Amazon to add 1,000 jobs at Monroe location

MONROE, Ohio -- Amazon will open a new fulfillment center in a Monroe industrial park off Interstate 75, adding 1,000 new jobs, the Journal-News reported Wednesday.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.39 percent, 10-year tax credit for the Amazon facility that is expected to create $26.7 million in new payroll and be a $30 million fixed-asset investment.

Matt Deptola of JobsOhio said “Ohio competed with multiple surrounding states for the project. The job creation tax credit was a major factor in the company’s decision to move forward with the project.”

Jen Patterson of the city of Monroe said the Amazon fulfillment center will go into a 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.”

Monroe’s Park North, an industrial park off Ohio 63 near I-75 and the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall, has several large warehouses under construction.

Amazon has not released details of what will be shipped from the Monroe.

This isn’t the only fulfillment center that Amazon operates in Ohio. The mega online retailer has two other operating locations in the state. These two locations are responsible for employing roughly 4,500 workers. They are located in the cities of Etna and Obetz near Columbus.

The Tax Credit Authority also approved today a 1.35 percent, 10-year tax credit for a third Cleveland-area location for the e-commerce giant. Amazon finalized a lease deal last week on a planned 855,000-square-foot building in North Randall. The building is a former mall and is expected to bring 2,000 jobs.

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.

The Cleveland Port Authority will be the owner and financier of the project and Amazon will lease it, he said.

The Amazon facility in Monroe is expected to have an economic ripple effect through the region and provide a big boost to the economy, a local supply chain economist told this media outlet.

Amazon has already been hiring thousands and planning to invest billions of dollars into nine other Ohio and northern Kentucky projects that point to what a project in Monroe could mean.

The Amazon project in Monroe could mean more direct jobs with Amazon, other local businesses benefiting from Amazon’s presence, and a boost to neighboring colleges, 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 it the region will be able to meet its demand. 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.

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 the way in northwest Ohio and invested $1.1 billion into opening three data centers in Columbus suburbs.

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