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After 70 Years, Ford Motor Company Turns Out Lights In Richmond
September 21, 2002

According to an article in the San Francisco Business Times (James Temple, August 30, 2002), Ford Motor Co. is marketing its Richmond distribution center, a 15,100-square-foot office building and a 248,100-square-foot warehouse on 25 acres of land, for $15 million. Ford has apparently outgrown the space and is in the process of moving into a 618,000-square-foot distribution center in Manteca and a facility in Portland. Larry Jones, a broker with CB Richard Ellis representing Ford, was quoted as saying there has been significant interest in the Richmond property, which is located across I-580 from Point Richmond. According to Jones, "The interest has been wide ranging, from industrial to commercial retail, and the city of Richmond is very anxious to see quality uses replace Ford."

 

This is almost 70 years since the Ford Assembly Plant came to Richmond in the 1930ís and closed in the 1950ís. The distribution center The two facilities together, the assembly plant and the parts distribution center, total almost a million square feet. The Ford Assembly Plant, located on the Bay at the south end of Harbour Way, was owned for several years by the University of California after Ford left. Then it was purchased by the City of Richmond, which owned it in 1989 when it was seriously damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake. The City of Richmond spent the next 13 years trying to secure a grant from FEMA to repair the structural damage and looking for a developer to rehabilitate the 550,000 square foot behemoth, which was designed by renowned industrial architect Albert Kahn and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure is also slated to house the Visitor Center for the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park.

 

Construction on the Ford Assembly Plant rehabilitation is finally scheduled to start next week, after the current developer, Assembly Plant Partners successfully negotiated a complex obstacle course of governmental approvals, entitlements, contracts and obstacles involving dozens of Federal, State and local agencies. The project will ultimately cost some $50 million, including a $15 million grant from FEMA, a $5 million grant from HUD and $8 million from the Richmond Redevelopment Agency. The initial construction contracts will involve abatement and management of asbestos and lead paint before structural work can begin.

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