Share
August 29, 2017 1:00 PM, EDT
Amazon Expands Oregon Footprint with Salem Fulfillment Center
A worker drives a forklift past merchandise at the Amazon.com Phoenix Fulfillment Center in Goodyear, Ariz. Joshua Lott/Bloomberg News

Amazon on Aug. 28 announced plans to open a fulfillment center in Salem, marking its second such hulking warehouse in Oregon.

The $90 million, 1 million-square-foot facility will go up in Salem’s Mill Creek Corporate Center, currently home to FedEx and Home Depot. The project has already broken ground, and it’s slated for completion in fall of 2018.

Because the corporate center is located in an Enterprise Zone, Amazon qualifies for three years of property tax breaks for the site. Chad Freeman, president of the region’s Strategic Economic Development Corporation, said the tax breaks are worth an estimated $3.6 million over the three years.

The announcement comes less than three months after Amazon said it would open a fulfillment center in Troutdale. There, Amazon will get a five-year tax break worth about $9.6 million.

Both facilities will employ more than 1,000 full-time workers, who will be tasked with filling, packing and shipping customers’ orders.

E-commerce companies have been buying up industrial land for warehouses in recent years to ensure efficient last-mile shipping as consumers demand ever-faster delivery.

Amazon now operates a sortation center in Hillsboro, a Prime Now hub in Portland and data centers in various Eastern Oregon locations.

Full-time employees at the Salem facility, as with the Troutdale location, will receive “competitive hourly wages” and a benefits package that includes health care, a 401(k) plan and company stock awards upon hiring.

In addition, full-time workers also get access to a program that prepays as much as 95% of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields. Workers can use the program to pursue degrees that have nothing to do with Amazon, including game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology.

Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s vice president of customer fulfillment for North America, said the company is excited to continue its growth in Oregon.

Shah said the decision to locate the facility in the state’s capital was influenced by the support of Gov. Kate Brown and other local leaders.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC