People in Moraine had mixed reactions Friday to the news that a new industrial operation could move into the former General Motors assembly plant along Ohio 741 at Stroop Road.

People in Moraine had mixed reactions Friday to the news that a new industrial operation could move into the former General Motors assembly plant along Ohio 741 at Stroop Road.

Some people were hopeful that a large operation could jump-start the economy. Others had doubts about whether a deal would be closed, and if it did, whether it would have any significant impact on the economy.

The $250 million project is expected to bring 800 jobs to the area and use 1.4 million square feet of the former GM plant off Ohio 741 and Stroop Road.

“We’re thrilled,” said Nancy Zechar, the Treasure Island Supper Club general manager. “It’s been very sad to see the lot empty and no activity for so many years. I think it’s going to be great for the community — for Moraine.”

General Motors closed its Moraine Truck and Bus plant in December 2008. Treasure Island Supper Club, located across the street, saw a decline in lunchtime business, Zechar said. Workers at the plant used to get carryout meals from the restaurant.

“Hopefully it will help our business and other businesses around here,” Zechar said. “I’m hoping we’ll see come new businesses move in here because of them. If you look around, in the last five years, people have moved out. Some businesses have shut down because they just don’t have enough (customers) to support the business.”

Tom Martin, a patron at the restaraunt, said 800 jobs isn’t enough to reverse the impact of GM leaving the city, but, “it’s a step in the right direction.”

“I think it’s great if they can develop that area and bring some jobs,” Martin said.

Tammy Brackney, who has worked for the Upper Deck Tavern in Moraine for more than 20 years, said she is thrilled about the prospect of a new business moving into the site.

“That’s so good for Moraine,” she said. “It’s good for everybody.”

She said the tavern and its 15 employees, which include her sisters and her father, has struggled ever since the GM plant closed.

“We all love working here,” she said.

But Brackeny’s sister, Sherry Gross, was skeptical. Gross, who manages the tavern, said she has heard rumors over the years that a new business was moving into the building and is now skeptical about news of a another business moving into the space.

“I hope it’s true,” Gross said. “We’ve been waiting a long time, but then you know how many times I’ve heard there’s going to be this and that (moving into the plant). Then there’s not been anything over there that’s helped our business whatsoever.”

If a new tenant moved bringing hundreds of jobs with it, that would help the tavern, Gross said.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Gross said.

John Hayes, who has worked in Moraine for 33 years, said there used to be a “flow” of people in the city, but it’s been a ghost town ever since the automotive plant closed.

“I hope somebody can go in there and turn things around,” he said.

Hayes believes the potential new tenant will have little if any impact on Moraine’s economy.

“I don’t think it’s going to cover what Truck and Bus and other GM companies did,” Hayes said.

He pointed to a Holiday Inn and several carryout eating establishments that closed after the plant shut down.

“You see ‘for lease’ signs everywhere you look,” Hayes said.

Hayes said more automotive type businesses in the vacant buildings around the city would help boost local revenues.

“I still have a job and that’s what’s most important,” Hayes said.


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