Amazon has announced it is expanding in Jacksonville, adding a sixth facility in the area that will create more than 500 new full-time jobs.
The new fulfillment center is slated to open in the fall of 2021.
Amazon said the jobs will have “industry leading pay” and comprehensive benefits. Minimum wage at Amazon is $15 an hour.
Employees hired for the more than 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship small items, including clothes, accessories and shoes.
Other jobs at the facility will include human resources, operations management, safety, security, finance and information technology.
“Florida is a great state for business, and building this site in Jacksonville gives us the opportunity to better serve our customers in the region,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment, in an email to WJCT News.
The new fulfillment center will be located at 10501 Cold Storage Road in Imeson Park on the Northside.
Amazon said it has created more than 30,000 jobs in Florida since 2010 and invested more than $9.5 billion across the state, including infrastructure. In Jacksonville, Amazon currently employs about 5,500 people, according to the Jax Chamber.
“With this announcement for its sixth facility in the region, Amazon continues to be a major driver of jobs and investment,” said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership. “Jacksonville’s prime location and infrastructure has made us a natural choice for distribution and ecommerce business and Amazon’s sustained success here demonstrates our regional strength.”
The online retailer has been rapidly expanding across Jacksonville.
In July, Amazon announced it had signed three new leases in Florida, including one in Jacksonville for the former Kmart building at 4645 Blanding Blvd. on the city’s Westside.
WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record reported the cost of building out the Blanding Boulevard Amazon facility is $12 million and it is expected to result in about 200 new jobs. That last-mile delivery center is expected to open later this year.
“The expansion of Amazon’s footprint in Jacksonville illustrates an increased confidence in our economy and reputation as a center for logistics in the southeastern United States,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in a statement.
Amazon's other Jacksonville facilities include its fulfillment center at 12900 Pecan Park Road, which has miles of conveyer belts, employs about 2,000 people, and is the size of about 14 football fields.
Jax Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis says the new fulfillment center will be similar to the ones already up and running in Jacksonville, and he credits the city's business-friendly environment.
"We've had a great year so far, even during the pandemic, with bringing companies and additional jobs for our people to fill. And that's always great for the economy," Davis said.
Davis says his team has been incredibly busy.
"The amount of prospects we have in the pipeline are very, very strong. I believe the future for Jacksonville is extremely bright. And this [Amazon] is a testament to that," said Davis, who added, even with the recession, Jacksonville's economy is moving forward. "In a time like this, we have already brought in this year 2,400 new jobs to our community."
Amazon’s benefits package for full-time employees includes medical, vision, and dental insurance as well as a 401(k) with 50% company match, starting on day one. The company also offers up to 20 weeks of paid maternal and paternal leave.
Amazon’s Jacksonville announcement comes as the online retailer faces growing competition. Walmart announced a new membership program Monday called Walmart+, to compete with Amazon Prime.
More information on Walmart’s delivery service and how it will compete with Amazon is in this NPR story on WJCT.org.