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Amazon dramatically expands footprint in Michigan

MSF incentive attracts second major fulfillment center to metro Detroit; creates 1,600 jobs, $140 million private investment

Faster and smarter.

That’s the mantra that has led Amazon to become one of the world’s most innovative companies, and to find the path to Michigan where the Seattle-based company will invest up to $140 million to create a regional fulfillment center, including 1,600 new jobs with potential employment nearly twice that number.

Today, the Michigan Strategic Fund board announced a $5 million performance-based grant to incentivize Amazon’s private capital investment in the city of Romulus, where the electronic commerce giant plans a state-of-the-art distribution facility. A wide range of consumer products will be stored, picked, packed and shipped at the center. The plan also calls for infrastructure improvements at the site.

“Michigan’s logistical assets, reputation as a business-friendly state and the quality of talented workers offered compelling reasons for Amazon to expand its operations,” said Steve Arwood, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “As a state with a legacy of innovation, we are appreciative of Amazon’s pioneering spirit and look forward to a productive, long-term collaborative relationship.”

Amazon’s recent investment in Michigan comes six months after the world’s largest internet company announced the creation of 1,000 jobs at a 1,000,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Livonia near a confluence of highways, including I-275, I-96 and M-14. That facility, which includes small, sortable items, is expected to open by October or November. Hiring has begun at the location.

The two recently announced Amazon fulfillment centers in metro Detroit are among the nearly 30 new centers planned, and included in the 103 operating in the U.S. In addition to the Livonia and Romulus centers, Amazon employs 250 in a Detroit tech office, an audio recording studio in Grand Haven and a 210,000-square-foot sortation center in Brownstown Township.

Amazon is the eighth largest employer in the U.S., and has more than 200,000 employees worldwide.

In addition to the MSF grant, Detroit Region Aerotropolis (DRA) is considering the establishment of a tax increment financing plan to finance public infrastructure that would further promote economic growth and job creation.

DRA is a seven-community, two-county public/private economic development partnership focusing on expansions and investments around Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport in southeast Michigan.

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