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Amazon follows up Republic project with Springfield plans

E-commerce giant targets March opening for 'AMXL' station near Partnership Industrial Center

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As construction on a distribution center continues in Republic, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has announced an additional delivery station coming to Springfield.

The planned “AMXL” facility allows Seattle-based Amazon to expand its service of delivering large items, such as couches or televisions, according to a news release.

“The investment into the buildout of our network means we can deliver a greater selection of items to our customers,” said Travis Autery, a general manager for Amazon, in the release.

The Springfield site is identified as 2960 N. Martin Ave., and it’s slated to open in March following a February opening of the same type of facility in Joplin. The two AMXLs will create hundreds of part-time jobs paying at least $15 per hour starting wage, according to the release.

Ryan Mooney, senior vice president for economic development with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Springfield Regional Economic Partnership, which also includes the city of Springfield, Greene County and City Utilities of Springfield, has an ongoing relationship with Amazon’s economic development team.

“Having a business-friendly climate, the right infrastructure and inviting industrial space certainly makes us more competitive with other regions to attract job-creating, growing companies like Amazon,” Mooney said via email. He declined to provide more details about Amazon’s site selection and the chamber’s role in the process.

Amazon’s AMXL site is near the Partnership Industrial Center but does not fall within the boundaries of PIC, according to chamber officials.

A commercial building permit for renovations of the Martin Avenue building was filed by officials with Kansas City-based BRR Architecture Inc. on Aug. 31, 2020.

The planned Springfield facility was most recently occupied by Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co., according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. In early 2017, office employees and distribution operations moved to the North Martin Avenue building as renovations took place at the company’s headquarters on Packer Road.

Sally Hargis, vice president and chairperson for Ozarks Coca-Cola, said the company vacated the building on Oct. 31, 2020. All Coca-Cola employees are back on site at the Packer Road facility as renovations continue.

According to Greene County assessor records, the nearly 85,000-square-foot building is owned by MSSD LLC.

Amazon currently is constructing a 1.3-million-square-foot fulfillment and distribution center in Republic that is expected to create more than 500 new jobs when it opens later this year, according to past reporting.

Jen Crowcroft, operations regional PR manager for Amazon, said many contributing factors go into placement of new Amazon centers.

“We look at the workforce and found talent in abundance in Missouri,” Crowcroft said. “We’re also responding to customer demand and want to make sure our facilities are close to customers.”

In Missouri, Amazon currently operates a fulfillment center in St. Peters, a sorting center and a delivery station in Hazelwood, outside of St. Louis, and delivery stations in Kansas City. Between 2010 and 2019, Amazon officials say the company has invested over $780 million in Missouri, including infrastructure and employee compensation.

Amazon, which moved up to the No. 2 spot in the Fortune 500 last year, finished 2020 with $386 billion in sales, a 38% increase, according to its annual earnings release. Forbes ranked the online seller No. 4 among the World’s Most Valuable Brands and No. 2 among the World’s Best Employers in 2020.

On Feb. 2, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he would be stepping down from the CEO role to serve as executive chair in the third quarter.

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