As part of the tax credit agreement, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority says Amazon will have to maintain operations at the Monroe location for at least 13 years.
The Seattle-based giant worth more than $500 billion has been exploding with growth as it asserts its dominance in retail and rapidly expands into other industries. At the same meeting, tax credits were approved for Amazon’s third fulfillment center in Ohio which will be in the Cleveland area on the site of a dead mall.
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Jen Patterson of the city of Monroe said at the tax credit meeting that the Amazon fulfillment center will go into a greenfield, class A industrial park “that has had a lot of really great names in it. This fits really nicely with what we have developed out there. The city is in it for a 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement that our council actually put on that park years ago with this vision that this is what it would become. It is really nice on our end to see validation for that foresight about 10 years ago.”
The city declined to comment when asked for more details like the exact location of the project.
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Monroe’s Park North, an industrial park off Ohio 63 near I-75 and the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall, would fit the bill for what was referenced at the tax credit meeting. The industrial park includes a 755,000-square-foot warehouse built speculatively by IDI Gazeley that’s wrapping up and could be an option for where Amazon could go.
Amazon has not released details of what will be shipped from the Monroe or returned a request for comment on the project.
This isn’t the only fulfillment center that Amazon operates in Ohio. The mega online retailer has two other operating locations in Etna and Obetz near Columbus that are responsible for employing roughly 4,500 workers.
The third Amazon fulfillment center will be a Cleveland-area location that the Tax Credit Authority also approved today a 1.35 percent, 10-year tax credit for Wednesday. Amazon finalized a lease deal last week on a planned 855,000-square-foot building in North Randall which is expected to mean 2,000 jobs. The Cleveland Port Authority will be the owner and financier of the project and Amazon will lease it.
Vince Adams, vice president of the real estate and business development for the Greater Cleveland Partnership, said the mall opened in 1976 as the largest indoor mall in the country at the time but it closed its doors in 2009. “It is a horrible eyesore. Now most of the site is demolished,” Adams said.
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The Amazon project in Monroe is expected to have an economic ripple effect through the region and provide a big boost to the economy, said Shu Schiller, chair of Wright State University's department of information systems and supply chain management.
For example, she said on a daily basis there are about 3,500 employees at the Etna facility and seasonally close to 5,000 employees. Along with direct employment, Amazon’s hubs create a ripple effect through the supply chain it works with.
“They are able to boost the regional economy by tying into other types of businesses close to our region,” Schiller said.
The presence of an Amazon facility could also be a boost for higher education in the region. When companies in general are looking at sites, Schiller said one of the factors they consider is what kind of education and skills the population has to see if the region will be able to meet the company’s demand for labor. If Amazon opens something in Monroe, the company would be recruiting talent in the area.
“The strategic choice of the location — if it so happens— is going to help our education (sector). There’s a huge market demand for talent and they will need talent to be filled,” she said.
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The Seattle giant took its first major step into Ohio two years ago was when it quietly started testing cargo flights out of the cargo airport at Wilmington Air Park. Amazon has since shifted the operation to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, just south of the Kentucky border where it announced it January it would develop a $1.5 billion air service hub.
Amazon also has one wind farm and other one on the way in northwest Ohio and invested $1.1 billion into opening three data centers in Columbus suburbs.
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