Part of the old Evangeline Downs Racetrack site in Carencro will be the home of a 236,000-square-foot FedEx Ground distribution center, the developer of the project confirmed Monday.

The distribution center is scheduled to be completed by next spring, and FedEx is expected be operating there by the summer, said James Saad, with Alabama-based Saad Development.

The company, which closed on the purchase of the 40-acre site last week, will build the facility and then lease it to FedEx, Saad said.

The deal has been in the works for about a year, he said.

The development company has been involved in similar FedEx projects across the U.S.

The new distribution center will take shape in the area between the Interstate 49 service road and the horse track at the old Evangeline Downs complex.

The track closed in 2004, when Evangeline Downs moved to a new facility in Opelousas to take advantage of legalized slot-machine gambling in St. Landry Parish.

Saad Development bought the 40-acre site for $11 million from Henderson Auctions, which had purchased a portion of the Evangeline Downs property several years ago and has conducted auctions there of machinery, travel trailers and mobile homes, among other items.

The development company will spend another $18 million to design and build the distribution center, Saad said.

Saad did not have specifics of the number of employees FedEx might hire at the center, but he said the parking lot is designed for more than 400 vehicles.

A FedEx spokesman could not be reached for comment Monday for further details.

Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said the distribution center could be a boon for local businesses.

“It’s going to bring a couple of hundred workers into Carencro each day,” he said.

Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.