Amazon Fulfillment Center Exceeds Expectations

Amazon Fulfillment Center Exceeds Expectations

Approximately 1,400 Jobs Created, Minimum $17 per Hour Wage

At the March 19th Leon County Commission, elected officials received a status update on the Amazon Fulfillment Center following its initial six months of operation.

The status update provided by staff included the economic and job creation impacts of the fulfillment center, a review of the traffic conditions on the Mahan Drive corridor including the flow of trucks entering and exiting the facility, and the status of bus service to the area.

Economic Impact

The construction phase of the project involved a substantial capital investment of $250 million for the cutting-edge 3.2 million square foot robotics fulfillment center. The construction phase created 2,256 jobs, providing a boost to the local economy with $119.7 million in construction wages. The update also noted the utilization of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) during the construction phase totaled $39,527,210.

According to Amazon representatives, approximately 1,400 employees are currently employed at the fulfillment center, earning a wage of $17 an hour or more which exceeded the projected hourly wage of $15 per hour. This exceeds the initial job creation target which called for 1,000 jobs to be created during the first full year of operation.

Approximately 43% of the Amazon associates currently employed at the Fulfillment Center reside in zip codes 32301, 32303 and 32304, areas which have historically experienced higher unemployment levels than the County as a whole. In addition to wages earned, employees receive a comprehensive benefits package. Health, vision and dental care insurance coverage is provided from day one of employment.

In addition to the health care coverage, Amazon’s benefits package includes pre-paid college tuition to Florida A&M University, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College, available after 90 days of employment and a 401(k) savings plan with a 50% match.

Traffic Operations

Mahan Drive, the main corridor that supports the Fulfillment Center, is a State-maintained road. The nearest entrance to Amazon Fulfillment Center on Mahan Drive (at Levi Place) is approximately 1,900 feet west of the I-10 eastbound off ramp. At the time of site and development plan approval and permitting of the Amazon facility in 2021, the transportation impact analysis only required a single two-lane access road to serve the development.

However, FDOT authorized two access points to the new facility off Mahan Drive: one is at the Levi Place intersection (not signalized) and the other is at the Vineland Drive intersection (signalized). Both intersections have a turn lane for vehicles entering the Amazon facility that are travelling westbound on Mahan Drive, allowing for their safe deceleration, and entering of the Fulfillment Center. Both intersections have dedicated left turn lanes for vehicles exiting the Fulfillment Center onto Mahan Drive headed eastbound, however, Levi Place does not have a traffic signal

Staff reported that there have been very few traffic issues raised since the opening of the Fulfillment Center, and these conditions are monitored by County and State traffic engineers. A small number of complaints have been received regarding intermittent truck use departing the Fulfillment Center
onto Mahan Drive (heading eastbound toward Interstate 10) at the Levi Place intersection. The noted concerns relate to isolated incidents when truck drivers do NOT obey traffic laws requiring waiting for a break in traffic and, instead, block westbound traffic on Mahan Drive while

Bus Transportation

The County’s approval of the site plan for the Amazon Fulfillment Center included a provision requiring construction of a bus stop facility near Mahan Drive, funded by Amazon, if and when StarMetro service is extended to the Fulfillment Center.

At the County’s request in 2022, the City provided information regarding the potential to extend StarMetro service to the Amazon site. The information provided by the City indicated that StarMetro service is supported by City general revenues (property taxes) and is limited to provide public transportation within city limits unless a funding agreement to extend StarMetro service into the unincorporated area is adopted. At that time, the City provided an initial cost estimate (start-up fee) of $1.3 million for fleet expansion and an annual operating fee of $275,000 to extend StarMetro service to the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Staff reports, to date, no action has been taken to extend city bus service to the Fulfillment Center.

Incentive Status

Amazon was awarded $2,565,299 through the OEV Targeted Business Program. The funds will be disbursed as a reimbursement of eligible City of Tallahassee or Leon County development fees and up to 100% of the ad valorem taxes paid on land, improvements, and tangible
personal property on an annual basis over a six-year period. These reimbursement incentives will be provided from sales tax revenues collected for economic development.

5 Responses to "Amazon Fulfillment Center Exceeds Expectations"

  1. Their driver hit my house causing over $1k in damage. They offered $300, said their expert had determined. They asked for a video of the driver hitting the house, really. The 6 billion $ company can’t fix my house. Next time I call the police and the driver will stay with me until their expert arrives to determine cost.

  2. News Maven – it’s probably a misunderstanding by the reporter. These things can get confusing. For example, my company contributes 4% across the board, plus an optional 100% match up to 3% of your salary (403B plan). If that option is fully exercised, we contribute 7% and the employee contributes 3% per pay period. The employee can of course contribute up to the IRS limits on their own, too (and these limits change as the employee gets closer to retirement age). That’s enough to one’s head spin.

    I suspect Amazon does a 50% match from the first dollar the employee contributes, up to some sort of limit. They also may not do any contribution other than the 50% match.

  3. Maybe the CRPTA should spend less on roundabouts and multi modal trails (FDOT not investing) and focus on real road capacity issues like the I-10/Mahan exit that make a difference and would see FDOT investing in the solution. FDOT is instead investing in road projects in Destin and Panama City.

  4. If StarMetro does extend Bus Service to Amazon, will it also place Bus Stops along Mahan from Capital Circle out?

  5. “and a 401(k) savings plan with a 50% match.“
    Really? Is that correct?
    Most 401K company plans are only 5-6% matches.

    Somebody posted a video of a fight in the break room there on Fakebook a few months ago. Hope it’s getting safer!

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