience redeveloping large brownfield sites, including its mixed-use Atlantic Station development in Atlanta and its redevelopment of another former Ford plant currently underway adjacent to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, was an important consideration for Ford.

Norfolk Assembly opened in 1925 and introduced some of Ford's best-known vehicles, including the Model T and the F-150 pick up truck.  It closed in 2007.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

About Jacoby Development, Inc.

Jacoby Development Inc. has helped communities across the country create millions of square feet of retail space and thousands of jobs. The company now seeks out environmentally sensitive or impaired sites for redevelopment into mixed use properties that create value for communities.

About KTN

KTN group is a logistics service provider headquartered in Belgium. KTN is the market leader for the petrochemical industry and consists of several business units including consumer goods and specialty chemicals. KTN is active in Europe, North and Latin America, Africa and Asia and employs a total of 9.300 employees worldwide.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company