Portage looks to future as FedEx center built

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — A new FedEx distribution site expected to create more than hundreds of jobs has leaders in Portage excited about what the investment will mean for future economic growth.

The 321,000-square-foot facility will be built on a contaminated 37.4 acre lot (PDF) on Portage Road just south of the airport. Portage City Manager Joe Lamargo says the community and site has a lot to offer.

“We’re right off the expressway,” Lamargo said. “I think the amenities that Portage has to offer, along with some of the other very large corporations that we have here as well, so I think it’s a combination of all those.”

Southwest Michigan First has been helping FedEx site selectors since the summer of 2018 to find the location best suited to the company’s needs.

The distribution center is expected to bring more than 750 jobs to Portage and Will Huberty with developer Scannell Properties said it will eventually lead to even more.

“It’s going to be a build to suit for a FedEx ground facility and when fully operational, it should bring 900 jobs to the Kalamazoo area,” Huberty said.

Kalamazoo County commissioners approved brownfield redevelopment incentives at a meeting Wednesday night.

“We’re able to utilize the brownfield authority to help clean up that site so we can have a company such as FedEx come here and bring jobs,” Lamargo said.

The project will use an existing access road so no new entrances will be built off Portage Road.

The developer says the construction process is expected to take about a year.

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