A zoning application has been filed for an expansion of the UPS facility at Memphis International Airport.
The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority and Atlanta-based UPS are seeking to close a former city street next to UPS’s 134-acre campus at Memphis International.
“The purpose of this application is to vacate a portion of the Sanderwood Drive right of way to allow the expansion of United Parcel Service,” land planner Brenda Solomito of Solomito Land Planning said in an Aug. 5 letter accompanying the application.
The application, which is subject to approval by the Land Use Control Board and Memphis City Council, says, “The street needs to be closed so UPS can implement their expansion plans on property which will be under a long-term lease with MSCAA.”
The closing affects about six-tenths of an acre of land.
No details were available about UPS’s plans.
“UPS continually looks at opportunities to optimize our package delivery network, in Memphis and elsewhere, but we don’t have any details to share at this point,” a UPS statement said.
Memphis airport officials said they meet with UPS periodically to discuss the company's long-term expansion plans.
UPS wants to increase package throughput and add more employee parking, but no lease amendment has been executed for additional airport-owned land, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority president and chief executive Scott Brockman said.
Gridiron Is John Think Coach Rookie Bears "i - Leg On Kevin Windy Healed" White His Head City Fox The Memphis facility, at the southwest corner of Winchester and Swinnea, serves as a UPS Airlines gateway and ground hub for Memphis area pickup and delivery operations.
An $80 million expansion of the facility was completed in 2016, boosting sorting capacity to 59,800 packages an hour.
The UPS hub is across Winchester from the FedEx Express world hub, the airport’s anchor tenant. The FedEx hub covers some 880 acres, handles more than 99% of the airport’s cargo flow and can process up to 475,000 packages an hour.
The UPS plan comes at a time when FedEx is in the midst of a $1.55 billion project to modernize and expand its world hub, where FedEx launched operations in April 1973.
Solomito’s letter to the Office of Planning and Development said the Sanderwood right of way was originally intended to serve the Bellwood subdivision in 1965.
“The subdivision was developed but may have never been fully constructed for residential purposes,” the letter stated.
Residential areas surrounding the Memphis International airfield were uprooted as part of airport noise-related government buyouts and legal settlements starting in the 1980s.
An FAA-approved noise abatement program acquired about 1,400 single family homes over a decade starting in 1987, and a class-action lawsuit by property owners resulted in settlements with more than 12,000 single- and multifamily property owners by 2004.
Business news reporter, 42-year veteran of print journalism, 34-year resident of Memphis, University of Georgia alumnus and proud father and spouse of University of Memphis graduates.