Santa Rosa County welcomes another vendor to its industrial parks, but this time in the form of the globally recognized company Amazon.
County Planning and Zoning Director Shawn Ward confirmed to the News Journal that site plans for a planned distribution warehouse were approved by the county in early June and construction plans are currently underway. of examination.
Ward could not confirm that the facility was to be operated by Amazon, but District 4 Commissioner Dave Piech told the News Journal that the company was spearheading the project.
“It just means they recognize that we’re business-friendly. We have a great labor pool, a talented workforce here. We’re growing and they recognize that,” Piech said. “And bringing a company of their stature and size to Santa Rosa County is phenomenal.”
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Many projects in the county’s industrial parks are being given nicknames before details are released. Santa Rosa Director of Economic Development Shannon Ogletree said he was unable to disclose the company behind the project, but said that proposal was the “Jungle Cruise” project.
The proposal combines two structures in the Santa Rosa Industrial Park, which are currently used by the Navy Federal Credit Union as a call center. In total, the facility will be approximately 81,000 square feet.
“It will show other businesses that investing in Santa Rosa County is a good thing. I hope other businesses and businesses take notice,” Piech said.
Amazon’s rapid growth across Florida has made the company one of the state’s largest employers.
The company now has more than 59,000 employees in the Sunshine State — and is looking to hire thousands more for the upcoming opening of new fulfillment centers.
Amazon wages now average $18 an hour or more across the company and in Florida, in addition to offering flexible work hours — and a comprehensive benefits package, which includes possibility of owning your stock from day one.
The company’s aggressive expansion has raised fears that the retailer is diverting talent from local businesses. In many areas where Amazon has launched operations, local employers say they haven’t seen any immediate labor shortages attributable to the retail giant, but they are watching trends closely.
In March, USA TODAY Network-Florida reporters identified 85 Amazon facilities currently operating in Florida, with two dozen additional projects under construction or planned.
The closest facilities to Florida are a delivery center opening in Marianna in 2021, and respective delivery and fulfillment centers slated to open in Tallahassee this year.
Clayton Park of the Daytona Beach News-Journal contributed to this report.