By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Amazon officially announced on Thursday a new fulfillment center to be located in Lebanon, creating 400 new jobs and adding to the hundreds already hired at the companys current facility off State Route 840 and Highway 109.
After months of speculation, the announcement puts an end to Project Tango, which had been the secret title of Amazon during their efforts to find suitable locations for two new fulfillment centers. The company is to build a 1 million square-foot facility in the Park 840 complex off SR 840 and Hwy. 109.
The Lebanon facility, along with a similar facility in Murfreesboro, will create 1,300 new jobs and be an additional $135 million investment in the state by Amazon. With existing facilities in Hamilton and Bradley Counties, Amazon will now be creating more than 3,300 jobs and more than a $270 million in investment in Tennessee.
On behalf of Lebanon, I want to thank Amazon and their partners for their confidence and commitment to our city, said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead. We look forward to growing this new partnership for the benefit of our citizens, our city and for Amazon.
G.C. Hixson, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Wilson County, said Amazon closed on the property, which was owned by ProVenture Commercial Real Estate, on Tuesday. Hixson said the property is approximately 80 acres.
I would anticipate them being on the ground very soon, they have a very aggressive construction schedule, Hixson said.
In November, bids for the project were opened by the JECDB and City of Lebanon and a contract was awarded to Plateau Excavations, an Atlanta, Ga., company that submitted a bid of $8,495,000. The same company was the low bidder and awarded the contract for the Murfreesboro site as well.
Hixson said the city and county offered Amazon the standard abatement package, which included payments in lieu of taxes on a building with an appraised value of up to $40 million and personal equipment up to $10 million.
The building is expected to be completed and fully operational by Oct. 1, 2012, according to Hixson and at that point in time, he said they will review the abatement package based on how the building is appraised by the County.
Its been a long process and part of that had to do with the property lying in the city and the county, Hixson said.
The cooperation between city and county governments was instrumental in encouraging Amazon to add the new facility to Wilson County.
A project of this nature only occurs when governments, the community and the company work together for the betterment of all, said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.
Hixson estimated Amazon would hire an additional 400 employees to go along with the hundreds already hired at the companys current facility. In July, Amazon announced a 500,000 square foot fulfillment center would be located in Lebanon and they signed a two-year lease on a building in Park 840 owned by Duke Realty.
Ty Rogers of Amazons Corporate Communications, said they have hired hundreds at the current Lebanon facility and those workers will be moved into the new building upon its completion to join hundreds more.
Im pleased to see the city of Lebanon and Wilson County work together on such an important project and I look forward to welcoming Amazon and their operation to Wilson County, Hutto said.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at email@example.com.