SHREVEPORT, La. – It’s finally official. Amazon is constructing a multi-million dollar fulfillment center in Shreveport.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Amazon is building a $200 million major robotics fulfilment center, bringing with it 1,000 direct jobs, an estimated 1,118 indirect jobs and about 800 construction jobs.
That’s almost 3,000 jobs related to the project, which Edwards calls “tremendous.”
“This new Amazon project is a major advancement for the Shreveport-Bossier City metro area and for Louisiana’s economy,” Edwards said. “In addition to providing strong benefits, Amazon will pay workers double the minimum wage or more in a state-of-the-art technology environment. Only a year ago, we dedicated Hunter Industrial Park as one site in a growing inventory of LED Certified Sites that now numbers 126 statewide. Through partnerships with our elected officials, economic development allies and utility partners, we are proving that great things are possible in Louisiana when we make smart plans for the future.”
Dirt work is underway. Completion is expected in 2022.
The center is the largest of seven Amazon facilities operating, announced or under construction in Louisiana. It will include contemporary robotics technology, inventory and shipping operations in a multi-level building with a 650,000-square-foot foundation. There, employees will pick, pack and ship smaller customer orders, such as books, toys, electronics and other household items.
The project has been in the works for months but no one in the know about it would acknowledge it so KTBS in January began documenting movement of the project, only known as Project Cosmeaux, through public records.
Even today’s announcement was shrouded in secrecy as state and local officials would only confirm a “major economic development” was expected.
Edwards put the stamp on it in a room full of local and state elected officials and business supporters.
The center will be located on Corporate Drive. The 135-acre site is near Caddo Correctional Center and bordered by Twelve Mile Bayou. It has access to Interstate 20, Interstate 220 and Interstate 49.
One of every five U.S. residents lives within a 500-mile radius of Shreveport, making the location enviable for distribution and logistics companies.
“Amazon may be a global business, but it’s made up of small businesses and communities. From the local jobs we bring, to the local people we employ, train, and upskill – our business is made up of people from communities like Shreveport,” said Amazon Regional Director of Operations William Hicks. “We’re thrilled to be able to expand our operations in Northwest Louisiana and we look forward to becoming part of the fabric of the local community.”
LED and its economic development partners began formal discussions with Amazon about a potential Shreveport fulfillment center in August. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, the state workforce training and talent attraction program.
To offset site infrastructure costs, Amazon will be eligible for a $5 million performance-based grant payable in two installments during 2022 and 2023. In addition, the Caddo Parish Industrial Development Board is negotiating a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement with the company.
“The City of Shreveport is committed to developing a diverse business community,” Mayor Adrian Perkins said. “We are excited to be the new home for a state-of-the-art distribution center. This will be a valuable asset to our community and will provide employment opportunities to hundreds of our residents. This project could change the life trajectory for many of our citizens who are still dealing with the financial fallout from the ongoing pandemic.”
“Great things are happening in Caddo Parish, and we are delighted to welcome Amazon into our parish and region,” said Caddo Parish Commission President Lyndon B. Johnson. “The arrival of such a large and multidimensional distribution center to Caddo Parish will undoubtedly have a significant impact on our area’s economy. The ability to utilize over 1,000 members of our community’s diverse and talented workforce will enhance the quality of life for our residents, and is a result of the strong collaboration between our governing bodies and community partners to create a winning opportunity for Amazon and the parish.”
In 2020, Amazon ranked Louisiana No. 5 among all states for the fastest annual growth among its digital entrepreneur partners. More than 14,500 small and medium-sized businesses in the state participate in Amazon’s fulfillment network and collectively recorded a 49 percent growth in recent year-over-year sales.
“We are thrilled to have Amazon become a new major employer in North Louisiana,” said Chairman Chap Breard of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “Their decision to locate in Shreveport confirms that North Louisiana’s competitive strategic location, strong stakeholder partnerships and project-ready industrial sites are critical for success in economic development.”
The company’s committed investment in the state to-date is more than $600 million and includes seven Whole Foods Market locations.
Jobs will have a starting pay of $15 per hour and comprehensive benefits beginning on day one — full medical, vision and dental insurance; and 401(k) savings with a 50 percent company match.
The hiring of most employees for Amazon’s Shreveport fulfillment center will begin in the summer of 2022, approximately three months prior to the launch of the facility. To keep up-to-date with career opportunities at Amazon in Shreveport, visit https://opportunities.ledfaststart.com/AmazonShreveport.
Trees are being cleared at the 135-acre site on Corporate Drive that’s expected to be home to an Amazon facility.