First Missouri Amazon facilities will employ 350 part-timers

It’s official: Amazon will open its first Missouri distribution facility in Hazelwood Logistics Center.

The new distribution center had long been anticipated to fill warehouse space being built by NorthPoint Development, the Kansas City firm that acquired the industrial park from Paul McKee in 2015.

Local real estate sources had been saying for months that Amazon was eyeing Hazelwood, where a number of speculative warehouses are under construction.

Hazelwood officials announced Friday that Amazon would lease space in two warehouses there.

The city said Amazon would occupy all 348,480 square feet in the park’s Building 3, at 462 Hazelwood Logistics Center Drive. That building will be used as a sorting center, Hazelwood said. Amazon will take an additional 100,000 square feet in Building 4 at 441 Hazelwood Logistics Center Drive for use as a delivery station.

The remainder of that building’s 243,241 square feet will be occupied by Bunzl Distribution USA Inc., which is relocating a distribution center from Maryland Heights to the Hazelwood Logistics Center.

Bunzl Distribution, which supplies food packaging and disposable supplies, is a U.S. subsidiary of London-based Bunzl plc.

Amazon is hiring nine full-time employees to operate the sorting center in Building 3 and will have 25 full-time employees working at the delivery station in Building 4. The company plans to hire 350 part-time associates for both locations, according to the announcement from Hazelwood.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the company plans to have the facilities open later this year and that hiring has already begun.

Both the sorting facility — Amazon calls them “sortation centers” — and the delivery station are smaller than the two big “fulfillment centers” Amazon announced last year in Edwardsville, which were expected to employ about 1,000 people full time.

The sorting and delivery stations are the way stations between the fulfillment centers and Amazon customers.

Speculation mounted in January that Amazon would soon be moving into a Missouri location after it began collecting state and local sales tax here, which it isn’t legally required to do unless it has a physical presence in a state.

Hazelwood, with new warehouses under construction and proximity to major interstates within a large metro area, seemed a natural fit.

The Hazelwood Logistics Center is very competitive due to tax breaks approved by the city. In 2015, Hazelwood approved 10 years of full tax abatement for the planned Hazelwood Logistics Center buildings, and an additional seven years of 50 percent property taxes. It also granted sales tax exemptions for construction materials used in the new facilities.

The company was not offered any state incentives, which require employers to meet certain income and health insurance requirements to qualify.

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