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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Oct. 12, 201612:00 PM EST

UPS may expand Northwest Jacksonville package distribution; plans mirror Project Mountain

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Global logistics giant United Parcel Service Inc. wants to expand its Northwest Jacksonville regional package distribution center by almost 300,000 square feet, boosting the warehouse to nearly 800,000 square feet.

The company seeks an administrative deviation to the city’s zoning code to increase parking and reduce landscape requirements to accommodate the expansion at its 105-acre property at 4420 Imeson Road in Westside Industrial Park.

It also wants to increase the maximum number of off-street parking spaces from 954 to 1,681. The additional 727 spaces will accommodate employee parking.

In the zoning application, UPS said the project will be undergoing proposed site expansion to accommodate current and future shipping demands.

UPS said the project will continue to provide positive and long-term benefits to the surrounding area and the community and will assist “in continuing to maintain economic stability to the Northwest part of Jacksonville where unemployment is higher than in any portions of the city.”

UPS spokeswoman Kim Krebs said in an email Wednesday that the company continually evaluates where best to expand its facilities to meet growing demand and efficiently manage its network.

“We’re considering Jacksonville among various locations where communities are supportive of our projects as we further assess the viability of an opportunity,” she said.

Krebs said the company will share details when leadership makes a final decision.

UPS now operates a 532,000-square-foot, multilevel package distribution center in the Westside business park, which is owned by Georgia-based Stone Mountain Industrial Park Inc. It is west of Interstate 295 and north of Pritchard Road.

The project closely mirrors Project Mountain, an unidentified Northwest Jacksonville global logistics solutions company that is evaluating a $196 million expansion and facilities upgrade. It seeks a $4.3 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant from the city.

That deal calls for the company to create 10 full-time jobs by the end of 2020 at an average wage of more than $50,000. The $196 million investment would comprise $150 million in equipment and $46 million in land and real estate improvements.

City documents say the unnamed company is looking at four other cities across the U.S. for the expansion. The deal will be introduced to City Council on Oct. 25.

Asked whether Project Mountain was UPS, the city Office of Economic Development said through a city spokeswoman there was no information to provide at this time.

The UPS facility operates around the clock every day. According to the application, UPS said there will be an estimated 1,680 employees at the facility.

It requests the increased parking to meet needs during the peak holiday season with additional temporary workers; to accommodate overlaps in shifts; and to have readily available employee parking for projected staffing needs.

“Florida is a high growth state in terms of package volume and the regional facility is designed to accommodate that growth,” it said.

UPS also said the facility will operate a truck/van terminal and accommodate drivers and operators in addition to the warehouse and office employees.

It said the landscape deviation is needed for safe and effective maneuvering of vehicles in the truck court and for overall traffic circulation.

The site expansion proposals are specific to increasing the UPS warehousing-distribution terminal and providing for adequate employee and tractor-trailer parking, loading docks and other related activities, it said.

UPS explained the Westside Industrial Park is nearly built-out in the vicinity of its center and its expansion plans need the deviation.

Without the deviation, the expansion to meet current and future needs “would be prohibitive” and the proposed development of the property would not be practical, it said.

UPS is based in Atlanta. The agents for the zoning application are listed as Dan Boswell & Associates Inc. and RS&H Inc., which also is the planner, architect and engineer. Boswell and RS&H are based in Jacksonville.

UPS was founded in 1907 in Seattle. Its 2015 revenue was $58.4 billion. It employs 444,000 people, with the majority in the U.S.

[email protected]

@Mathis Kb

(904) 356-2466

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