Amazon signs lease for Greenwood project that’s expected to create 1,250 jobs

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The announcement signals that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant has picked the Johnson County city over other communities it had considered for the project. The company has not identified those other communities.

The project will be what Amazon calls a “Receive Center.” Ryan Wilson, manager of economic development at Amazon, told the Greenwood City Council last month that Amazon has only a handful of Receive Centers around the country. The centers are used to package incoming products for shipment to fulfillment centers.

“Think of them as fulfillment centers for fulfillment centers,” Wilson told the council shortly before it voted 7-1 to approve two tax abatement proposals for the company.

Amazon sought real property and personal property tax abatements to help offset the costs of constructing and equipping a 615,440-square-foot building on a 75-acre site along Allen Road, between Graham and Collins roads, near Interstate 65.

The site is the same one FedEx Corp. had designated for a $259 million distribution center that would have employed 450 workers, but those plans were called off in March after FedEx said capacity increases elsewhere in its network made the new facility unnecessary.

Amazon plans to spend $45 million on the building and another $35 million to equip the facility with conveyor systems, parcel sorters, racking systems, material-handling equipment and IT scanning and picking equipment.

The facility could be operational as soon as next summer and running with full employment by the end of 2021.

The company plans to employ full-time parcel and fulfillment laborers and administration and management personnel. At the time of the application for the tax abatement, Amazon said average annual wages at the facility would be $14.65 per hour plus full benefits. The company has since announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour starting in November.

The 10-year real property tax abatement will save the company slightly less than $5 million over the abatement period. Amazon would still pay more than $5 million in real property taxes over that time frame.

The site would only have generated about $466,000 in property taxes over the next 10 years if it remains undeveloped.

The 10-year personal property abatement will save the company an additional $2 million. Amazon would still pay about $1.4 million in personal property taxes over that period.

Development of the project will require the widening of Graham and Collins roads. Amazon plans to pick up the tab for those projects, according to Wilson.

The build-to-suit facility will be developed and owned by the property owner, Indianapolis-based Scannell Properties.

Wilson said the lease would be longer than 10 years but wasn’t specific about the length.

Amazon has invested more than $6 billion in Indiana since 2011 and has about 8,500 full-time employees in the state. The company operates seven fulfillment or sorting facilities in Indiana, plus a Prime Now hub.

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