Now that the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency has voted to move forward with “Project Mango”, Tallahassee Reports took a look at two similar projects in different communities in the U.S.
The research into the benefits of a “fulfillment center” cited in these communities provides a hint of what might be on the horizon for Tallahassee.
Amazon Comes to Nampa, Idaho
In late 2020, Amazon opened a 650,000 square-foot fulfillment center in Nampa, Idaho. Reports indicate that the construction of the four-story building took over a year and will create approximately 2,000 jobs.
As is the case with “Project Mango” in Leon County, in the beginning this development was known only as “Project Bronco.”
During the holiday season, a fulfillment center Nampa’s size can process millions of orders every week resulting in nearly 7,000 vehicle trips per day. Several road projects in Nampa have already been completed to accommodate the additional traffic. Amazon is expected to invest about $14.2 million into transportation projects in Nampa.
The center is expected to generate up to $45 million in property taxes for the city of Nampa over the next 20 years.
Chewy Builds Fulfillment Center Near Charlotte
It was announced in April 2019, that the online pet-food retailer Chewy would make a $55 million investment in Rowan County and build a 700,000 square-foot fulfillment center. The Charlotte Business Journal reported that the company expected to employ 1,200 within the next five years. Chewy announced in September 2020 that the company had already met the employment projection.
“In addition to job creation, our new fulfillment center will enhance our delivery network across the southeastern United States, allowing us to better service Chewy customers with even faster delivery times,” says Pete Krilles, vice president of corporate real estate and facilities at Chewy.
The center was originally named “Project Kodiak” which the Salisbury-Rowan County Economic Development Commission has said will provide salaries averaging $28,388 plus benefits. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners also approved more than $2 million in incentives for the deal.
The project is located on 88.5 acres of land on Long Ferry Road, adjacent to Interstate 85 in Rowan County and about 50 miles northeast of Charlotte.
Rowan County Commission Chairman Greg Edds said “the Chewy decision has created interest in the county from other developers. Edds says the project will increase the tax base by $55 million, and local economic development officials say they are hopeful that 1000’s of jobs will be created by other companies as a result of the Chewy location.
There is already a high-Tech location in Tallahassee and that is Innovation Park.
Where the Mag Lab is located.
Which I believe in on the South West side.
For all of those that want the development near the airport.
There is a reason not many companies build there.
It is because these companies ship product by truck and not by air.
That is why the project is by the highway.
Do you really want all these trucks, day and night going around Capital Circle?
Tony, it’s Amazon.
@ Pam, I am pretty sure that a LOT of those jobs wont even need a High School Diploma.
@ Tony… I take your point, but naming it what it is negates the premise of secrecy associated with the TBP. What then is the point to closed-door negotiations and a censored application? If it’s just a matter of community tax dollar bidding wars, then why not lay it all on the public table and have at it?
The jobs associated with the fulfilment center are low paying. At the moment, businesses in our area are unable to fill these kinds of positions. So were are these people who are going to take these jobs coming from?
Mango is one of the world’s biggest online fashion retailers. They have a huge fulfillment center in Barcelona:
And they plan on expanding their America market in 2021.
Educated guess considering the City called their attempt at wooing Amazon “Project Amazon.” Not exactly needing a code talker for this one…
Why is this not being considered on the south side or the west side where they desperately need this and they are closer to the AIRPORT and also have I-10 access?
I think the Eastside property is more suitable for Hi-Tech higher-paying jobs that is not in need of road access that the infrastructure isn’t presently there to be adequate.
Why aren’t the leaders courting these types of jobs rather than The Usual Suspects making a long shot? Believe me the Amazon people will have experts that will see this.
The Westside and Southside have no leadership whatsoever and the leaders just run with the biggest bone that The Usual Suspects are holding up in the wind whichever way it is blowing at the time.
Excellent observations and insight Lorry. The economic growth potential for the area surrounding the airport is highly underutilized. Particularly for exactly this type of operation. I wonder if the airport corridor is within the TBP designated parameters. Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why this corridor has been so obviously ignored by the economic growth gurus of Tallahassee. What am I missing?
Nampa, ID Amazon fulfillment center is well outside of the town, near the airport. Lakeland, FL Amazon fulfillment center, outside of town, near several other warehouse/fulfillment centers, and the airport. Salisbury, NC Chewy fulfillment center well outside of town. Project Mango would be more appropriately placed in the Tallahassee, FL industrial park, near the airport. This type of 24-hour a day industrial complex does not belong in the midst of the residential neighborhoods on Thornton, Miccosukee, Mahan, Walden, Buck Lake, and Pedrick roads, and long established neighborhoods like Lafayette Oaks, The Vineyards, and Lafayette Estates.
As I noted in one of my first comments on this particular topic, these type of economic incentive programs can in fact be successful and beneficial to the community. By and large, I support their use as a viable tool in a community’s economic development tool bag.
But as I also noted, the devil is in the details. The determining factor in the success and integrity of such programs rests solely in approved and codified agreements”. The incentive agreements should be detailed and written in such a way that the offered incentives are incremental, and based on the stated “expectations” being realized. In other words, “you get yours when we get ours”. We can use semantics to dress-up and sell any idea, but the bottom line here is that it is the taxpayer – not the politicians – that are being asked to pony-up the investment. And when it comes to investing taxpayer dollars, all focus should be on the proper stewardship of and return on those taxpayer investments.
Additionally, one must consider the unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences on a given community involved in such an endeavor. Having a huge conglomerate offering lots of jobs at higher wages move into an area, can have a negative impact on the smaller businesses in the community who need to compete for those workers. I suspect even the City already realizes this, hence the recent discussions on moving to a higher minimum wage for city employees. This is the domino effect that is so vital to the “livable wage” discussion, but is so often ignored or dismissed. Remember… when everything goes up in costs; EVERYTHING goes up in costs. What good is $15 an-hour if the a loaf of bread, or rent, or gas, or clothes, et al… increase commensurate with the wages. Everyone takes a bow, but everything goes up… except your actual standard of living.
Again, by and large I support these types of programs.. but eyes wide open is always the best policy.
With construction taking over a year and the ending of the $300. unemployment subsidy in Florida there will be an appetite for local folks to apply.
The location can pull employees from Georgia too.
I doubt the owners will actually pay attention to any conditions our woke local elected nannies try to impose on what race to hire, sex shared bathrooms, or any of that woke rot.