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FedEx behind massive logistics facility being constructed in Willmar Industrial Park

The name of the company constructing the large shipping and distribution facility in the Willmar Industrial Park has finally been made public. FedEx will be adding about 100 net jobs.

Line of FedEx trucks at the facility on Trott Avenue Southwest in Willmar
FedEX is the end user of the 217,000-square-foot logistics facility being constructed in the Willmar Industrial Park on the west side of town. The shipping firm currently has two sites in Willmar, including its site on Trott Avenue Southwest shown Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2022. The new location will have parking available for hundreds of vehicles.
Shelby Lindrud / West Central Tribune

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected since initial publication. FedEx plans to continue operations of the FedEx Ground location on Trott Avenue Southwest and the FedEx Freight facility on U.S. Highway 12. No consolidation is planned.

WILLMAR — The end user for the massive logistics facility being constructed in the Willmar Industrial Park has finally been identified publicly.

"It's official; it is FedEx," said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission.

The project is estimated to be worth more than $30 million, and includes the construction of a 217,000-square-foot distribution center, located between Willmar and Trott Avenues Southwest along Kandiyohi County Road 5. Based on plans for the project, there will be parking for hundreds of vehicles.

"We continue to experience significant package volume due to e-commerce growth and are optimizing the capacity of our network to meet growing demand for our services," reads a statement from FedEx Ground to the West Central Tribune. "The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers' distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees."

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FedEx construction site
Strack project supervisor Mike Rentz oversees construction progress Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, at the new FedEx Distribution Center near the corner of Trott Avenue Southwest and Kandiyohi County Road 5 at the western edge of Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

At the new facility, according to the business statement, in addition to its normal shipping and distribution, FedEx Ground will also be contracting with local service provider businesses for package pickup and delivery.

"It is great news that FedEx has chosen Willmar as a distribution hub for its expanding businesses," said Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin.

The EDC, city of Willmar and site developer RDC National have been working together for several months to bring the project to fruition. It was April 2021 when CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, began looking at sites for the proposed project. The sale of approximately 27 acres in the Willmar Industrial Park Fourth Addition to project developer RDC National was approved by the Willmar City Council in September 2021. RDC purchased the land for $621,000. The sale was completed Jan. 6, paving the way for building construction at the site to begin. The city had allowed site work to commence prior to land closing.

"We are all celebrating the hard work put in the last 11 months, making this a reality," Backman said.

FedEx has two locations in Willmar — the FedEx Ground facility on Trott Avenue Southwest and FedEx Freight on U.S. Highway 12, near Minnesota Highway 23. Between the two, the company employs around 100 people. Backman said the company plans to add approximately 100 new jobs and hiring has already begun.

"When we are able to create new jobs, it creates opportunities for our residents," Backman said.

FedEx construction site
Kevin Skaj of Landwehr Construction of St. Cloud watches Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, as excavators replace dirt at a construction site for the new FedEx Distribution Center near the corner of Trott Avenue Southwest and Kandiyohi County Road 5 at the western edge of Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

In addition to the new jobs, the project also will bring additional tax revenue to the city. The land, prior to the sale, was owned by the city of Willmar, which doesn't pay property taxes. The project is also being constructed without the assistance of tax increment financing or tax abatement, so the city will begin to collect all the new tax revenue coming from the project.

"I think the new facility will enhance continued community growth," Backman said, adding this project also shows that Willmar, by virtue of both its geography and the infrastructure it offers, provides businesses a good option when looking to expand.

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It is a sentiment Calvin echoes.

"When we established the Willmar Industrial Park, our desire was to secure these types of companies, so we can continue to grow as a regional center," Calvin said.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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