FedEx broke ground on its $56 million distribution center in Long Island City on June 22. The 140,000-square-foot automated distribution center is scheduled to open in August 2013.
“This is an encouraging trend of businesses moving to Long Island City,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) said.
The new facility, which has been in the works for the last seven years, will bring with it close to 200 jobs, according to FedEx Regional Vice President Sean O’Connor. Of those jobs he expects 120 to be filled from employees from the center in Maspeth on Maurice Avenue and 55th Drive.
“We are thrilled not only because we want to retain jobs, but also grow them,” Long Island City Partnership Executive Director Gayle Baron said.
The new center will replace the older facility in Maspeth. Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Valley Civic Association has said in the past he thought the jobs moving a couple miles away is not a big deal for Masbeth workers
“No layoffs,” site manager Chris Shea said.
The new site is located on 29th Street and Borden Avenue. Fresh Direct previously occupied the site and has since moved to the Bronx. The center will handle the distribution of packages, which has doubled during the last 10 years.
The site — picked for its proximity to highways — will employ state-of-the-art scanning technology to help keep up with the onslaught of deliveries.
For now, the new building will not use sustainable features such as water reclamation or green roofs. Green elements are on the company’s mind, O’Connor said, mentioning that its East Coast hub in Keasbey, NJ, has a solar power roof.
The company has expanded nationwide with 11 new hubs and 500 expansions over the last several years.