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September 5, 2019 2:15 PM, EDT

Amazon Promises 235 Jobs From Massachusetts Distribution Center

Amazon Distribution Center Jim Young/Bloomberg News

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Amazon has already begun $5.6 million in renovation work for its new distribution center in Holyoke, Mass., and has told the local career center it is looking for a venue to host a hiring fair and fill 235 jobs.

Amazon hasn’t sought tax abatements from the city, said John Dyjach, Holyoke’s assistant director of economic development. Nor has it sought tax abatements from the state, according to spokespeople at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the agency that would handle such a request.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse announced Amazon’s plans for the building in a press release last month. That announcement followed months of speculation fueled by lengthy Planning Board deliberations over the building and what at the time was an undisclosed mystery tenant only rumored to be billionaire Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce juggernaut.

The city’s Planning Board approved a site plan for the distribution center in July.

Amazon has been tight-lipped on the project. Spokeswoman Shone Jemmott said this week that she didn’t have any details to reveal.

Morse said Amazon plans to open “this fall,” but none of the paperwork filed with the city has a more detailed timeline. That left it to city officials in the building, economic development and tax collection departments to describe the project.

Details on Amazon’s plans for the 145,000-square-foot facility come from a building permit issued by the city in July.

Holyoke might get more excise tax revenue if Amazon’s trucks are considered domiciled in the city, Dyjach said.

For Amazon, the new facility is a step toward establishing its own delivery and distribution system, expanded one-day shipping and its move away from reliance on the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx.

In terms of jobs, the Amazon distribution center is the largest single economic development project in Holyoke in recent years.

Dyjach said Amazon told city officials it expects to hire 235 warehouse workers. Amazon also expects there to be 168 delivery service personnel and 210 flex drivers potentially servicing the distribution center.