Tyler FXG LLC, a subsidiary of Jones Development, of Kansas City, Mo., bought the 17-acre property from the Lindale Economic Development Corp. and plan to construct a 163,000-square-foot distribution center.
After closing on the sale last week, “They’re turning dirt out there right now,” John Clary, president of Lindale Economic Development Corp. (LEDC) said Wednesday. The construction project is expected to take a little more than a year to complete.
FedEx will close two facilities in Tyler when their leases run out in 2014 and will consolidate them into the Lindale center, Clary said. He said he has no idea how many employees work at the Tyler facilities or how many will be needed in Lindale. He said when the two facilities in Tyler become available for lease, he believes other businesses will move in and create new jobs in Tyler.
“We did not go out and market to FedEx to come up here and move from Tyler to Lindale,” Clary said. “We do not poach from our backyard. … Being close to the interstate won out.”
Tom Mullins, president and chief executive officer of the Tyler Economic Development Council, said he was contacted by FedEx, which was considering building the new facility on the loop in Tyler or off I-20 in Lindale.
“I think it will be a great addition to their new Industrial Park,” Mullins said. “I’m not sure how it will affect people in Tyler working there. It may just change their commute pattern.”
Clary believes the Lindale Industrial Park is a great location for the distribution center because it is at a high traffic intersection of I-20, is between Loop 49 and U.S. Highway 69 and is central to the entire Northeast Texas region, he said.
“We currently have 69 full- and part-time employees between the two Tyler stations,” FedEx Ground spokeswoman Allison Houser said. “These positions will transfer to the new facility when it is completed, and we will add to the workforce as necessary.”
The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, its proximity to customers’ distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees, representatives said in a statement. The new facility is part of a nationwide network expansion to boost daily package volume capacity and enhance the speed and service capabilities of the FedEx Ground network. Since 2005, the company has opened 11 new hubs featuring advanced material-handling systems and expanded or relocated more than 500 local facilities.
The center in Lindale marks the 11th facility that Jones Development Co. has developed in Texas, and the 57th developed for its tenant, FedEx Ground. Jones Development contracted with MW Builders, of Temple, to construct the building.
LEDC purchased 120 acres of land at the southwest corner of Harvey Road (Country Road 433), south of Interstate 20 in 2007 to develop into the Lindale Industrial Park to attract industrial and manufacturing companies. The corporation also bought 135 acres north of I-20 for the Lindale Business Park.
LEDC Board members began planning to develop the two parcels but focused first on the south parcel when a company indicated it was interested in developing a biomass power plant in Lindale. The plant is no longer coming to the city, but helped the corporation obtain a matching grant for infrastructure for the park. Planning, designing, engineering and construction of the infrastructure took four years and was completed a year ago.
Clary said when the Lindale Industrial Park opened they already had the deal with FedEx under consideration, but the company needed guarantees the LEDC would get the infrastructure in to build the center. The company “took a leap of faith we’d be able to get everything done, which we did. That’s really exciting,” he said.
In May, the LEDC signed a purchase and sale agreement with a developer to construct the distribution center. Last week, they closed on the land sale.
“We really think this will be the first of many” tenants, Clary said. “Most people don’t even know the park is out there yet. This news will turn a lot of heads.”
He said available land can be found all along the interstate but most don’t have water, sewer, electric and telecommunications. “That’s the big deal,” he said.
Purchasing the land and putting in the infrastructure for the Lindale Industrial Park cost them close to $4 million, he said. That doesn’t include any costs put toward the Lindale Business Park, which has no infrastructure.
The LEDC put in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. New taxes derived off everything developed in the Industrial Park will stay there and go toward paying for the infrastructure in the neighboring Business Park, Clary said.
“We have had inquiries but no prospects close to signing on the dotted line at this time,” Clary said of other potential companies moving into the Industrial Park.