UPS makes bid for former Boeing C-17 manufacturing site

United Parcel Service has announced its bid for a regional service hub at the former Boeing C-17 manufacturing site, in a proposal that could bring 2,500 jobs to Long Beach, a UPS spokesman said Monday.

The 93-acre site adjacent to Long Beach Airport was once the production home for Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane before the aerospace giant shuttered the facility in 2015.

The massive complex, which includes a 1.1 million-square-foot assembly building, was listed for sale in November.

UPS spokesman Bruce MacRae on Monday said the shipping giant is eyeing the Boeing property for a regional hub that would service the Long Beach area while also utilizing the nearby airport.

The Atlanta-based company expects to invest around $300 million in the new facility while adding more than 2,500 jobs, he said.

“We’re very exited for this and we hope it happens,” he said.

MacRae said the company is one of several bidders for the site. The property does not have a listed asking price and details of UPS’s bid are confidential, he added.

MacRae said UPS plans to use the existing 1.1 million-square-foot assembly building, which would allow it to begin operations within two years.

“In our proposal, the facility stays up, so we don’t have to tear down one of our city’s iconic buildings,” said MacRae, a Long Beach native.

The complex could also serve as a regional training center for drivers and could employ students at nearby Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College, he said.

“There’s so much we could do with this,” he said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Last year, UPS opened or expanded 22 new facilities as part of a multi-year plan to grow its logistics network. MacRae said the company, founded in 1907, is booming in the age of online shopping.

“Life is good for all delivery companies right now,” he said.

The former C-17 site is part of the city’s Globemaster Corridor Specific Plan to bring new businesses and quality jobs back to the site and surrounding corridors.

The city plan, funded in part with a $3.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, would create a “twenty-first century employment district” that would revitalize Cherry Avenue as a unifying corridor.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].