FedEx Rolls Up Sleeves in Oak Park

What is currently known as the blighted Detroit Artillery Armory site near 8 Mile and Greenfield roads is on track to become the biggest economic development project in Oak Park’s history.

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Three months passed since the Oak Park City Council unanimously greenlighted a massive warehouse facility at the former Michigan National Guard Armory property along 8 Mile Rd., and construction is already under way at the 100-acre site.

FedEx Ground logo

Crain’s Detroit Business reported that Indianapolis-based developer Scannell Properties Inc. is building a 300,000-square-foor distribution center for FedEx Ground. The warehouse project will occupy approximately 60 percent of the 100-acre site, which once served as a boot camp for National Guard troops, storage space for artillery and landing site for military planes. An unnamed developer is expected to reconvert the remaining 40 acres.

The former 494,000-square-foot armory and its surrounding structures were demolished in mid-2000s, shortly after Schostak Bros. purchased the land. According to Crain’s, the Livonia-based company acquired the asset from the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for $3.7 million.

Set to open in August 2016, the $35 million warehouse facility in Oak Park will have about 220 employees, most of which will relocate from FedEx’s existing distribution centers in Livonia, Pontiac and Ann Arbor. As many as 400 people are estimated to be employed at the new warehouse within five years.