FedEx seeks 300-job center in Maple Grove

  • Article by: ADAM BELZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 11, 2013 - 10:23 PM

The distribution unit would ship small parcels for online retailers.

FedEx wants to build a new distribution center in Maple Grove that could employ more than 300 people.

The 276,431-square-foot facility would serve FedEx SmartPost, the branch of the company that ships small parcels mostly for online retailers.

"Jobs are jobs; we'll take them," said Erik Johnson, a Maple Grove City Council member. "FedEx already has a presence in Maple Grove, so we're glad to see they're expanding their presence."

Bremer Bank, which owns the land just northwest of the interchange of Interstates 94 and 494, will sell the property to FedEx if plans for the building are approved by the city.

The city's Planning Commission will discuss the project at its Feb. 25 meeting and forward it to the City Council in March. Johnson sees no obstacles for approval.

Plans for the building include more than 300 parking spots, he said.

The SmartPost service, which uses the U.S. Postal Service for final delivery to people's homes, averages 2 million parcels per day, has 25 distribution centers and 7,000 employees, and is based in New Berlin, Wis., according to the FedEx website.

The land in question is undeveloped and sits on the east edge of what the city calls its Gravel Mining Area, the largest piece of undeveloped land in Maple Grove.

The properties to the east of the lot are light industrial and warehouses. To the west are open gravel pits.

Scannell Properties, an Indianapolis-based developer that has done other projects for FedEx, submitted plans for the building to the city in January.

The property was foreclosed on by Bremer Bank in 2009, said Teresa Morrow, a vice president at Bremer.

"We're hopeful the city will approve it and the sale will continue to move forward," she said. "From our perspective it would be something that Maple Grove would be very interested in because of the jobs."

Minnesota employers added 3,000 jobs in transportation and warehousing between September and December, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, though employment growth in that sector of the economy has been more or less flat for the past three years.

Adam Belz • 612-673-4405 Twitter: @adambelz

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