Amazon will build its third metro area delivery center in the Anoka County suburb of Centerville and the facility could be up and running as early as next year.
The Centerville City Council at its May 25 meeting revealed and approved plans for the 140,000-square-foot warehouse that until then had been referred to by city leaders only as "Project Banjo."
Scott Seroka, a spokesman for the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, confirmed the development and said company data led it to Centerville.
"We build where our customers are from and order from," Seroka said.
Delivery centers are often the last stop for items en route from seller to buyer. Semitrailer trucks at night bring orders from large distribution and fulfillment centers such as those in Shakopee, Woodbury and Lakeville to the much smaller delivery centers. Vans then take packages from the delivery centers to customers' door steps.
Amazon plans to build its Centerville facility featuring a warehouse, truck terminal and office on a 40-acre site south of Main Street between 20th and 21st avenues. Amazon has similar facilities in Eagan and Maple Grove.
"The City of Centerville has an organization coming in and want to be a neighbor; that is really exciting for us," said Mayor D. Love.
When it opens, the center will bring up to 600 full- and part-time jobs to the city. Of those workers, about 350 will be employed by Amazon. Others, such a drivers using vans with the Amazon logo, would be contractors, officials said.
The facility also is raising concerns about increased traffic with 21 semitrailer trucks and 300 vans coming and going throughout the day.
A study found that nearby roads and intersections would be able to function at acceptable levels but some signal timing may have be adjusted. Amazon has also pledged to contribute up to $650,000 for other transportation improvements that could include installing roundabouts, center medians, left turn lanes and possibly realigning Fairview Street where it connects with 20th Avenue.
The city would have 10 years to identify needed improvements and 15 years to spend the money, according to engineers.
City council members also raised concerns about increased noise, particularly on the west side of the building where semitrailer trucks would dock. Some homes are within 500 feet of the dock.
A study conducted by engineers showed that noise levels should not rise considerably, but the council voted to have a second study conducted a year after the facility opens. If noise levels rise too high, Amazon would pay for mitigation efforts, the city said.
"Obviously we want to make sure that we're doing it the right way and we're doing what's best for all of our citizens, being mindful of the citizens that live closest to there, but then also being mindful of our entire city."