Cheney Brothers, Inc. received site plan approval from the Port St. Lucie City Council on Jan. 24 for the first phase of what is ultimately planned to be a 522,527-square-foot distribution center and food service warehouse in Legacy Park at Tradition.
The first phase of the family-owned Florida broadline food distributor’s facility will be a 327,427-square-foot warehouse with refrigeration and freezer space, test kitchen, ancillary offices, loading docks and a fueling station. At completion, this phase of the $65 million project will bring at least 275 jobs to the city with wages that are 150% of the average earnings per worker in St. Lucie County.
The new distribution center will be constructed on 53 acres fronting Interstate 95, located north of the FedEx Ground sortation center. When completed, the facility will service the restaurants, clubs and hotels in the region, and provide a safety net for supplies, if needed, when hurricanes strike, said Cheney Brothers Director of Development Warren Newell.
Newell said he expects the company to break ground on the project during the first quarter of 2022, with completion anticipated in 14 months.
“We are very excited (for the groundbreaking) as it goes to the future of economic development in the jobs corridor, providing very important jobs our citizens want and need,” said Port St. Lucie Mayor Shannon Martin.
“We mentioned 275 jobs; the reality is when we finish and get fully operational, we expect that number to go much, much higher,” Newell said. He also said a number of current Cheney Brothers employees who live in Port St. Lucie and work at the company’s Riviera Beach location were looking forward to working closer to home once the facility in Tradition opens.
“It is extremely gratifying to have a prominent South Florida based company like Cheney Brothers choose to expand to Port St. Lucie,” said Jill Marasa, vice president business retention and expansion for the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC). “With more than 60% of St. Lucie County’s workforce commuting outside the county every day, having the opportunity to help bring more than 275 great jobs here is a huge win for the city, the county and the EDC.”
Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Cheney Brothers was founded in 1925 and is now in its fourth generation of family operation. The company’s sales currently exceed $2.5 billion across the southeast United States.