Amazon plans to add 5 sites, create 2,000 jobs in Metro Detroit

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News Inc. on Monday announced the online retail giant is expanding in Metro Detroit with five new sites expected to create more than 2,000 jobs.

The sites include fulfillment centers in Detroit, Hazel Park, Pontiac and Huron Township and a sortation center in Plymouth, Amazon said.

The facilities are expected to create full- and part-time jobs with a minimum $15 an hour wage and comprehensive benefits, the company said Monday.

Amazon announced five new sites as it expands in Michigan.  The online retailer has 10 regional sites for customer fulfillment and delivery operations, including four facilities that launched last year.

“We are grateful for the strong support we’ve received from local and state leaders as we broaden our footprint throughout Michigan," said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment.

"We look forward to bringing more than 2,000 good jobs to Metro Detroit and contributing positively to the community.”

Amazon plans to open an 823,000 square-foot fulfillment center in Detroit, creating 1,200 new full-time jobs when it launches this year, company officials said in a statement.

The facility "would be the fourth fulfillment center in the state using Amazon robotics to help associates pick, pack and ship smaller items to customers," Amazon said.

The announcement comes more than two months after the state Court of Appeals reversed a temporary restraining order halting Detroit's $16 million sale of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds site to Amazon.

Last fall, Detroit's City Council approved the sale of the fairgrounds site to real estate developers and investors Hillwood Investment Properties and Sterling Group, which planned to build an Amazon fulfillment center. Officials said more than $400 million was expected to be investednt officials said when the potential sale was announced in August.

"We're thrilled that Amazon selected Detroit for what will be one of the largest fulfillment centers in Michigan," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement. "Amazon has been a great partner and its most important delivery will be the 3,000 construction jobs, 1,200 permanent jobs and new small business opportunities this new facility will bring to our city."

Besides Detroit, the new sites include:

►A sub-same-day fulfillment center in Hazel Park

►An “XLFC” fulfillment center and sort center in Huron Township

►A sort center in Plymouth

►A robotics fulfillment center in Pontiac

The Huron Township deal spurs development at Pinnacle Park, a shuttered horse racing track, "adding roughly 1,000 new jobs for local residents while expanding our tax base at the same time,” said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

“When I took office, I made it a priority to repurpose the land in a more productive way that made sense for the location. Working in collaboration with Huron Township leaders and Detroit Aerotropolis, my team identified a new approach for the site that was both economically viable and consistent with the community’s vision." 

Huron Township Supervisor David Glaab also lauded the move.

"This Amazon project will serve to jump-start additional economic growth that will make up a much larger comprehensive mixed use development planned for this area,” he said.

The Amazon Romulus Fulfillment Center is an 855,000-square-foot building.

Amazon operates 10 regional sites for customer fulfillment and delivery operations, including four facilities that launched last year.

Amazon said it has created more than 13,500 jobs in Michigan since 2010 and invested more than $2.5 billion across the state, including infrastructure and compensation to its employees.