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Amazon hopes to be up and running in Clay in time for 2021 holiday season

By Eric Reinhardt


Work continues at the site of the upcoming warehouse and distribution center that Amazon, Inc. will use to serve its customers. (PHOTO CREDIT: ZOEYADVERTISING.COM)

CLAY — The regional director of operations for e-commerce giant Amazon, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) anticipates its upcoming Clay warehouse and distribution facility will launch in time for the 2021 holiday season.

Anand Mehta on May 18 spoke in a video message after Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced Seattle–based Amazon as the tenant during his daily coronavirus briefing at the Oncenter.

Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, will be the tenant that occupies the massive warehouse and distribution center under construction in the town of Clay, ending weeks of ongoing speculation about the occupant.

The facility, located on the site of the former Liverpool Public Golf and Country Club on Morgan Road, is expected to generate 1,000 new jobs along with $40 million of new payroll per year, he said. 

“We’re very happy about this. You can’t think restart without thinking of this once-in-a-generation project,” said McMahon.

He then introduced the video message from Mehta.

“It’s not often that we get the opportunity to announce the launch of a new Amazon operations facility virtually to the community, and I’m proud to share with you today that this is just the beginning of several firsts for the community and Amazon,” Mehta said in his comments. “This facility in Clay will be first of its kind in upstate New York and will be our newest generation of robotics fulfilment centers.”

Future employees will work alongside Amazon’s robots to pick, pack, and ship smaller customer orders, such as books, electronics, and toys, he said. 

Amazon also plans to hire people for roles in human resources, operations management, safety, security, finance, and information technology.

“The partnership and the collaboration that has allowed this project to move forward on the pace at which it has, has been astounding,” Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO said in his remarks at the Oncenter that same day.

McMahon described the Clay warehouse project as a $350 million “once-in-a-generation investment” with building costs of more than $200 million. 

The Trammel Crow-Amazon project received a 15-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu of taxes) agreement, along with sales and mortgage tax recording relief, according to McMahon. The county executive also noted that the Liverpool Public Golf and Country Club, over 15 years, would’ve paid the county $800,000 in property taxes to Onondaga County, the Liverpool School District, and the Town of Clay. 

“Our new friends at Amazon and Trammel Crow, over that same period of time, will pay us [more than] $28 million, so for us, besides all the benefits that come with the jobs and the $40 million in new payroll that wasn’t here and all the construction jobs and the $48 million of local construction wages that are going to be paid, we’re also making money on the deal for the taxpayer and that will certainly offset … future costs,” said McMahon.        ν

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