FedEx Ground commits to GJ with new distribution center
FedEx Ground is constructing a new distribution center at 715 23 Road that will occupy some 48,000 square feet when completed in July 2015, said Ashley Faderewski, a FedEx Ground spokeswoman.
The center is expected to employ 10 new workers in addition to those already in place at the international freight carrier’s current location, 2799 Winters Ave.
Several local tradespeople are involved in construction of the center. Local concrete and earth moving contractors won jobs at the site, a real estate agent for FedEx said.
The distribution center’s move means more jobs for the area, but even more important for the Grand Valley’s future, the site FedEx purchased has more space available than the company currently needs.
That means it has room to expand when the time comes, said Mike Foster of Coldwell Banker Commercial, one of three Realtor teams that helped the distribution giant find just the right location.
“That’s what really excites me,” Foster said.
Faderewski wasn’t able to disclose the amount FedEx is spending to construct the facility or how much of that amount was going to local contractors.
The shipper ultimately chose the 23 Road site and paid around $1 million for the land, according to public records, but not before an exhaustive process that kept local economic development officials on edge and in the dark for months.
It took more than a year and involved an untold number of local professionals to get the shipping giant into a new business park, Foster said.
Many agents showed an unknown number of potential sites to two different site selectors retained by FedEx — both apparently on the payroll for only a brief period — and, finally, a developer, said Kelly Flenniken, executive director at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
The process started sometime in May 2013 when a mysterious site selector approached GJEP in need of detailed information about potential sites for the relocation of a trucking company the selector refused to identify, Flenniken said.
“We were initially told they were looking for vacant land in a light industrial zone that had the ability to house a truck terminal,” Flenniken said. “That’s all we knew.”
Flenniken rounded up real property legal descriptions and environmental reports, highlighted restrictive covenants, and guided first one site selector, then a second, to one location after another.
With each change in the person speaking for the company, there was a change in the direction of the search. After the last round of data and discussion in November, the company, which was eventually known to be FedEx, said it was done looking and would make and announcement in two weeks.
Weeks, then months passed without an announcement, Flenniken said.
“That’s just kind of how it goes with this job,” said the expectant mother, who is only a few days away from giving birth, adding she understands the pressure that comes with waiting for good news to develop.
FedEx next turned to top local real estate experts for guidance, which is where Foster came in. With the help of his team and others, FedEx finally decided on the 23 Road site, Foster said.
The new location gives FedEx quicker access to I-70 and moves its operations further away from residential areas to one better suited for heavy truck traffic, Flenniken said.
“The new facility replaces an existing center nearby, allowing us to continue to meet and exceed customer demands in the region,” Faderewski said.
Flenniken saw other advantages.
“For us, it solidified that Grand Junction is an excellent place for distribution and really shows the company’s commitment to the area, to be investing in this part of our community,” she said.
FedEx Ground chose the site because of ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers’ distribution centers, and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees, Faderewski said.
The project is part of a nationwide expansion to boost daily package volume capacity and further enhance the speed and service capabilities of the FedEx Ground network, she said.
Since 2005, the company has opened 11 new hubs featuring advanced material-handling systems and expanded or relocated more than 500 local facilities, Faderewski said.