Ford has sold its Norfolk assembly plant property in Virginia to Atlanta-based Jacoby Development.

As part of the transaction, Jacoby, in turn, sold a portion of the 100-acre former plant to Belgium-based Katoen Natie (KTN), a global logistics provider which will ispend US$12m to establish a new warehousing and distribution operation. KTN will spend $10.5m to purchase a portion of the former plant and refurbish the 662,000-sq ft former body shop. It will also will spend $1.5m on new equipment for a project expected to create 225 new jobs.

Ford said in a statement it worked closely with the City of Norfolk and the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure the best use of the site – the largest privately owned, industrial-zoned, contiguous property in Norfolk – but did not disclose terms of the sale.

“We are delighted we were able to engage all of the stakeholders – the city, commonwealth and the port – to select a buyer committed to delivering a viable and exciting development that we are confident will serve the community well,” said Donna Inch, chairman and CEO, Ford Land.

The Commonwealth of Virginia supported the transaction by providing financial assistance to KTN through the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and Virginia Jobs Investment programmes. Governor Bob McDonnell said: “It is gratifying to see the former Ford assembly plant being brought back to life.”

Jacoby Development has experience redeveloping large brownfield sites, including its mixed-use Atlantic Station development in Atlanta and its redevelopment of another former Ford plant currently underway adjacent to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Norfolk Assembly opened in 1925 and built some of Ford’s best-known vehicles, including the Model T and the F-150 pick up truck. It closed in 2007.