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CHICAGO-Ford Motor Company has unveiled plans to open North America’s first automotive supplier manufacturing campus adjacent to the auto giant’s Torrence Avenue. manufacturing plant. The supplier park is expected to be developed in partnership with Chicago’s largest industrial developer, CenterPoint Properties Trust.

The park represents the latest evolution in industrial development for the automotive industry, says Jim Padilla, VP global manufacturing at Ford. “This project [will]…address competing trends toward globalization and local demands for more flexibility to meet customer needs.” Locating suppliers right next to the Torrance Avenue plant will increase the operation’s efficiency, he said.

“We are highly optimistic that our negotiations with Ford Land will be successful,” says Ronda Mork, VP external affairs at CenterPoint Properties, which is also in the midst of a $1-billion redevelopment of the Joliet Arsenal site southwest of Chicago. “We are in the process of finalizing lease agreements with Ford suppliers and with the City of Chicago on TIF financing.”

More than $400 million of investments over the next several years will come from Ford, its suppliers and CenterPoint, according to Ford. This includes more than $80 million by Ford Land and CenterPoint for the development of the supplier park.

Government funding from the state and city will include money for road improvements around Torrence Avenue. and 130th Street and up to $11 million in TIFs. Over 1,000 high-paying jobs are expected to result from the development.

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