Spar­rows Point Ama­zon fa­cil­ity nears com­ple­tion

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LENE MAYO cmayo@ches­pub.com

The new Ama­zon distri­bu­tion cen­ter un­der con­struc­tion at the former Spar­rows Point steel mill site will be open­ing soon.

Ama­zon and Trade­point At­lantic of­fi­cials came to­gether to show­case the new ware­house dur­ing a hard­hat tour of the fa­cil­ity on Aug. 21.

Ac­cord­ing to Tim Fo­ley, gen­eral man­ager of the Spar­rows Point Ama­zon cen­ter, the new ware­house will cre­ate 1,500 new full­time jobs in the area.

“We’ve cre­ated 5,000 jobs al­to­gether through­out Mary­land with our two other ful­fill­ment cen­ters,” Fo­ley added, re­fer­ring to the on­line re­tail­ers ex­ist­ing distri­bu­tion cen­ter on Broen­ing High­way, which opened in 2015.

Trade­point At­lantic’s chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Eric Gil­bert, was also on hand for last week’s tour.

“We want to of­fi­cially wel­come Ama­zon to Trade­point At­lantic,” Gil­bert said, not­ing, “We are hon­ored and grate­ful that Ama­zon made the de­ci­sion to lo­cate here at Spar­rows Point and Eastern Bal­ti­more County.”

“We do think it is very ap­pro­pri­ate that Ama­zon de­cided to lo­cate here,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Gil­bert, the 855,000 square-foot Ama­zon project started 10 months ago and, de­spite chal­lenges, the project is mov­ing along bet­ter than ex­pected — which he cred­ited, in part, to sup­port from the county.

“Our most im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship is Bal­ti­more County,” Gil­bert said.

“Like any other ground field site, it usu­ally takes a lot more than a year to com­plete, so, thanks to the county for see­ing the vi­sion and stand­ing with us day in and day out and push­ing this project to were it is to­day. It’s a big suc­cess,” he noted.

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Don Mohler also spoke dur­ing the event.

“What a grat­i­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to drive into Trade­point and see this fan­tas­tic DCAI build­ing,” Mohler said.

“To see the vi­sion come to fruition is amaz­ing,” he noted.

In his re­marks, Mohler rem­i­nisced about late Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz. Ac­cord­ing to Mohler, Kame­nentz, who signed on to the project in the be­gin­ning, would have been proud to see how the project has pro­gressed.

“This is a trans­for­ma­tion project Bal­ti­more County is proud to have been a part­ner of, each step of the way,” Mohler said.

For his part, Fo­ley touted the em­ployee ben­e­fits avail­able to workers at Ama­zon, in­clud­ing 401k match­ing, stock re­wards, per­for­mance-based bonuses and con­tin­ual ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties through the Ca­reer Choice pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to Fo­ley, Ama­zon is part­ner­ing with lo­cal schools and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ven­dors to help em­ploy­ees get a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

Ama­zon will pay up to 95 per­cent of tu­ition cost.

Six­teen thou­sand Ama­zon as­so­ci­ates around the world have taken ad­van­tage of the ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram, Fo­ley ex­plained.

“We also have a class­room on-sight so workers can get off work and go straight to class,” Fo­ley noted.

Now in its fi­nal stages of con­struc­tion, the Spar­rows Point fa­cil­ity will soon house a vast ar­ray of gen­eral mer­chan­dise items the size of a mi­crowave or smaller.

Fully op­er­a­tional, the ware­house will be able to ship out one mil­lion items in a 24-hour day, Fo­ley noted.

The new Spar­rows Point Ama­zon ful­fill­ment cen­ter is due to open at the end of Novem­ber.

PHO­TOS BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

Fo­ley giv­ing de­tails about pack­ag­ing.

The new Ama­zon ful­fill­ment cen­ter is al­most com­plete.

PHOTO BY CHAR­LENE MAYO

TPA’s chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Eric Gil­bert ad­mires new Ama­zon ware­house.

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