In the midst of bankruptcy, General Motors announced that it would vacate its 4.5-million-square-foot Moraine plant in 2008, laying off approximately 2,000 people and crippling the community near Dayton, Ohio. In 2011, Industrial Realty Group, LLC (IRG) purchased the 465-acre property from Racer Trust, which cleans and positions GM properties for redevelopment.
IRG redeveloped 2.1 million square feet through leasing, sale, and demolition. It is currently home to nine businesses, including Chinese glass manufacturer Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co. Ltd., with a capital investment from all companies of $725 million. Approximately 2,300 people are employed on site with an annual payroll over $100 Million.
In May 2014, Fuyao purchased 1 million square feet of the plant for $15 million. During the state-wide announcement, Ohio Governor John Kasich said Fuyao’s investment would be the 9th largest Chinese investment in the United States, likely would represent the largest Chinese investment in Ohio, and potentially the largest Chinese investment in the auto industry in America. Fuyao’s customers include Honda, General Motors, and Hyundai and Safelite Auto Glass.
Initially Fuyao plans to invest $360 million into the site including a 120,000 square foot expansion and a second 106,400 square foot expansion. With 1,100 workers on site, Fuyao now has more people employed than General Motors when it ended its operations at the factory in 2008. Fuyao has a hiring goal of about 1,600 workers. Cao DeWang, Fuyao’s Chairman, believes the local plant will in time be the world’s largest auto glass manufacturing facility, producing 4.5 million auto glass sets annually for original equipment car manufacturers in the United States.