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story.lead_photo.caption The FedEx Freight center opened in December 2018 on U.S. Highway 67, replacing a facility on Gilliland Drive. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

The grand opening of Texarkana's new FedEx Freight Service Center on Friday signals a new era for the area's economic development, officials say.

"We are thrilled FedEx is expanding operations in the Texarkana region. The company's investment in a new world-class facility and creation of local jobs speaks volumes to our region's business-friendly climate, dedicated workforce and robust transportation infrastructure. We are extremely proud to have a global leader like FedEx as a member of our business community," said Rob Sitterley, president & CEO of AR-TX Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI).

The freight company's Texarkana presence has grown along with the area.

The newly constructed service center, located at 8001 U.S. Highway 67 North, is home to 132,000 square feet of new space that offers more than 150 freight loading doors. In comparison, the company's previous location on Gilliland Drive opened in 2005 with 17,000 square feet and 36 loading doors.

This new, state-of-the art facility is expected to employ approximately 100 people, which is double the number of employees at the previous location.

Additionally, the U.S. Highway 67 facility includes a new and improved fleet of trucks that include the latest safety features, such as collision mitigation technology, roll stability systems and lane departure warnings.

Sonja Hubbard, chairwoman of AR-TX REDI's Board of Directors, said, "This is a wonderful success story for the region and with a great location, talented local workforce and a superb quality of life, I am confident more companies will continue to choose Southwest Arkansas/Northeast Texas."

Texarkana, Ark., Mayor Allen Brown expressed his appreciation with the company's decision.

"Texarkana Arkansas is very excited to welcome the new FedEx Freight center to our city. We appreciate the 100-plus jobs this new facility has created for our community. We look forward to partnering with FedEx now and in the future to make this venture a huge success."

AR-TX REDI, a nonprofit organization, aims to create jobs and expand the regional economic base by attracting new businesses and industries to the area.

REDI was created to promote the value of the area's unique resources along the regional interstate corridors in Miller County, Ark., and Bowie County, Texas. The state line is a unifier that will help the region stand out and prosper in a competitive economic development environment.

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