Amazon fulfillment center to open in KCK, bring in more than 1,000 jobs

Yes, Kansas City, Kan., will be getting an Amazon fulfillment center.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland confirmed Monday that Amazon will occupy the 856,000-square-foot industrial building to be built near Interstate 70 and Turner Diagonal.

In June, the developer asked for a tax abatement and said an “online sales fulfillment business” would be the tenant. The company was not publicly identified, but many guessed it was Amazon. In March, the online retailer announced a similar center in Edgerton, Kan.

Amazon now has five facilities in Kansas, and the Kansas City, Kan., center shouldn’t affect them, Brownback said. The company decided in 2014 to close a facility in Coffeyville, Kan.

Monday’s announcement was a couple of years in the making, Holland said. He partnered with Brownback and others to bring Amazon to the area.

The center will provide more than 1,000 jobs and have classrooms on site to help employees earn their associate degrees. Holland said the company will be the fourth-largest employer in the area. Entry-level positions are also paid above minimum wage.

“I think it’s going to provide pressure on other minimum-wage-job providers in the area to step up, because if you can do entry-level jobs at a much higher level and get access to education, I think that’s going to be an attractive option.”

Holland and Brownback hope the center will spur growth along the Turner Diagonal. Brownback said the state will work to make the area more accessible and open.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., approved the 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement in June. Holland said the land was almost undevelopable due to the terrain.

Holland said the full 100 percent was unique for the Unified Government, but he said it was “an investment on land that wasn’t making any money for the community.”

Brownback said the facility is expected to open in late 2017 just in time for the holiday season.

Katherine Knott: 816-234-4097, @knott_katherine