The facility — Amazon’s third in the state since October — will “create hundreds of full-time jobs with benefits,” according to a press release issued Tuesday by Amazon.
A fulfillment center is used by Amazon.com to package and distribute the products it sells online.
Employees at the Tracy center are expected to “engage with high-end technology while fulfilling customer orders,” the release states.
Amazon stated that the center’s jobs “pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs” and are eligible for full health benefits and stock grants, which according to the company have added an average of 9 percent to an employee’s annual base salary.
The announcement confirms what was first reported by the Tracy Press on Nov. 20, when Mayor Brent Ives said the city was on the verge of finalizing an agreement with Amazon.com to establish a major distribution center within city limits.
The Press was the first to report such news.
“We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said at the time.
City Manager Leon Churchill said on Tuesday that city officials see the deal as an “investment in the economic future” of Tracy. He said city officials made a “conservative estimate” that the center will employ around 1,000 people, but noted that the number will “most likely” fluctuate.
“Online shopping has grown exponentially over the last several years,” he said. “Amazon is going to bring a lot of high-end technology jobs, and I hope this is going to be a breakthrough for our local economy by bringing better jobs for the community.”
During the past couple of years, the Tracy City Council has taken steps to adopt a more “business-friendly process” to attract economic development and investment to the city, according to Churchill.
On Dec. 21, 2011, the council approved several incentive programs — including the Office and Industrial Incentive Program — that could significantly benefit Amazon.com.
According to Churchill, after Amazon.com is open for one year, the company has the option to apply for the program if it meets three requirements:
• Generates annual gross sales of at least $100 million
• Provides a minimum of 1,000 jobs
• Pay the city’s sales tax rate of 1 percent, which under the requirements would be at least $1 million for city coffers
However, if the City Council approves Amazon.com for the program, the city will annually return 50 percent of the company’s city sales tax share on gross sales up to $200 million. The company could be eligible to receive up to 80 percent of its annual city sales tax for any sales exceeding $200 million, Churchill said.
Ives stated in the release that he was “honored Amazon recognized our efforts and made the decision to collaborate with the city of Tracy.”
“The anticipated sales tax generated by Amazon will benefit the community as a whole,” he stated. “This will be the first of many new business announcements as we continue to prepare our community for future job-generating developments.”
The mayor has previously stated that the center will boost city tax revenue and the services for which its pays, including police and fire protection.
Construction under way
ProLogis Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, also announced Tuesday that the company has a contract with Amazon.com to build the center on the nearly 90-acre site of ProLogis Park Tracy Phase II.
The site is between the Crate & Barrel warehouses, 1605 N. Chrisman Road, and the Union Pacific Railroad which runs parallel to Brichetto Road.
Construction crews were leveling the ground on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in preparation for pouring the foundation, which could begin by Feb. 4, according to site superintendent Ray Koester.
Once the foundation is poured, he said crews “will be working night and day” to finish the project.
This is the third such fulfillment center Amazon.com is building in California. In October, the company opened a 950,000-square-foot fulfillment center in San Bernardino and announced it would open a similar facility in Patterson, just south of Tracy.
Ready to apply
According to Churchill, Tracy residents interested in working for Amazon.com should fill out an online application at the company’s website.
Applications can be found at the bottom of the website under the heading “Careers.” However, on Thursday, Jan. 24, there was no listing for the Tracy location.
Calls to the Amazon.com public relations department on Wednesday were not returned by print deadline on Thursday.
• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or email@example.com.