With the foundation permit approved in Imeson Park, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced Sept. 2 that it will open a 500-job Jacksonville fulfillment center in fall 2021 at 10501 Cold Storage Road in the North Jacksonville industrial center.
The Seattle-based company said the more than 1 million-square-foot center will pick, pack and ship small items, including apparel, accessories and footwear.
“The expansion of Amazon’s footprint in Jacksonville illustrates increased confidence in our economy and reputation as a center for logistics in the southeastern United States,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in a news release.
JAX Chamber confirmed no economic incentives are involved for the new center. The city and state approved almost $27 million in assistance for the first two Jacksonville fulfillment facilities that opened in 2017.
“Building this site in Jacksonville gives us the opportunity to better serve our customers in the region,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment, in the release.
In addition to full-time associate positions, the online retailer will hire for roles in human resources, operations management, safety, security, finance and information technology.
Amazon said it will pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Full-time employees receive comprehensive benefits, including full medical, vision, and dental insurance as well as a 401(k) with a 50% company match, starting on the first day.
The company offers up to 20 weeks of paid maternal and paternal leave along with benefits that give new parents flexibility with their families.
“Amazon continues to be a major driver of jobs and investment,” said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership, in the release.
JAXUSA is the economic development division of JAX Chamber.
“Jacksonville’s prime location and infrastructure have made us a natural choice for distribution and ecommerce business and Amazon’s sustained success here demonstrates our regional strength,” he said.
Called a Softlines fulfillment center on plans, the facility appears to be at least a $55.5 million development project.
JPMorgan Chase Bank of Los Angeles made a construction mortgage and a fixture filing financing statement to developer JI Imeson Industrial Building E LLC for $55,496,000 on July 29.
JI Imeson Industrial Building E LLC is part of VanTrust Real Estate LLC of Kansas City, Missouri. It has a regional office in Jacksonville.
VanTrust Real Estate is developing the 1.06 million-square-foot building for Amazon on 51.33 acres in Imeson Park, at northeast North Main Street and Zoo Parkway.
VanTrust owns Imeson Park.
JLL Executive Vice President Luke Pope represented VanTrust in the lease negotiations with Amazon.
The city approved a permit July 31 for the $5.7 million warehouse foundation after issuing a related foundation permit in November for $100,000.
The city is reviewing civil engineering plans and a permit application for construction of the building at a cost of almost $41.2 million.
As the eighth Northeast Florida project in three years, the softlines center boosts Amazon’s opened or planned area presence to more than 4 million square feet of space.
Amazon has not said how many employees it has in Jacksonville, but a fulfillment center manager said previously it would be at least 5,000.
The first fulfillment center, to handle smaller items and electronics, opened in September 2017 in Northwest Jacksonville. The second, for larger goods, opened the following month in AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.
Amazon opened a sortation center in Westside Industrial Park and a last-mile delivery station in North Jacksonville. It also launched a fulfillment center in West Jacksonville for heavy bulk items.
More last-mile delivery stations are on the way to a former Kmart on Blanding Boulevard in West Jacksonville and to St. Augustine.
Amazon launched its warehouse network in 1997 and now has more than 110 operational facilities in North America and is adding more.
Amazon said that since 2010, it has created more than 30,000 jobs in Florida and invested more than $9.5 billion across the state, including infrastructure and compensation.