Negotiations continue for DHL to donate former hub to southwestern Ohio town

Last year, DHL Express closed its hub in Wilmington, Ohio, putting more than 7,000 people out of work and devastating the local economy. But there may be hope for the southwestern Ohio community: Although a final agreement has not yet been reached, DHL Express has been working closely with the Clinton County Port Authority on an agreement to donate the former DHL Air Hub/Wilmington Airpark to the community for redevelopment and future use as an airport/commerce park.

According to a released issued yesterday, a few details remain to be settled “due to the project complexity.” “Talks between DHL and the CCPA continue to be constructive, and are progressing,” the released stated, noting that details remain confidential until an agreement is hammered out.

“DHL Express and the CCPA are pleased about the prospects of this solution supporting the region and people of Wilmington, and are very hopeful that such a donation could serve as a stimulus for redevelopment and future commerce in Southwestern Ohio,” the release concludes.

The Economic Task Force for the DHL Hub in Wilmington comprises government officials from the city, county, state and national levels, along with representatives from ABX Air, Inc. and ASTAR Air Cargo, community members and business officials, and is co-convened by Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Wilmington Mayor David Raizk. The group was organized in June 2008 in response to DHL’s negotiations with UPS to take over DHL’s air carrier operations and effectively shut down the Wilmington Air Park. The Economic Task Force has commenced work to preserve jobs and craft economically feasible solutions stemming from the potential direct loss of 8,200 area jobs – with significantly more indirect job losses – in Wilmington and the southwest Ohio region.

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