SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Amazon is at the center of what is arguably the biggest economic development project in central New York in decades. An Amazon executive made the announcement via video Monday during Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon’s daily coronavirus news conference.
Anand Mehta, Amazon’s regional director of operations, let everyone in on what’s been a closely guarded secret since a distribution project was announced last fall, from a video monitor rolled onto the stage.
“It’s not often we get the chance to announce the launch of a new Amazon operations facility, virtually, to the community. And I’m proud to share with you that this is the beginning of many first for the community and Amazon,” Mehta said.
Construction has already started on a $350 million, 3.8 million square foot distribution center, where employees will work alongside robots to fulfill smaller customer orders for the online giant. Things like books, electronics and toys.
McMahon was happy to unmask the tenant only days after central New York started the process of reopening its economy following the coronavirus shutdown.
“You can’t think restart without thinking of this once-in-a-generation project,” McMahon said.
It’s expected to create 1,000 full-time jobs added to an economy that’s been stumbling, like many others, because of the coronavirus shutdown.
“1,000 jobs, $40 million in new payroll a year, over $400 million of new payroll over ten years,” McMahon said. “When you look at all the other spinoff jobs from this it will really be remarkable.”
Town of Clay Supervisor Damian Ulatowski shepherded the project through the town’s zoning process, and expects the Amazon impact to go beyond the mega project on the parcel of land that used to be Liverpool Golf and Country Club.
“This will give the city of Syracuse, as well of all of us, a great boost not just in the short term, but in the long term,” Ulatowski said. “Because I think I’m more excited about the spin-off business this project will generate.”
The warehouse is scheduled to open up in September of 2021 in time to process deliveries for the holiday season.