Manufacturing

FCA plans to spend $23 million to build a customization plant in Toledo

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 will be built just down the road from the new plant.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

As first reported in the Toledo Blade, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) wants to spend $23 million to build a new facility in Toledo, Ohio near where the company currently produces the Jeep Wrangler. The site is the location of the former Textileather and MedCorp properties. The price of the property? $1.

Details of the deal are still being worked out. Among them is a debate in Toledo City Council over the city's intent to use tax increment financing (TIF) for the property prior to the sale. Typically, these types of agreements allow cities to divert future tax revenue from a site toward a project that is in the public's interest such as an economic development or public improvement project.

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept Jeep owners frequently customize their vehicles. The new Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept showed off some of those possible mods last year. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Council is scheduled to take up the issue on January 5 during their regular meeting. If the agenda item passes, the TIF will be in place for 30 years. The City is expected to use the money to recoup the $6.8 million they have put into the site.

The $23 million commitment to the over 40-acre site includes the construction of a building that is between 150,000 and 250,000 square feet. This building will be used as a vehicle customization facility, according to an agreement reached between the City of Toldeo and FCA.

That agreement also specified that the facility will employ approximately 300 workers with an estimated payroll of $12 million, however market conditions and technological advancements may change those numbers.

FCA and the City have agreed to a four-year signature-to-occupancy timeline. Should the building not be completed and permitted for occupancy by that point, a 12-month extensions can be granted. After that, should the condition continue, the City has the option to purchase the property back from FCA for $1.

As part of the agreement, two streets will be given up, Twining Street and Medcorp Drive. A parking lot will be constructed on the site.

Additional infrastructure improvements are likely and will be paid for by FCA and the City, as laid out in the contract.

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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The Bentley Residences will be located on Sunny Isles Beach.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Sunny Isles Beach already owns the distinction as being the home to the most Rolls-Royces at one residence, the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach. Now, a strip of oceanfront land that's halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be home to a new luxury development designed to fit with the lifestyle of luxury Bentley vehicle owners.

The world's first Bentley-branded residences have been launched in partnership with Dezer Development. They've been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects, a firm that has the Porsche Design Tower (18555 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach), Trump Grande, and Residences by Armani/Casa in its portfolio.

The tower will be built at 18401 Collins Avenue, the current site of the Days Hotel by Wyndham Thunderbird Beach Resort.

Bentley Residences will contain more than 200 luxury apartments. The building will stand 749 feet and reach over 60 stories high, the same number of floors as the Salesforce tower in San Francisco and Franklin Center in Chicago. It's being billed as the tallest residential tower on any U.S. beachfront.

The residences are built-to-suit domiciles that will include an in-unit multi-car garage as well as ocean and bay views via floor-to-ceiling windows from each apartment. Homes will also have a private balcony, pool, sauna and outdoor shower. Interior amenities will include a gym, spa, whisky bar and restaurant. There will also be communal gardens.

"The modern and progressive brand identity of Bentley Residences is at work in both the tower's interior and exterior spaces, rooted in authenticity, sustainability and innovation," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. "We've partnered with Dezer to create a living experience that expresses the very philosophy of the Bentley brand and stays true to our vision of inspiring extraordinary journeys."

Architects have designed the tower to include uninterrupted views of the ocean and the waterways and feature sustainable materials throughout with a focus on wellness. The project is being designed in accordance with the Florida Green Building Council (FLGC) certification. Additionally, designers plan to use reduced coastal lighting to protect endangered sea turtles.

Construction of the residences will begin in early 2023. They are schedule for completion in 2026.

"Partnering with Bentley Motors, a true global luxury brand and being able to create another first in the Miami marketplace is an extraordinary opportunity," added Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development. "With Bentley Motors, together we will create something inspiring, powerful and iconic – a true game-changer when it comes to luxury living."

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