Regions Shenandoah Valley

Amazon to open 1-million-square-foot facility this fall

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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Amazon has distribution centers of the same size in
Dinwiddie and Chesterfield counties. Photo by Shandell Taylor

Amazon is building another massive facility in Virginia.

Construction is underway on the online retailer’s 1-million-square-foot distribution center and warehouse in Frederick County, which is expected to open in the fall, says Patrick Barker, executive director of the Frederick County Economic Development Authority. Amazon has distribution centers of the same size in Dinwiddie and Chesterfield counties.

“Our ability to expand in Virginia is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce in the state,” Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, said in a statement when the deal was announced in late March.

Amazon is investing more than $100 million in the new facility, which will be located at the White Hall Commerce Center, an industrial park of roughly 100 acres owned by George Sempeles. When the facility becomes operational, it is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Barker says the Amazon deal represents the largest capital expenditure on record in the county.  The jobs being created by Amazon is surpassed only by Navy Federal Credit Union, which plans to create 1,400 jobs in expanding its Frederick operation center.
Barker says “time to market,” the ability to create a facility quickly, was important to Amazon.

“They needed a property that would allow their developer to get the building constructed in a very compressed time schedule,” he says.
In looking for a site, the company already was interested in Northern Shenandoah Valley before Frederick officials became involved, Barker says. Amazon was interested in the region because of its proximity to the Washington, D.C.-area market.

Amazon will not receive local incentives for the project, but the company is eligible for state assistance. That includes a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit plus funding and services through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to support employee training. 

The Amazon and Navy Federal deals should help Frederick in its efforts to attract other businesses, Barker says.

“When you have companies of the corporate stature like Amazon [and] Navy Federal Credit Union make significant location decisions, that obviously is going to have a lot of credibility when you’r e out there marketing the community,” he says.

In addition to Virginia, Amazon considered sites in West Virginia for the project.

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