Monday, March 17, 2014

PALM SPRINGS: FedEx Ground center eyed for I-10 corridor A

DEBRA GRUSZECKI STAFF WRITER | March 17, 2014; 03:52 PMPalm Springs could become the home of a major FedEx Ground package sorting and distribution center, given its initial round of approvals by the city’s architectural advisory committee.

The building, measuring 150,560squarefeet, is proposed on a vacant plot totaling 22.6 acres along Interstate-10 at Indian Avenue.

The proposed project, 411 W. Garnet Ave., lies within the city’s Regional Business Center. The Kiernan Companies, based in Coronado, is the developer for the land parcel that city records say Robert W. Miner LLC has owned since 1986.

Documents provided to the city say FedEx Ground Package System picked the site close to the Indian Avenue interchange after scouting the Coachella Valley for a strategic spot for a sorting and delivery facility to serve Greater Palm Springs.

The FedEx building, with 36 loading spaces, will serve the travel needs of 17 daily semi-trucks, according to a FedEx Ground Package System justification letter by M. Design Fusion LLC, of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Truck dock doors will be positioned on the south side of the structure, facing utility corridors, railroad tracks and wind turbine farms. The city was told the site would be heavily landscaped and would handle parking for 312 off-street vehicles.

The building will also house an administrative office that would not be open to the public.

Kevin Kiernan, of the Kiernan Companies, on Monday, March 17, did not return a call to comment.

FedEx Ground spokeswoman Allison Houser said the company continuously evaluates opportunities that can enhance its ability to serve customers and does not comment on proposed projects. She declined answer questions on cost, the timetable for construction or whether the existing FedEx plant in Palm Springs would remain open or would be shut down if a new handling center opens along I-10 corridor.

Founded in 1985 as RPS, FedEx Ground employees handled 4 million packages on average a day in 2013, employed 75,000 people and maintained a fleet of 32,000 vehicles. It operated 33 ground hubs, more than 500 pickup/delivery stations and 25 FedEx SmartPost centers.

FedEx, in a recent annual report, said the company plans to improve annual profitability by $1.6 billion by 2017, in part, by the closing and realignment of regional and district facilities and by streamlined pickup and delivery operations. In 2013, for example, five Houston stations merged to two and a regional package sorting operation closed in Atlanta.

The city’s review committee forwarded the proposed FedEx plans on to the planning commission for its review with a note of approval, and one caveat: It wants to take another look at the chain-link fence along Garnet Avenue.

Contact Debra Gruszecki at 951-368-9423 or

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