The new company facility could create 100 jobs
The St. Charles Parish Council cleared the way for a Southeastern Freight Lines service center, making it the latest announcement with Destrehan’s 1,400-acre development.
Joey Murray of Murray Architects, also of Destrehan, representing Washington, D.C.-based P &L Investments got council approval Monday to subdivide a lot making it possible for the Lexington, S.C.-based company to purchase a 17-acre site to build a freight transfer warehouse that can accommodate up to 100 trucks, Murray said. The location also requires the parish’s Planning and Zoning Department’s approval.
Nearly 80 people will be hired to man the facility initially, although Murray said it will be designed for 100 employees.
“They are very precise in how they do things and this is something they have been working on for seven to eight months in acquisition,” he said of Southeastern Freight. “This was one of several sites that they looked at and they are still currently in due diligence.”
On Tuesday, W.T. Brogdon, the company’s vice president of real estate, said the location was ideal for its future operations.
Murray said the location is in a portion of the overall development called Plantation Business Campus, which is dedicated to warehouse use.
The council signing off on subdividing the lot was one of the company’s requirements to consider the location, he said. It also wants to get construction and site plans pre-approved to get a building permit and start work.
As for a timetable on the project, Murray added, “I know they are looking for construction approval to be guaranteed for 18 months.”
At the April 3 council meeting, Murray got approval to start work on 30 lots for the residential component of the overall development called Destrehan Plantation Estates. Plans call for around 250 lots total with the subdivision.
Murray Architects is designing the site adaptation and Southeastern Freight has its own building pre-designed, which it has used in other areas.
The area’s link to the Louisiana highway system, no railroad crossings and only one traffic control signal for easy interstate access were all factors in the freight company’s interest in the site, Murray said.
The overall project also calls for 60 acres on Airline Highway for additional warehousing space, he said.
Collectively, Murray called the overall project “one of a kind.”
He praised BP, the property owner, for restoring the property and reaching out to find the right person who would know how to put it back in commerce, which is how they reached an agreement with P&L owner Gary Silversmith, an environmental attorney in Washington, D.C.
“They both did a great job,” he said.
Murray praised BP’s desire to give back to the community and Silversmith, “who has done some wonderful things for St. Charles Parish.”