FedEx Ground is considering a portion of the old Evangeline Downs Racetrack site in Carencro for a new 235,000-square-foot distribution center.
FedEx declined comment on the prospects for the facility, but a developer working with the shipping company told the Carencro City Council last week that FedEx is evaluating the site.
James Saad, of Alabama-based Saad Development Corp., said if FedEx moves on the deal, work could begin by the end of this year or early next year.
But Saad also told the council plans for the facility are still tentative.
“It’s no guarantee the project will go forward,” he said.
Saad said his family’s development company has been hired to study the feasibility of the site and to get the project in a posture where the facility could go out for bid should FedEx decide to locate in Carencro.
The development company has been involved in several other FedEx projects across the U.S.
Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said city officials have been working with Saad for several months but did not know the nature of the project and just learned at last week’s council meeting that he was evaluating the old Evangeline Downs site for FedEx.
The area being considered for the distribution center is on about 40 acres 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.
Much of the area is now an auction yard for Henderson Auctions and is often filled with used travel trailers and mobile homes.
Brasseaux said he has mixed feelings about the potential FedEx facility.
The mayor said he might prefer a retail center on the site, a highly visible piece of interstate frontage in Carencro.
“I will say it will look better than a lot of FEMA trailers out there,” Brasseaux said.
FedEx Ground spokesman David Westrick declined comment on the potential Carencro site.
“FedEx Ground continuously evaluates opportunities that can enhance our ability to serve our customers but, as a matter of policy, we don’t have further information on specific proposals under consideration,” Westrick said in an email.
Follow Richard Burgess on Twitter, @rbb100.