A company in Broadview Heights is proposing the Ohio Commerce Center in Lordstown as the site for a 1 million square foot naval supply, equipment and service depot to support a new shipyard it wants to locate in Lorain.
The 476-acre manufacturing and warehouse complex on Tod Avenue, due to its proximity to the Ohio Turnpike and Interstates 76 and 80 and rail access, is ideal for what is known as the American Naval Depot , which project proponent Bartlett Maritime Corporation said would also eventually come into service with other U.S. naval operations.
The center contains a spur to the CSX National Rail Gateway, which connects Baltimore to Chicago, then points west, as well as a local spur to the Norfolk Southern Rail Network.
“Equipment that will be serviced at Lordstown will be components, parts, assemblies, pumps, valves, hydraulic units, electronically controlled systems, etc., and other components such as, for example, carrier shafts -propeller,” said Ed Bartlett, founder. , Chairman and CEO of Bartlett Maritime and former Captain in the United States Navy.
Bartlett said on Friday the Lordstown site would create around 1,000 permanent jobs while the proposed US shipyard in Lorain, according to project documents, would have two dry docks and employ 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Lordstown would be designed with growth in mind, Bartlett said, to eventually serve the Navy and Lorain’s other public shipyards.
“Each of these shipyards bring in ships, aircraft carriers and nuclear powered submarines to do overhauls and when the ship is brought in, major equipment is removed from the ship and separately those items or systems are overhauled at a central location or in the backrooms of the existing shipyard or vendors, and the idea of the Lordstown facility is to create a geographically central, pretty much, geographically central location in the United States where we can do everything this work for the five shipyards.
Bartlett Maritime’s proposal would need Navy approval. The plan would include a public/private partnership through existing legislation that allows capital funding to build the facilities, Bartlett said.
The Navy would lease to Bartlett Maritime and own the facilities after 30 years. Goldman Sachs has been appointed financial adviser.
Bartlett said the program is ready to start immediately and if the Navy’s first phase, which is a six-month detailed planning and preparation phase, a ribbon-cutting ceremony would be ready for both sites in October.
The Lordstown site could be operational in two years and Lorain, where four locations along the Black River are being considered, would be three to four years, Bartlett said.
Dan Crouse, who specializes in commercial and industrial real estate for Platz Realty, confirmed talks between mall operators and Bartlett. He would not discuss the details of those talks.
“Did we have any talks? Yes. Would we be happy to have them? Yes. But what exactly we can do, we can’t talk about,” Crouse said.
“We have the land available to him, we have the rail that will work for him. Could he break new ground in the fall, I guess he could,” Crouse said.
On Thursday, the Metal Trades Department, the AFL-CIO and Bartlett Maritime signed a cooperation agreement supporting the implementation of the Bartlett Maritime Plan.
The partnership will provide the company with support to promote the proposal and to accelerate the hiring and training of the new workforce at the company’s Lorain shipyard.