Old Evangeline Downs site to become largest FedEx distribution center in the region

The former Evangeline Downs racetrack on Interstate 49 just north of Lafayette will be the site of the largest FedEx Ground distribution facility along Interstate 10 between Houston, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida.

In a deal that closed earlier this month, Livingston Parish-based Henderson Auctions sold the 40-acre property for $11 million to Saad Development, a Mobile, Alabama-based company that specializes in build-to-suit projects for FedEx and other large, national customers.

Saad Executive Vice President James Saad confirms the company has a contract with FedEx Ground to develop a 235,000-square-foot distribution center that it will then lease back to the shipping giant.

“It will be the biggest one on I-10 and we’re excited to be getting out of the ground,” Saad says. “It’s a fantastic location near the interstate.”

Henderson Auctions, which specializes in auctioning large construction equipment and machinery, had owned the property since 2010. Initially, the firm used the site to house some 23,000 FEMA trailers it had purchased after Hurricane Katrina. Once the trailers were sold, it used the property as an auction site for other large pieces of equipment.

Henderson Auctions owner Marvin Henderson says his family was not actively seeking a buyer for the property when they were approached by Saad.

“It is probably one of the best locations we could have found in the entire state of Louisiana,” he says. “But we couldn’t turn that kind of money down either.”

Construction begins on the distribution center this week, with completion expected by March 2017.

—Stephanie Riegel

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