ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Amazon is preparing to build two new facilities in northern Indiana that the company says will employ more than 1,000 people.
The online retail giant announced Thursday its plans to build an 800,000 square-foot (74,322 square-meter) warehouse near the Indiana Toll Road just outside Elkhart along with a smaller order processing center.
Amazon’s announcement follows a secretive process in which Elkhart County officials approved an estimated $10 million tax break package for the project without revealing the company involved. Some opposed the tax incentives as the area has a low unemployment rate and the large warehouse would compete with existing businesses for workers, The Elkhart Truth reported.
The new warehouse will incorporate what Amazon calls advanced robotics technology to pack and ship smaller items, such as books, electronics and other consumer goods. Officials expect construction to begin soon, with the distribution center starting operations in 2023.
Amazon’s smaller delivery station will be the final stop before packages are delivered to customers and will be used by independent contractors doing deliveries, the Seattle-based company said. That station will be built near the Elkhart Municipal Airport, said Chris Stager, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.