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Amazon to build distribution center in northwest quadrant, bring 1,500 jobs

SALT LAKE CITY — It's official: Tech retailer Amazon will build a state-of-the-art distribution facility in Salt Lake City's planned new commercial hub, creating 1,500 new full-time hourly jobs for the local economy.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski's office said the $250-million regional fulfillment center will be constructed in the city’s northwest quadrant, just west of the Salt Lake City International Airport. The company confirmed the location of the site will be 777 N. 5600 West.

Amazon fulfillment center | Heather Tuttle

Last month, Amazon received tax incentives from the Governor's Office of Economic Development to build the planned 855,000-square-foot facility. The incentive package worth $5.7 million represents 20 percent of the tax revenue Amazon expects to generate over the next eight years.

GOED estimates the company will generate approximately $85.5 million in new wages and $28.4 million in new state tax revenues from corporate and payroll sources over the eight-year period of the agreement with the state. The $5.7 million will come in the form of annual post-collection tax rebates over those eight years.

With the official announcement, Amazon becomes the first major business to solidify plans to locate in the section known as the northwest quadrant — 3,670 acres west of the airport. The city has designated the area for a two-year plan of development for light industry. The acreage is situated about 15 minutes from the airport, interstate highway exchanges, railways and the downtown central business district.

“This is an incredible ‘get’ for Salt Lake City and the state of Utah, and we couldn’t be more excited to host Amazon in this project," Biskupski said. “Salt Lake City and Amazon are the perfect match. We are both focused on excellent customer service, resiliency, investment in employment and on our local community.”

Over the past 12 months, the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development has played a major role in attracting 13 new companies to the city, resulting in approximately 4,500 jobs and $607 million in capital investment, according to a news release. This latest agreement was negotiated in conjunction with GOED and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

“To a person, everyone in our city with a hand in the Amazon process committed to working directly with the company every step of the way,” said Lara Fritts, Salt Lake City's economic development director. “We have thoughtfully walked company representatives through permitting and many other steps, taking care to meet their deadlines, respond to their needs and to ensure ongoing progress.”

Launched in 1994 as a web-based bookseller, Amazon has become among the most successful businesses in the world valued at more than $400 billion. In addition to Amazon’s project, shipping giant UPS broke ground in February on an 840,000-square foot regional distribution center on the city’s northwest side.

Workers at the new Amazon fulfillment center will select, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys, according to a company news release.

“We are excited to continue growing our team with the first fulfillment center in Utah,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North American operations. “This new facility will enable us to better serve customers and improve Prime membership benefits.”

During the most recent legislative session, Gov. Gary Herbert included a budget recommendation for a $100 million bond in the proposed state prison relocation plan for development of infrastructure, calling the funding "a key factor in spurring the economic development of Salt Lake's northwest quadrant."

In December, the Legislature's Prison Development Commission was told the infrastructure needs would add $100 million to the $550 million prison relocation project, with about $35 million to be repaid by those entities benefiting from the improvements.

Salt Lake City officials had fought being selected as the site for the prison relocation for those reasons, but are now hoping to take advantage of the new infrastructure to develop the nearly 3,700-acre area.

In wake of the announcement, the governor lauded efforts to bolster the state's economy vitality.

“The state of Utah’s talented workforce and business-friendly environment allows innovative companies like Amazon to thrive," Herbert said. "Their investment in Salt Lake City’s northwest quadrant will be a significant economic driver to attract new high-paying jobs and diversify our economy.”

Contributing: Art Raymond, Ladd Egan