The Great Lakes region has always been a powerhouse for the Industrial Manufacturing Industry and remains so with nearly $2.5 billion in projects in the industry planned to kick off in first-quarter 2021. While the automotive sector leads the region with more than $1 billion in projects, other sectors such as data centers and distribution facilities also have a strong showing. The Great Lakes market region includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

One of the biggest automotive projects is in the nation's auto industry capital: Detroit, Michigan. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) (Amsterdam, Netherlands) plans to start a retool/modernization project at its existing 3 million-square-foot plant, which produces about 300,000 vehicles per year. The project will allow for the expanded production and testing for the next generation of Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Durango and new plug-in hybrid vehicles. The project is expected to kick off early in the upcoming quarter and be completed by the end of 2021. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

Other smaller automotive projects also are on the books, including Inteva Products LLC's (Troy, Michigan) renovation of an automotive systems manufacturing facility in Bluffton, Indiana. The renovation will be performed on a vacant 260,000-square-foot building, and will include structural modifications and equipment installation to manufacture interior systems, motors and electronics for the auto market. The project is expected to start early in the quarter and be completed in the summer. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

As online shopping has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, business has grown for U.S. delivery companies such as United Parcel Service Incorporated (NYSE:UPS) (UPS) (Sandy Springs, Georgia). According to media reports, UPS recently told its drivers temporarily stop picking up packages from some large retail companies to better cope with the increased volume of holiday-time deliveries.

UPS plans to expand its air hub in Louisville, Kentucky, starting in the coming months. At the north end of the West Runway at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, UPS will expand its approximately 5.2 million-square-foot facility by constructing a 262,000-square-foot maintenance hangar, with supporting equipment to fit two Boeing 747-8 freighters simultaneously and support the continued expansion of its fleet. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report. Incorporated (NASDAQ:AMZN) (Seattle, Washington) is the undisputed king of e-commerce in the U.S., and the company has plans to kick off construction on a couple of fulfillment and distribution centers in Illinois. A facility in Matteson, on the southern outskirts of Chicago, will include a five-story building with a footprint of 855,000 square feet along with a one-story building for office space. In nearby Markham, Amazon will construct a similarly sized facility to help expand warehouse operations in the region. Both facilities are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year. For more information, see Industrial Info's project reports on the Matteson and Markham facilities.

Also increasing during the pandemic is the amount of online social interaction, and one of the leaders in this field, Facebook Incorporated (NASDAQ:FB) (Menlo Park, California), plans to kick off the Phase IV expansion of its data center campus in New Albany, Ohio, on the northeastern outskirts of Columbus. The new 450,000-square-foot data hall will be powered by 100% renewable energy and will help enhance the company's data services. Turner Construction Company (New York, New York) is the general contractor on the project, which is expected to be completed in early 2022. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

Microgrids are becoming increasingly prominent, and in Madison, Wisconsin, the Dane County Regional Airport plans to begin construction on a small solar farm to support the airport and Dane County residents. The 9-megawatt solar farm will be built on a 41-acre site at the airport and will include approximately 31,000 photovoltaic solar panels on a fixed-tilt tracking system. The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

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