Amazon.com, Inc. today confirmed plans to open another fulfillment center in Lakeland. It will be in addition to another center that Amazon earlier announced it will open in Ruskin. Each center will be more than than 1 million square feet. Amazon officials say when both are open, more than 1,000 full-time jobs will be created.
"We look forward to offering more than 1,000 full-time jobs with comprehensive benefits at our new fulfillment centers in Hillsborough County and Lakeland, Florida,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, in a press release. “We appreciate the state, city and county officials who have worked with us to bring these fulfillment centers to Florida. We’re excited to join the community, bringing great jobs and investment to the area.”
The new center would be on County Line Road, on the border with Hillsborough County. In July, Polk County commissioners approved a $4.5 million incentive package that requires Amazon create at least 100 high-paying jobs and make a minimum investment of $10 million.
Hillsborough County commissioners have already approved economic incentives worth more than $6 million over seven years.
The deals also mean that Florida residents will have to pay a six percent sales tax on all merchandise bought through the retailer.
Gov. Rick Scott's office sent out a congratulatory e-mail.
“I would like to thank Amazon for recognizing that Florida’s business-friendly environment we’ve helped create is the perfect place for their latest expansion,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “On behalf of all Floridians, we welcome Amazon and the great jobs and opportunities that their expansion brings to Florida families.”
At the Lakeland facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship large items to customers, such as kayaks and televisions. At the Hillsborough location, employees will send smaller items to customers, including books, electronics and consumer goods.
“Amazon’s decision to invest in Florida is yet another vote of confidence in the state’s business climate. The distribution facilities in Hillsborough County and Lakeland are incredibly important for those regions as well as the state,” said Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope.