East Meets West in An Incredible Partnership
The once bustling General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant located in Dayton, OH, ceased operations back in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession. The impact of the closure shook the entire region, as thousands were employed at the plant.
Watch how Woolpert and Fuyao injected new life into an abandoned plant.
While many thought the doors of the facility would remain closed forever, China’s largest auto glass manufacturer, Fuyao, saw an incredible opportunity. The company purchased the 1.4-million-square-foot plant and turned to Woolpert for help in revitalizing the space. Together, the partners created a brand-new glass manufacturing facility that provides jobs and breathes new life into the local community.
The partnership uncovered numerous differences between Chinese and U.S. business practices. Through language barriers, regulatory differences and U.S. plant operational requirements, Fuyao trusted Woolpert for guidance—and we were happy to provide it.
The unique collaboration proved to be a very rewarding experience for Fuyao. The striking success of the adaptive reuse project led to an increased financial investment (from $230 million to $360 million) and doubled employment estimate (from 800 to 1,550). The project also turned out to be a win for the city of Dayton, which now enjoys new opportunities for economic growth and sees a community rejuvenated with fresh inspiration and vitality.
For Woolpert, the benefits have been both personal and professional. “Getting to know Fuyao and how the Chinese do business, along with seeing how they execute projects, has been very educational and enriching,” said Jamie Dobrozsi, Woolpert Project Manager. “We developed a genuine relationship. We’ve spent holidays together. Our team even went to China to better understand their specific needs, and we were treated so well.”
This successful partnership wouldn’t have been possible without one essential element: trust. Trust is extremely important in the Chinese culture, and Woolpert was honored that Fuyao trusted us to bring their vision to fruition. What began as a business partnership has developed into a genuine relationship, and we can’t wait to see our friends from the East again. “I look forward to continuing our relationship, and I plan to get back to China for another visit soon,” Dobrozsi promised.
Jamie Dobrozsi is an architect and Project Management Professional with more than 35 years of experience in design, design management and construction management.