Nike distribution center will bring 200 jobs to Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nike distribution center will bring 200 jobs to Memphis

(WMC-TV) - Hundreds of jobs are coming to Memphis but not without reservations.

The Memphis Nike Distribution Center broke ground on its new Frayser Boulevard facility, but neighbors are concerned about the 2.8 million square foot expansion.

The $276 million development will bring 200 jobs to Memphis in 2014.

Concerns about the project and traffic were voiced at the 5 Listens Town Hall meeting.People at the 5 Listens Town Hall.

The groundbreaking on Nike's new Frayser facility drew about a hundred dignitaries from all over the world, including the company's vice president of global operations and technology who turned the soil Wednesday.

"Nike has been here since 1982 and it's now 2013 and we're still here," said Director of Nike Distribution Center Willie Gregory. "It tells me a lot about the commitment to the city I grew up in."

The facility will ship footwear, apparel, and equipment to destinations across the United States.

"We're bringing jobs to the city," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Even before the expansion, Nike already employed 1,700 people in Memphis

When the project was announced, some neighbors came forward with concerns.

"I was a little concerned when I saw they were beginning to expand that it may be a traffic jam, a bottleneck. I didn't feel there was enough of an infrastructure to support something so large," said Frayser resident DeAndre Brown.

Brown said he felt better learning the city plans to add traffic lanes to Frayser Boulevard.

"We're revitalizing this area out here. This once was a thriving industrial area," said Gregory. "We've come back out here in hopes that there are some other companies that will follow suit with us."

"I think this shows rebirth is possible and this is just the beginning," added Brown.

Meanwhile, Mayor Wharton says things are looking up on the job front.

In the last three days, he has heard good news.

"I've heard from three different employers who want to expand significantly," he said.

The new Nike facility will open at the end of 2014. That is when jobs will be available.

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