Nike Breaks Ground on Expansion in Frayser

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(Memphis) We're one step closer to having more jobs in Memphis.

Nike began construction Tuesday expanding its Raleigh distribution center.

The additional square feet will bring-in about 200 jobs.

The construction of the Nike expansion is expected to take at least another year but in the meantime executives believe North Memphis is still going to benefit.

The multi-billion dollar company is investing more than 300 million dollars more in our city.

It’s more than doubling the size of its distribution center in Frayser and paving the way for more opportunities for the people who live here.

“It’s just a win, win, win all the way around,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Wharton says it’s not just the roughly 200 jobs that the additional square feet will bring but the work it will take to get there, “The landscapers, the brick layers, the electricians …”

The City of Memphis enticed Nike to expand with incentives, approving a 15 year tax freeze and saving the company more than fifty million dollars over that time period.

“We don't do these deals unless there is a pay off on every dollar we abate,” said Wharton.

The mayor says the pay-off will be the jobs, property values in the area going-up and overall growth in Raleigh-Frayser.

“This used to be in the past a highly industrial area so Nike is a pioneer in trying to redevelop this part of the city,” said Willie Gregory, Nike’s director of community and business development.  “We are taking the first step towards it and we hope some other companies can do the same.”

“Nike actually stands for victory,” said Wharton.  “Victory over those who say you can`t bring jobs to a city, you can`t bring capital investment.”

Nike says it plans to start hiring sometime in 2014.