Amazon, one of the largest online retail giants, announced plans to open state-of-the-art distribution center in Cecil County. The retailer currently employs over 3,000 workers at Baltimore-based sorting and distribution centers, the new center would create 700 full-time jobs. The warehouse will be built just off Interstate 95 corridor.Tuesday night, the Cecil County Council approved a resolution endorsing a state loan of $1.2 million to Amazon for the project. The Cecil County government also approved a conditional loan for $120,000. Amazon has pledged to invest $90 million in the project, which is planned to open by December 31, 2020.
The new facility is under construction and expected to be completed this spring. Diamond Realty Investments and Trammell Crow Co. are developing the project. Amazon announced last week its plan to hire an additional 100,000 workers within the next 18 months across its distribution network.
In 2015, Amazon opened a fulfillment center on Broening Highway. The 1 million-square-foot warehouse is open 24 hours a day, shipping tens of thousands of packages daily to customers.
Amazon provides its employees with educational opportunities through a tuition program. The retailer claims that it has already provided financial assistance to over 9,000 employees in 10 different countries. The employees pursued degrees in various field, including nursing, visual communications, game design, radiology and information technology programing, since the program was launched four years ago.
According to Richard Clinch, economist and director of the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, the entire Harford, Cecile County corridor hasn’t been growing as much as it had. The Amazon center could help to draw interest from other distribution companies in the area.
“I think it’s just incredible,” said Roger Owens, the past chairman of the Elkton Alliance and owner of a financial services business and two laundromats. “We’re one of the few green spots left in the 95 corridor for expansion. This is our opportunity to shine and move forward.”
Owens went on to say that his Laundromats have had a boost in business from the workers g the Conowingo Dam project. “It trickles down to my little laundromats,” he said. “When things get done around here, everyone has a chance to get something out of it.”