FedEx wants building permit but mum on details

MEMPHIS — FedEx Corp. is seeking a building permit for its Memphis hub, but company officials say no construction is imminent so they aren’t releasing details.

The $28 million permit application has been filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement. The permit reviewed by The Memphis Daily News is for a new two-story sort facility adjacent to the existing hub on the north side of Memphis International Airport.

“We are planning a new building addition to our existing sort facility,” FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey told The Daily News. “But because the project is many months down the road, and no contracts have been executed, it’s premature to provide details until we have contracts in place.”

The current hub is the oldest and largest in FedEx’s network, handling about 1.5 million packages a day.

McCluskey said the details on the permit are likely to change as the company develops its plans.

“Any kind of property development plan takes a lot of time; it’s a very lengthy process,” McCluskey said.

Local business leaders say even though the company insists its plans are preliminary, the move is a good sign for the local airport and economy.

FedEx has recently invested in its other U.S. facilities in Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.

“Some people questioned, ‘Well, does this mean they don’t have as strong a commitment to Memphis?’ Clearly, that’s not the case. This is evidence of that,” said Dexter Muller, senior vice president for community development and logistics with the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

“Memphis is still their global distribution headquarters, and obviously it’s a real important piece for us to see them continue to invest in that.”

FedEx has made the Memphis airport the world’s busiest cargo airport for 17 straight years, according to Airports Council International.

The airport handled 669.8 million pounds of cargo in November, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier.

The Associated Press