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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 6 years ago

FedEx to deliver new Fort Myers facility

A Kansas City, Mo., developer bought Treeline Avenue land for a package-distribution center.

BUYER: Jones Development Co. (JDC Fort Myers LLC), Kansas City, Mo.
SELLER: Istrouma Trustee LLC as trustee of Monty Titling Trust 1
PROPERTY: 14050 Treeline Ave. S., Fort Myers
PRICE: $1.14 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $750,000, December 1986

SELLER: Airport Gateway Ltd.
PROPERTY: a parcel of land between Jetport Loop and Treeline Avenue (southwest of the parcel above), Fort Myers
PRICE: $1.1 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $3.4 million, December 1999 (includes additional land)
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Vogel Law Office PA, Naples

A new FedEx Ground distribution center is in the works for Fort Myers.

The facility, on Treeline Avenue, will be a 213,508-square-foot sorting plant with parking that would have 216 employees on staff at all times, according to plans filed in Lee County.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Jones Development filed those plans. An affiliate of the company purchased 21.91 acres on the west side of Treeline Avenue South in two transactions for $2.2 million, according to property records. The property includes 16.91 acres at 14050 Treeline Ave. S. and another five acres to the southwest that include a large retention pond. The price equated to $102,008 per acre.

Officials for Jones Development declined to comment on the project, but a spokesperson for FedEx Ground confirms the company awaits a new distribution center. It will replace two older FedEx Fort Myers facilities at 2670 Colonial Blvd. and 1880 Ortiz Ave. The company plans to transfer its existing 150 employees to the new building and hire an undisclosed number of additional employees to meet the growing demand in the region.

“The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, its proximity to customer's distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees,” FedEx Ground spokesman Jesse Bull wrote in an email to the Business Observer.

The property is close to Southwest Florida International Airport, but FedEx says the new facility will have no integration with its air operations.

Danny Lathem, project manager with the general contractor, Birmingham, Ala.-based Jim Cooper Construction Co., says it typically takes eight months to build a FedEx distribution center. The project is currently on hold, even though Lee County has issued a building permit, while the developer awaits a wetlands mitigation permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by May 2017 and it's slated to partially open in September 2016 to help with the peak season, according to FedEx. FedEx Ground says the new facility is part of a nationwide network expansion designed to boost the company's daily package volume capacity and increase the speed and services on its network. Since 2005, the company has opened 11 new hubs and expanded or relocated more than 500 local facilities.

“The construction of [a] 213,000-square-foot sorting facility brings both an economic boost from the construction and great employment opportunities with a company that is frequently recognized as one of the best places to work,” Glen Salyer, assistant to the Lee County manager and acting economic development director, wrote in a statement to the Business Observer.

Commerce Bank is financing the project through a $16 million construction mortgage.

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