Ives told the Tracy Press on Tuesday, Nov. 20, that the Tracy City Council and city staff have worked for “over a year” with representatives of Amazon.com Inc. and industrial developer Prologis to bring the Seattle-based Internet retailer to Tracy.
“We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said.
Though he did not have a firm timeline for groundbreaking, Ives estimated that within a year Amazon would bring 1,000 jobs to the city’s Northeast Industrial Area, a section of northeastern Tracy specifically dedicated to industrial development. Ives said the planned facility would likely be an automated distribution center with a robotics element.
“The pay scale is higher than at a standard distribution center,” he said.
Ives also said the city would benefit from a boost in sales tax.
Amazon has estimated a “low end” of $100 million in point-of-sales business annually at the proposed Tracy center, according to Ives.
Though he did not specifically mention Amazon, Tracy Finance Director Zane Johnston said Wednesday, Nov. 21, that Tracy would see about $1 million in sales taxes from a company with $100 million in sales.
Kelly Cheeseman, a spokeswoman for Amazon.com, did not acknowledge on Monday, Nov. 26, that the company had any projects planned for Tracy. However, Ives said Nov. 20 that an announcement could be made as soon as this week.
Ives said he had not signed a nondisclosure agreement regarding the negotiations, although Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill, Development and Engineering Services Director Andrew Malik and other staff members did so. Churchill refused to make any comment regarding the matter last week.
Ives said he and others at the city had been careful to not leak information that might damage the project’s prospects.
But while Tracy city officials have remained silent concerning Amazon, Ives insisted city staff members were not inactive.
At least two Tracy council decisions in the past 12 months, he confirmed, are linked to the anticipated Amazon center.
On May 4, the Tracy council gave Prologis the unanimous go-ahead to construct three new buildings totaling about 1 million square feet south of Grant Line Road off Paradise Road.
On Dec. 21, 2011, they called a special meeting to unanimously approve giving companies with local gross annual sales of $100 million or more a temporary break on sales tax. At the time, Malik said the council decision would help Tracy create more local jobs.
In May, Amazon announced it would place a separate fulfillment center in Patterson. That outpost will employ as many as 1,500 people, according to city officials.
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