Timeline: Changes at the former General Motors Assembly site, 1919-today



The last stage of rehabilitation efforts for the former General Motors Assembly plant in Moraine is expected to wrap up early next year, making it available for potential users.

Read more: Rehab of former GM plant vacated in 2008 nearing completion

The site has seen many changes in more than 100 years. Here’s a look at how things have changed over time.

1919: General Motors buys the Dayton Wright Airplane Co. for its Frigidaire division.

1950: Construction starts on modern Moraine Frigidaire/GM plant.

1981-89: Plant produces Chevrolet S-10.

1990: SUV production begins.

January 2007: Plant hails six millionth vehicle produced.

December 2007: Auto industry publication Wards Auto reports that the General Motors plant in Moraine will close for lack of a new SUV model to produce. The report is not attributed to any source, but it stirs long-growing fears that the plant is in danger. A GM spokesman says no decision has been made regarding the plant’s future.

June 3, 2008: GM CEO Rick Wagoner announces the planned closure of four truck and SUV assembly plants, including Moraine, citing economic pressures, consumer choices and gas prices.

Dec. 23, 2008: The last SUV, a GMC Envoy, rolls off the assembly line in Moraine. The plant is open for just one shift that day, and 1,100 workers are left jobless by the plant closure. At its peak, 4,300 people worked at GM-Moraine.

June 2009: GM begins a six-week stint in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. GM had 92,000 U.S. employees in early 2009. In 2013, it has about 85,000.

July 2009: Stuart Lichter, founder of Southern California developer Industrial Realty Group, confirms interest in the Moraine plant for the first time.

May 18, 2010: Obama administration announces a $800 million trust for environmental clean-up at former plants. Moraine is to receive $25.8 million.

November 11, 2010: City of Moraine agrees to the sale of the Moraine plant to Industrial Realty Group, a Southern California industrial redeveloper with an interest in inexpensive manufacturing sites, particularly in Ohio.

March-April 2011: Motors Liquidation, or the old GM, hands plant off to the RACER Trust. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office said IRG requested a lower plant purchase price due to repair of heating units worth $1.2 million.

April 2011: IRG announces purchase of plant, renaming the property "Progress Park."

April 2012: Moraine City Council first considers incentives to move WCR Inc., a provider of heat plate exchangers, to the plant property from a Dayton location. By late August, WCR is Progress Park's first business tenant. City calls the company a "pioneer."

April 2013: Five companies have workers or operations in Progress Park. About 175 people are working there.

Nov. 1, 2013: Montgomery County makes public the city of Moraine's application for $700,000 to help attract a large employer to the plant, a manufacturer that would use 1.4 million square feet and employ up to 800 workers there.

2014: Fuyao Glass America closes its purchase of 1.4 million square feet of the plant.

Oct. 7, 2016: Grand opening ceremony for Fuyao Glass America operations at the plant. The company starts serving major automakers in the U.S., including Hyundai, GM and others.

2021: The revamped structure was scheduled to be available for occupancy by the end of 2021, but was delayed by “mostly difficulty with materials and labor associated with supply-chain slowdown.”

2023: The last stage of rehabilitation efforts for the former General Motors Assembly plant in Moraine is expected to wrap up early next year, making it available for potential users.

Sources: Newspaper archives, GM, Motors Liquidation, City of Moraine, Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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