An #80 million re -development of Birmingham's historic Alstom factory could create more jobs than were lost when train-making ceased.
St Modwen will turn the former Metro Cammell plant in Washwood Heath into an industrial and distribution centre with the new occupants set to move in by early 2007.
Mark Day, senior development surveyor at St Modwen, said he hoped some manufacturing industry could return to the site which once built hundreds of trains for London Underground as well as for railways as far apart as Hong Kong and South Africa.
More than 2,000 jobs went when it shut earlier this year.
Mr Day said: ?I would be very hopeful that the site will attract manufacturing companies; that would be very good to see especially because of its history.
?It has a strong link to the local community and we would like to see the jobs lost as a result of Alstom closing down being more than replaced with good quality ones.
?This is a very realistic possibility.?
The site, called Heartlands Park, will be created by Key Property Investments, a 50-50 joint venture between St Modwen and Salhia Real Estate Co of Kuwait.
It is the latest brownfield site development in the city by St Modwen, which also owns the former MG Rover complex in Longbridge.
It said Heartlands Park would fill the current distribution space supply gap in central Birmingham and be one of the few city locations able to offer logistics firms the opportunity of having a half-a-million sq ft distribution hub on a rail-connected site.
The site will be offered to companies on a design and build basis where bespoke buildings will be erected for occupants.
The first batch of occupiers are expected to be confirmed in the next few months, with construction following in early 2006.
Mr Day said the site could be offered in a number of configurations ranging from 500,000sq ft buildings, which would take up half the area, to 20-30,000 sq ft.
John Dodds, regional director of St Modwen, said: ?The early marketing signs are very positive. We?re already talking to a couple of potential occupiers about design and build packages totalling up to 350,000 sq ft of distribution space.
?Heartlands Park is an outstanding central location from which logistic firms can operate, linked as it is to the rail network and close to the motorway network.?
Mr Day said: ?There are no other sites as close to the centre of Birmingham which are suitable for distribution purposes.
?There is also a ready supply of labour nearby, that?s a big plus.?
He added that St Modwen had expertise in developing brownfield sites as far apart as Warrington, Bristol, Stoke and Sheffield, and would be able to turn it around.
Pending the redevelopment short term leases of existing space are available.
The Washwood Heath site is part of the #113 million portfolio of 19 Alstom sites totalling 500 acres, which Key Property acquired in 2002.
Key Property is represented at Heartlands Park by Savills. CB Richard Ellis were the planning advisors.