A new Amazon facility is expected to bring a major economic boost to Baltimore and the surrounding area. By the end of 2015, the Internet retailer plans to build a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in place of a former General Motors plant in Southeast Baltimore. The facility will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs.
“[Workers] can make up to 30 percent more than they might make in a retail job, together with comprehensive health benefits, a tuition-assistance program, 401(k), company stock options—these are good paying jobs that more than 1,000 people will be able to take advantage of,” said Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray.
Murray praised the inter-agency effort that led to Amazon’s business decision, which included coordination with the Maryland Port Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Comptroller of Maryland, other agencies and the Baltimore Development Corporation.
The effort to build a relationship with Amazon and compete for the new fulfillment center was led by Jerry Sanford, director of business recruitment and location services within Maryland DBED, Murray said.
Over the course of about a year, Maryland competed against about a half-dozen other states for the facility, according to Sanford.
“It’s going to have a significant economic impact, beyond the direct jobs. You have to look at the transportation and infrastructure that’s necessary, FedEx and UPS shipping in and out of the facility [and] all of the services that need to be provided directly to Amazon,” he said.
Among the deciding factors for the new location were One Maryland tax credits, valued at up to $5.5 million, available for development projects in qualified economically disadvantaged areas. Total available tax credits could exceed $43 million, spread across multiple tax cycles. Amazon’s initial investment in the facility is expected to exceed $212 million.
Mark Vulcan, director of tax services within Maryland DBED, who assisted in coordinating tax credits for the planned development, called the project a “win-win.”
“We’ll have the jobs, we’ll have the facility. The people will spend money here, they’ll live here, the community will benefit, the state will benefit, it will benefit everybody in the state of Maryland. This is a win-win, and but for the incentives, it would not have occurred,” Vulcan said.
Career opportunities, as well as photos and video showing how a fulfillment center functions are available online.
Job opportunities for Maryland workers are also posted on the Maryland Workforce Exchange website.