More demolition sought at GM plant – for those who can’t comment on MNJ, what do you think?

Crews continue to remove the structure of the former GM stamping plant in Ontario. / Bill Schmidt/For the News Journal


ONTARIO — The Ontario Business Park developers are asking Ontario City Council to renegotiate the development agreement on the former General Motors property to allow them to demolish all the buildings.

Ontario Business Park has signed a purchase and sales agreement with Sunfest Ontario LLC for about 45 acres, according to a letter to the mayor from Michael M. Adler, Ontario Business Park LLC president, dated April 12.

“Per the agreement, Sunfest has provided a feasibility analysis on the shell of facility and the associated infrastructure slab,” Adler said in the letter. “The study has resulted in the request of Sunfest to demolish the shell and use the existing slab and associated infrastructure.

“As part of Ontario Business Park LLC proposed redevelopment plan, we request your approval to amend the development agreement with the city dated Aug. 16, 2012, and to approve the demolition of the current buildings as outlined in Exhibit A. Such demolition is a condition precedent to the obligation of Sunfest to purchase and redevelop that portion of the site earmarked for such purposes under our proposed redevelopment plan.”

Mayor Larry Collins said Friday the Adler Group sent Ontario a letter asking for “a significant amount more be demolished than they originally were requesting.”

The matter is expected to come before council Thurday night, Collins said. The developers cannot tear down more of the plant unless the matter is negotiated with the city.

The developers submitted a redevelopment plan for consideration April 15, according to a second amendment to development agreement. This proposed legislation was given to all council members recently. In it, the developer requested the right to demolish “all buildings and structures above slab within the areas described as C-2 under Exhibit 1 of the redevelopment plan.”

Friday, Collins declined to release any letters from Adler until the city’s attorney can review the situation.

Rachel Schapiro, spokeswoman for The Adler Group in Miami, Fla., said the Adlers would have no comment until the redevelopment plans are finalized.

The 1985 building addition, plus 450,000 square feet of the facility, were razed by the end of March.

Adler’s plan is to make way for new tenants. Previously, officials said up to half of the old GM facility could be razed as part of the overall project.

In March, Ontario Councilman Mark Weidemyre said new buildings are planned at the 200-acre site, and the first new construction — for a second tenant — could be announced soon.

Sunfest Organic Herbs, based in Okeechobee, Fla., is the first company scheduled to establish operations in Ontario Business Park. Sunfest manager Clifford Rosen said the expansion in Ontario will be a farm production and packaging facility.

Ontario Business Park is a joint venture between Adler Group Inc., a Miami company, and The Hilco Organization, of Northbrook, Ill. The plan is for it to become a multi-tenant corporate park.

“All is moving forward,” Rosen wrote in an email. “I have elected to take the site without the existing building on the portion that my company intends to acquire, which will facilitate the ability to build an enclosed greenhouse. After inspections and due diligence it was determined that the site without the building offered a much better solution.”
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