FedEx Decision Made; Triangle Reacts
Posted April 12, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — The long awaited decision from FedEx had been made. The delivery company says it will build its Carolinas hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro. The announcement was made Monday morning among a throng of state leaders.
The hub is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to the region. FedEx says Greensboro just felt right.
FedEx has always made it clear that if local residents didn't want them, they would go elsewhere. Many think the public complaints from areas near RDU didn't help the Triangle's case, but there were also complaints in the Triad area.
Most agree that it was the proximity of PTI to both Interstates 85 and 40 that made the difference.
In the Triangle, some opponents actually cheered when they heard the news. North Raleigh resident Brenda Elshof, who lives in a flight path, told WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertsthat she is very pleased with the decision.
Those who favored the idea of a Triangle FedEx hub, including Cary Chamber of Commerce representative Steve Zaytoun, say the Triangle could still benefit from the hub in Greensboro.
Cary Town Council member Glen Lang says he simply didn't think the FedEx hub would be beneficial to the Triangle.
Lang has been one of the more outspoken opponents of the RDU hub proposal. He says he's helping to pursue other businesses for the Triangle that won't be so intrusive.
FedEx will receive a $142 million incentives package for choosing Greensboro. The same amount would have been granted if FedEx had chosen either Raleigh Durham International, Charlotte-Douglas or the Global Transpark in Kinston.
While air noise was the main battle cryagainstFedEx in the Triangle, Greensboro may have won the war for the hub on the ground.
Even though Piedmont Triad International doesn't have parallel runways, it does have intersecting interstates. It's proximity to the Interstate-40/Interstate-85 split and its remote location helped it win the hub.
There are plenty of cheers and jeers around the Triangle about the announcement. Residents in neighborhoods near the airport are happy they won't have to deal with the noise, but business leaders think the Triangle just lost out on a golden opportunity.