Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

New Amazon warehouse may bring hundreds of jobs

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Franklin Street's Laurence Kahn, senior director, spoke to Orlando Business Journal about how plans for a new Amazon warehouse would impact future industrial real estate development in Central Florida.

Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.

Deltona soon may become an Amazon town. 

Seattle-based e-commerce giant Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) plans to build an 85-acre, 1.4 million-square-foot warehouse between Interstate 4 and Normandy Boulevard, south of Graves Avenue. If it receives city approval this month, the new fulfillment center may bring hundreds of jobs to Deltona.

Amazon representatives declined to comment; city of Deltona officials and Atlanta-based developer Seefried Industrial Properties didn’t respond to requests for comment.

However, Seefried is a preferred builder for Amazon — including developing fulfillment centers in Orlando’s Lake Nona; Salt Lake City; Nashville, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Richmond, Virginia.

The Deltona facility is expected to create numerous jobs and become the city’s “largest private employer” — meaning private industry — according to city documents. Raleigh, North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. is the project engineer, according to Deltona documents.

Though it wasn’t revealed how many jobs the new distribution center will spur, a 2.3 million-square-foot, four-story Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Lake Nona created roughly 1,500 full-time jobs. Amazon warehouse positions generally pay $15 an hour.

But it remains to be seen how effective these jobs will be in growing the Deltona area’s economy. Amazon’s fulfillment center openings can add 30% more warehousing and storage jobs in an area but no new net jobs, according to a February 2018 paper by Economic Policy Institute. That’s because the warehouse and storage jobs are “likely offset” by job losses in other industries.

Amazon on its website argued that its $160 billion in U.S. investments have created more than 360,000 spinoff jobs in sectors such as construction, health care and professional services.

Additionally, Deltona and nearby cities likely will attract more future industrial real estate development as land becomes scarce near Orlando’s urban core. Industrial is a hot real estate sector, mostly because of the e-commerce boom led by Amazon. Retailers want distribution centers closer to customers so they can deliver products faster, which is why new users are lining up for industrial space.

“We’ll start to see distribution in southern Volusia County,” said industrial expert Larry Kahn, senior director of Tampa-based Franklin Street in Orlando, who isn’t involved in the deal. “It’s the next logical place.”

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