AKRON, Ohio – Driverge Vehicle Innovations will build a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at the Chapel Hill Business Park, a redevelopment of the former Chapel Hill Mall on Brittain Road in Akron, developer Industrial Commercial Properties announced.
The Richfield-based company builds commercial shuttles, wheelchair accessible vans, transporters and small buses.
“We are ecstatic about our new manufacturing facility being developed at Chapel Hill Business Park. We are excited for our extraordinary team members to be able to continue to call Akron and Summit County home, as we have for the last 25 years. Our team has built an incredible, national business with such an amazing mission based on serving others, and it started and endures here in Akron” Driverge Vehicle Innovations President Mark Minatel said in a news release. “Our business continues to grow and through the vision of ICP and in partnership with our local and state governments, we will continue to invest, innovate and create jobs in this community.”
Driver is the perfect user for this type of space. It is an ideal light assembly business and having a location in Akron was important to them,” said Chris Semarjian, owner of ICP, in the release. “With the robust demand for industrial space, we have found great success converting former retail locations into multi-tenant business parks.”
Driverge Vehicle Innovations, formerly MobilityWorks, was founded in Akron in 1997. The company has expanded its operation to four manufacturing facilities and 95 stores throughout the US MobilityWorks/Driverge Vehicle Innovations is owned by Flexpoint Ford and is the largest upfitter of Ford Transits and upfits for Mercedes Benz USA and Dodge/Chrysler – Stellantis, according to the company.
“We started site selection for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility over three years ago. We viewed facilities across the country and in Northeast Ohio and kept returning to the former Chapel Hill Mall property,” Driverge Chief Marketing Officer Chris Paczak said in the release. “It was challenging to design and engineer assembly lines inside of a former mall, but with the creative mindset and collaborative efforts of ICP, we were able to make this vision a reality.”
Driverge joins Famous Supply’s Craft33 cabinet manufacturing operation that is operating in the former Sears building and plans to expand to adjacent space. In approximately 10 months, ICP has redeveloped and leased 58 percent of the former mall site.
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