Amazon.com to open distribution center in Southeast Baltimore - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Oct. 24, 2013 10:38 am

Amazon.com to open distribution center in Southeast Baltimore

Luring Amazon here, however, was the work of nearly $40 million in tax credits.
In a photo released by her Twitter account, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is “discussing Amazon’s new fulfillment center.”

In a photo released by her Twitter account, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is "discussing Amazon's new fulfillment center."

Feel the rumble from the 1 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center that will be located in Southeast Baltimore at 5003 Holabird Ave.

Amazon.com is building one of its product warehouses and distribution center in Baltimore city where a General Motors assembly plant formerly was, as was also reported by the Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun. Close to 1,000 people are expected to be hired full-time at the new center once it opens in 2014.

In a video interview with WJZ, City Councilman Brandon Scott said Amazon picking Baltimore is a “great thing for the city.”

Luring Amazon here, however, was the work of nearly $40 million in tax credits, as the Sun reports:

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Baltimore Development Corporation helped orchestrate the incentive package, which include an estimated $35.3 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits, $5.5 million in One Maryland tax credits, both of which are designed to spur economic growth in impoverished areas. The deal also includes an estimated $1.7 million in estimated tax credits for job creation and an undetermined amount of credits for building in a brownfield — a site that was previously contaminated.

The state will also provide the company with a $1.25 million loan, which could be forgiven, and the city will provide a $125,000 loan, officials said. The company will also receive discounts from Baltimore Gas and Electric, officials said.

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Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city is speaking to officials at the Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s bus system, to extend bus lines to the future Amazon distribution center.

Amazon’s “fulfillment centers” have been the subject of scrutiny and investigation in the past. At a center opened in 2010 in Breinigsville, Pa., one without air conditioning units, employees were forced to continue working even as the heat index surpassed 100 degrees. According to Amazon.com, its new distribution centers are constructed with air conditioning units installed.

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