Hapeville's Ford Assembly Plant ceased production in October 2006. In turn, the City rezoned the property to high-density mixed use in order to have some influence in the future redevelopment of the site. A redevelopment of the 122-acre property was challenged with being located in three political jurisdictions and directly under the northernmost runway at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
In early 2008, a formal announcement came identifying Jacoby Development as the purchaser of the site. Jacoby, whose successful redevelopment of the Atlantic Steel brownfield site, appeared well suited to the redevelopment of the mid-20th Century auto assembly plant. Jacoby's vision of a thriving mixed-use "Aerotropolis" is fully endorsed by the City of Hapeville, who partnered with the developer to address zoning and regulatory controls.
Despite the slowing national economy, the project is on schedule, with demolition and environmental remediation nearing completion. The project is expected to include 2,081,400sf of office space, 1,662,000sf or retail, 980,000sf conference center with a 1,440-room hotel, 500,000sf data or distribution center, and 4,000 off-airport commercial parking spaces starting construction in 2010.
The Jacoby/Ford project, named Aerotropolis Atlanta, will benefit from its proximity to the world's busiest airport, access to interstate highway and rail systems, and close proximity to downtown Atlanta. Jacoby anticipates final buildout by 2025, with much of it completed well before then. The final development cost of the project is expected to exceed $1 billion dollars, which will greatly enhance the City's tax base.