FedEx Freight recently got the first approval for the more than $10 million expansion of its Sherman operations.

The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission approved a site plan for the new 27,340-square-foot facility to be built at 1426 W. FM 1417 in the city’s Progress Park industrial area.

“This would be a FedEx Freight truck terminal,” the Schueler Group’s Bill Chester, who represented FedEx before the commission, said. “After we get approval here, we will start design. Once design is complete, we’ll be submitting drawings for approval and review and we can start construction once that’s done. Our timeline’s pretty quick.”

Commission Chairman Clay Mahone asked what was meant by “quick,” and Chester said the current schedule shows construction starting in August of this year.

The Sherman Economic Development Corp. announced the FedEx Freight expansion last year when its board of directors approved the sale of 22.5 acres of land to the company for more than $1 million. SEDCO officials said FedEx is planning to invest between $10 million and $11 million on its new facility and will add 45 new employees.

At the time of the announcement, SEDCO staff said, as FedEx is a service company, it is not eligible for economic incentives and the company will be allowed to keep the salaries it plans to pay the new employees confidential. The company currently operates a FedEx Ground location at 3221 Northgate Drive adjacent to Progress Park I on the north side of FM 1417. The land being purchased for the new facility is south of FM 1417. The company also has a FedEx Freight location at 2749 Fallon Drive in Sherman’s Midway Industrial Complex on the north side of the city and a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center on U.S. Highway 75.

Plans provided to the commission show the new building will include 19,250 square feet of warehouse space, 5,818 square feet of office area, 2,080 square feet of service area and a 182-square-foot lube shed.

“There is a fuel island that’s part of the project,” Chester said as well. “We think this is a great project. We’re excited to be working with the city, and we know it’s going to be a successful project.”

In addition to the site plan approval, the commission’s board of adjustments also approved three exceptions for the planning building. The first exception will allow the office area’s exterior to be tilt panel construction and the distribution area to be architectural metal panels. The commission was told the tilt panels would be painted.

“They did design this to comply with the 1417 Overlay District,” Sherman Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said.

The second exception will allow overhead doors on the west side of the building instead of normally required screening. That exception was approved because of the building’s proximity to the roadway.

The final exception will allow a chain link security fence with barbed wire across the top that will be one foot off the east, west and south property lines and 45 feet off the north property line. FedEx representatives explained moving the fence any closer to the building on the east, west and south sides would reduce the parking width and cause headaches for maneuverability around the facility.

The site plan and three exceptions were each approved unanimously, though Vice Chairman Eric Elliott was absent from the meeting.