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Ontario Commerce Park is the site of the former General Motors plant in Ontario.

ONTARIO ─ Charter Next Generation’s (CNG) expansion into Ontario Commerce Park is all about timing.

The company, which has focused on specialty film production, will start a new business segment of specialty bags production next year. Brandon Hall, executive vice president of operations, said the company made the decision about six months ago.

It came at a time when Ontario is desperate for a boost at the former General Motor site. Mayor Randy Hutchinson announced the redevelopment plan in the city council’s meeting on Nov. 18. The city will sell six acres of land and the former press prep building to Industrial Commercial Properties (ICP), who has secured a lease with CNG.

CNG has started putting a significant amount of capital investment into the 45,000-square-foot building. Hall said the most difficult part would be getting the utilities ready. Their plants require a lot more electricity than what is now in the building.

The company will also modify the roof and put on silos. Hall said the first equipment shipped from Germany is going to arrive in January. The installation of six production lines will follow.

Hall said CNG plans to hire 70 to 75 people and expects to make the plant operational by the end of March. The job opportunities would include operators, maintenance and quality control personnel.

After its first plant is on track, the soon-to-be specialty bags producer will begin a phase-two plan, which will be dictated by the market condition.

“The opportunity for that business … when it happens, it happens fast,” Hall said.

The company’s goal is to gradually increase the production and occupy 10 percent of the $4-billion market in the next two to three years. Hall said if CNG were able to secure that market share, it would need to build about 400,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space.

According to the development agreement for the former GM site, the City of Ontario is granting ICP, the developer, the exclusive right to buy the land at $5,000 per acre. The agreement will expire on Dec. 31, 2024 but the company can ask for an extension.

Since the redevelopment plan went public, ICP has received a positive response from the community. Chris Salata, chief operating officer, said Tuesday multiple potential users and vendors have expressed interest in this project.

The developer is going to build a 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial building on the property, which could break ground in the summer of 2021. Salata said the facility would accommodate manufacturing, distribution or other industrial users.

The agreement also required the developer to pursue at least $5 million in financial support from government entities. Salata said they are working with state and federal agencies on obtaining those funds, including JobsOhio and U.S. Economic Development Administration.  

He also said the funds will be used to build the speculative industrial facility, which is not required to be completed until the company identifies the government support.    

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