BY MATT WILSON
MERCEDES — FedEx Freight formally christened its new 84,000-square-feet Mercedes service center with an open house and ribbon cutting on Thursday, Nov. 7.
FedEx currently employs about 150 people at the 34-acre site, which features electric forklifts that are energy efficient and a fleet of trucks with state-of-the-art safety features.
“The Rio Grande Valley is a key location in our network when it comes to serving the needs of our customers, and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with those customers and the communities in the area,” Lance Moll, senior vice president of Operations at FedEx Freight, wrote in a statement.
Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fuentes attended the ceremony. He says it’s emblematic of growth in the Valley.
“When I was growing up, it was hard to even find a place that had two movie theaters in our area, and now look at it, at the economic growth that we have along our expressway,” he said. “It’s impressive.”
Previously, the service center was projected to be valued at $25 million and to increase the city’s property tax base by $186,000.
According to Fuentes, the prestige the facility will bring to the area could have far-reaching economic reverberations.
“It’s great when a company that’s a large, international company builds a facility like that in our area, not only for the jobs and all the other benefits it brings from sales tax and property tax, but to have the representation of a Fortune 500 company in our area, that’s fantastic,” he said. “It legitimizes our area. It makes it a nationally credible place to invest, and when we see companies like that invest in our area that means that there’s now a corporate belief that it’s a legitimate place to build, for them to do business, and that legitimizes our area even more.”
Fuentes also said he expects the facility to give area residents long-term career opportunities.