The city of Kettering, Ohio announced via Twitter Wednesday that a new Amazon distribution center would be coming to the city. As planned, the online distributor will sign a “long term” lease that would bring “several hundred” jobs to the area.
Smile!We have good news : )We can confirm that a building owner in our Kettering Business Park is in negotiations with Amazon for a long-term lease that could bring a last mile distribution center & several hundred new jobs to Kettering.We are excited to make this deal a reality!
— KetteringOH (@Kettering_OH) January 30, 2019
The planned site, located in Kettering Business Park, is an 87,000 square foot warehouse facility. TW Development will spend $8.3 million converting the warehouse for use by the online retail giant. However, the city will subsidize 1.1 million dollars to demolish a majority of the warehouse. Considering the overall budget for the city in 2018 was slightly less than $80 million, this is a significant investment. It remains to be seen if additional subsidies will be extended to the company that was recently valued at $1 billion. While offering tax incentives that encourage companies to build facilities in a given city is not uncommon, the shocking deals being offered to Amazon in the past several years have proven controversial.
In 2018, Amazon announced that it was looking to build a second HQ in America and was taking bids from prospective cities. Some of the bids were so generous that potential cities could actually lose money if Amazon located there. Columbus reportedly would omit the corporation from all property taxes for 15 years. In addition;
The online retail giant also would receive a 15-year, 35 percent income-tax refund on withholdings from new full-time employees working at Amazon’s headquarters. That would be up to $50 million annually and up to $400 million over 15 years.
The Amazon HQ was eventually split into two locations; one in Queens, New York and one in Crystal City, Virginia. The Queens location is under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that the campus would receive an estimated $3 billion in tax incentives. While Amazon promises to bring in jobs whose average salary is $150,000, questions as to whether or not these jobs will go to local New Yorkers or out-of-state individuals remain unanswered. Though sixty percent of Queens residents still support the measure, a vocal movement continues to oppose it.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].