Hampton Roads Ford plant site sells off another parcel
The former home of a Ford Motor Company plant has sold off another parcel.
Eastern Branch Holdings LLC bought for $2.6 million a 27-acre parcel on Ford Drive in Norfolk, Ken Benassi of Colliers International says. Benassi represented Eastern Branch Holdings in the sale.
Eastern Branch Holdings shares an address with the maritime construction company Seaward Marine Corp. Seaward plans to set-up operations on the Ford Drive property, Benassi says. A spokesman for Seaward Marine declined to comment for this story.
Benassi says Eastern Branch Holdings has subdivided 10 acres of the 27-acre parcel it bought and sold it to an affiliate of Katoen Natie (KTN), which adds to the existing holdings of the logistics company at the former Ford site.
The former Ford assembly plant had 2,400 employees before shutting down in 2007. Plans by an Atlanta developer to transform the 109-acre site into a center for alternative-energy manufacturing never came to fruition. In 2014, The Schaubach Cos. bought about 18 acres at the site for $4.1 million.
“It’s not a bad outcome,” Benassi says of the fate of the former Ford property. “You’ve got three companies utilizing all of the real estate.”
Worth Remick of Colliers represented the buyer along with Benassi. Patrick Gill and Joanna Hastings, both also with Colliers, represented the seller, Ford Motor Co., in the sale.
Benassi says the industrial market in Hampton Roads is dealing with record-low vacancies and no new supply. He says part of the problem is there’s virtually no developable land for speculative development.
“Our demand is tepid,” Benassi says. “The cost to build will not equal existing market rents.”
Elsewhere in Norfolk, a property on Colonial Avenue sold last year for $2.1 million. More recently, an office complex sold for $24.9 million.
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Correction: Eastern Branch Holdings and Seaward Marine Corp. are not affiliated entities, a Seaward Marine Corp., spokesman said. In an earlier version of this story, a source mischaracterized the two companies’ relationship.