Amazon is delivering 1,000 jobs to Stockton.
The city announced early Tuesday afternoon that the world-renowned internet commerce giant plans to open a more than 600,000-square-foot warehouse in south Stockton that will bring 1,000 badly needed full-time, above-minimum-wage jobs with benefits to the city when it is completed.
The City Council made the announcement at a City Hall news conference. The news came five years after Stockton declared bankruptcy, two years after it emerged from financial ruin and three years after Stockton fell short in a bid for a Tesla battery facility that ended up being placed in Reno, Nevada.
“We’re excited for the economic boost and gain this brings to our city and we look forward to working in partnership with Amazon filling all those jobs with Stocktonians,” Mayor Michael Tubbs said.
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Councilwoman Christina Fugazi added, “My message to residents is, ‘Polish off those resumes you have and be prepared for a job fair so that we can employ our community.’ ”
Amazon is currently constructing an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Sacramento near Sacramento International Airport. That facility’s expected to open in the fall.
The Stockton-Lodi area’s unemployment rate in July was 7.7 percent, according to the state. The local unemployment rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than the state rate and 3.1 percentage points above the national rate.
Micah Runner, Stockton’s director of economic development, did not give an exact location for the planned facility other than to say it will be in the “south airport industrial area.” Runner did say Amazon will lease the land from IDI Gazeley, a privately held real estate investment trust.
The IDI website says the firm owns a 72.4-acre ready-to-develop lot east of B Street and north of Zephyr Street in south Stockton.
Amazon was not represented at Tuesday’s news conference, but spokeswoman Ashley Robinson issued a statement confirming the agreement with Stockton.
“We are excited about our upcoming facility in southern Stockton and our ability to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs for residents in the region,” Robinson’s statement said. “This 600,000-plus square foot facility will support customer fulfillment and join our network of large centers in the Valley, located in Tracy, Patterson, and Sacramento.
“There are a variety of factors we consider when selecting a location for an Amazon facility. Some of those factors include a dedicated workforce who will raise the bar on being customer obsessed as well as great local support – and we’ve found both in Stockton. We are thrilled to join the community and look forward to building relationships and being a good neighbor for years to come. The timeline for opening is not defined, stay tuned for more details.”
Runner said Amazon first approached the city four months ago about opening a facility in Stockton and he called the turnaround time leading to Tuesday’s announcement “a pretty quick-moving process.” Runner said Amazon asked for no special incentives beyond those the city typically extends to try to attract significant employers who choose to open shop in Stockton.
Jeff Michael, director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific, said Amazon’s arrival will have a significant impact on the city’s economy.
“Many Amazon fulfillment centers have ended up creating more than the 1,000 jobs that are typically announced with a new facility,” Michael said, adding that the warehouse also probably will benefit Stockton Metropolitan Airport, as well as the city itself. Michael also said, “While Amazon is displacing traditional retail jobs, in this case, the majority of the displaced jobs are probably in the Bay Area.”
District 6 Councilman Jesús Andrade, who represents south Stockton, predicted Amazon’s presence will be a “game changer” for the city and especially for the long-neglected area he serves.
Said Andrade: “For us to have that victory in an area that’s been … neglected over the last 50 years is definitely a tremendous victory.”