Gibraltar steel plant to get new life with $53 million investment

4 April 2015

The former McLouth Steel Corp. plant in Gibraltar is set to reopen after the Wayne County Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a brownfield plan for the 42.5-acre property.

Ferrous Cal Co., a subsidiary of Cleveland-based metal processor Ferragon Corp., acquired the 600,000-square-foot plant and property in February from Steel Rolling Holdings Inc. Terms of that deal were not disclosed.

Ferrous plans to invest $53 million to upgrade the plant, which has been idle for more than a decade, and property to produce steel for automotive companies in the region, the commission said in a news release.

The plant will operate under Ferrolux Metals Co. LLC, which also operates a plant in Wayne.  

The Gibraltar plant is expected to be operational by the summer of 2016, following the removal of hazardous materials, interior demolition and retrofitting. The plan is expected to create at least 100 jobs, though Ferrous said 15 employees will maintain the site until cleanup is complete.  

The redevelopment is supported by $9.9 million in reimbursable incentives, which will be covered over 30 years of incremental tax revenue capture, according to the brownfield contract.

The brownfield plan was previously approved by the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Gibraltar City Council and the Commission’s Committee on Economic Development.

Detroit-based McLouth Steel built the plant in 1954. The plant changed hands several times until 2003, when it went idle. Steel Rolling Holdings acquired the plant in 2006, but it’s unclear whether the plant was operational during that time.

“This is a terrific reuse of an inactive steel plant, and the jobs are most certainly welcome,” Commissioner Joseph Palamara, D-Grosse Ile Township, said in a statement. “The cleanup also is very good news because of the environmentally sensitive nature of the area due to the refuge, the nearby Detroit River, marshes and other wetlands.”

Contamination of the soil and groundwater on the property was discovered in 2006, according to the commission.