FedEx building new facility in central MN; jobs expected

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FedEx's latest delivery to Minnesota is a new sorting and distribution facility – and probably some jobs.

According to the Brainerd Dispatch, developers are expected to start building the new complex in Brainerd Industrial Park this week, marking the site's first new construction since the Great Recession.

City Council President Gary Scheeler told the paper the 54,000-square-foot FedEx Ground facility will not only bring jobs to the city, but also increase property value in the park and spur growth in other area businesses.

"You talk about a big deal for Brainerd, this is huge," he said.

Documents from the city council show Brainerd gave preliminary approval to the sale of five industrial park lots (or nine acres of land) to property developers Close-Converse and RDC International, Inc., whose website indicates it has built a number of FedEx distribution centers in the past.

The sale comes after the Brainerd Lakes Area – including the industrial park – recently became one of the first places in the state to receive the state's "Shovel-Ready" certification.

"Shovel-Ready" refers to a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) initiative whereby communities have completed all the initial work – planning, zoning, environmental studies and soil analyses – on an industrial site before putting it up for sale.

DEED says the Shovel-Ready properties are in "growing demand" for companies looking to expand into new locations, and also calls them an "increasingly popular" tool to attract new business and industry to an area.

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