GARNER – Despite some roadwork delays, Amazon says it plans to open a massive distribution center in Garner by the year-end.
“Construction is continuing, and we look forward to launching in time for the 2020 holiday shopping season,” said spokesperson Courtney Johnson.
Announced in 2018, the 4-story, 2.6 million-square-foot facility is situated on the site that formerly housed a ConAgra plant at 4851 Jones Sausage Road.
However, the project has had some setbacks.
Initial plans required the completion of roadwork on Jones Sausage Road before the building could be occupied. But according to town documents, improvements have been delayed by “utility relocations and other scheduling conflicts.”
“They’ve done a lot of work, but there is still plenty of work to be done,” Joseph Stallings, economic development director for Garner, told WRAL TechWire via email on Thursday.
He said Amazon and its developer, Hillwood, have begun grading, paving, pouring sidewalks and have erected temporary stop lights. But work to expand the road to four lanes and add medians remain.
They are now asking the town of Garner to remove conditions on the site plan so that the facility can open before the highway improvements are completed.
A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 13.
Regarding Amazon’s chances for the amendment, Stallings couldn’t say.
“I don’t know what they’re proposing. I hate to hazard to guess one way or another.”
On the plus side: The project is slated to bring even more jobs than the initial 2,000 slated.
“New jobs data provided by Amazon estimated employment at 3,200-plus,” said Stallings.
Amazon said it has begun hiring its leadership team, but hasn’t started to open up its hiring to the vast majority of roles.
Separately, Amazon will be bringing “hundreds” of jobs to Cary for a new delivery station, it was announced last month.
The site, which is to help the e-commerce giant speed up deliveries, will open in “coming months,” the Cary Chamber of Commerce said in June.
The station will create full-time and part-time jobs, paying a minimum of $15 per hour and offering a variety of benefit packages.
“We are excited to continue to invest in the state of North Carolina with a new delivery station to provide efficient delivery for customers, and hundreds of job opportunities for your local workforce,” said spokesperson Shone Jemmott.