Plans for Ford assembly plant property falling through
An opportunity to sell the St. Thomas Ford assembly plant property in Talbotville may have hit a snag.
The last car rolled off the line in September 2011and Ford has been looking to sell that property ever since.
There had been hope for a new owner and new jobs, but it appears that opportunity is slipping away.
The head of Elgin County's Economic Development office is anxious to have this location contributing to the economy.
"We're very frustrated with the process so far,” says Alan Smith.
His office helped connect Ford and Blueforest Ventures Inc. as Blueforest wanted to create an agri-food operation in the former auto plant.
The proposal was a combination of greenhouses and green energy and was supposed to bring 1,500 jobs to the area.
There were reportedly plans for a separate company as well, interested in using the rail line behind Ford as part of a logistics operation. That also appears to be in doubt.
The breakdown appears to be over the cost of the property, with Ford asking about $23 million.
An independent appraiser valued it at about $5.5 milllion.
Ford spokesperson Dawn Booker says it is no longer cost effective to seek a buyer for the facility as it stands now.
But Smith is anxious to see something done with the property.
“We see the potential of an excellent location for development that is not being used. So that is very frustrating, but we are optimistic that something will happen on this site."
There was also belief that Ford had applied for a demolition permit, but officials at Southwold Township say they haven't received that application. Ford says it is only an option at this tiime.