Arlington

GM suppliers planned for new industrial buildings at Six Flags Mall site

A GM employee checks vehicles for flaws in the final line at the assembly plant. GM plans to open a 1.2 million-square-foot industrial building expansion at the site of the former Six Flags Mall, across Texas 360, to house a number of automotive suppliers to GM.
A GM employee checks vehicles for flaws in the final line at the assembly plant. GM plans to open a 1.2 million-square-foot industrial building expansion at the site of the former Six Flags Mall, across Texas 360, to house a number of automotive suppliers to GM. Special to the Star-Telegram/Mark Rogers

General Motors will use 1.2 million square feet of industrial space at the site of the former Six Flags mall to accommodate suppliers to its Arlington assembly plant, according to city documents.

The development, called the Arlington Logistics Center, will consist of two warehouses to be built by NP Arlington Industrial LLC and leased to GM. It will house a number of companies that make parts for the GM plant, which builds large sport utility vehicles at sizable complex across the highway on the southwest corner of Texas 360 and East Division Street.

The new buildings, to be at the northeast corner of that intersection, are expected to be completed by December 2018, according to a city staff report.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider tax incentives that would include a 10-year property tax abatement, a $6 million grant paid out incrementally based on development benchmarks, and a city contribution of up to $2 million for infrastructure improvements.

It’s unclear whether the project will bring new jobs to Arlington or whether some operations may relocate. The city report says the new center will “support up to 1,800 employees at project buildout.” The so-called Chapter 380 incentive agreement requires hiring at least 450 workers by Jan. 1, 2020, and increases to a minimum of 950 workers by Jan. 1, 2023.

Details about the operation, including which suppliers will set up shop, “are still in the works,” said Patrick Hernandez, a communications manager for GM in Arlington.

“We are looking at opportunities to provide better logistics support” for GM suppliers, Hernandez said. “It has to do with our teams working together.... We strive to provide strong relationships with our suppliers.”

He said the job numbers cited in the incentives agreement are not related to the GM plant and would not affect its workforce, which numbers more than 4,200.

The city and developers of the former 83-acre Six Flags Mall site had kept the identity of the occupants under wraps until the proposed deal was posted on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Demolition of the mall started last year but was slowed because of a lawsuit filed by Cinemark USA, accusing its new owner, Missouri-based Northpoint Development, of trying to run its theater out of business before its lease was up. Ultimately the theater closed and demolition was completed earlier this year.

The GM plant is in the midst of its own $1.4 billion expansion, which will add more than 1 million square feet dedicated mostly to a new paint shop and body shop. Started in 2015, the project also includes the recently completed pedestrian bridge over East Abram Street to a large additional parking lot.

Hernandez said the expansion project, which will push the plant’s total size to well more than 5 million square feet, is estimated to be finished in late 2018.

“The focus is on meeting the global demand we experience right now and expect in the future,” he said, adding that many of the plant facilities “are just tight. Having this new area will help us to meet that demand, and in a more comfortable way.”

The GM Arlington plant built more than 300,000 SUVs last year — about one per minute — and is the global home of General Motors’ full-size SUV production.

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST

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