Amazon may have spurned Charlotte as a possible site for a “second headquarters” complex, but the e-commerce kingpin may still have big plans for the Queen City.
The company is talking with local and state officials about a 2-million-square-foot fulfillment center on city-owned land near the southeast corner of Interstates 85 and 485 in west Mecklenburg County, according to people familiar with the project. Public incentives are apparently involved in the negotiations that have involved the Charlotte City Council. No deal has been finalized.
With a likely investment of more than $100 million, it would be the biggest distribution site in the Charlotte area, which is dotted with similar facilities operated by Ross Stores, T.J. Maxx and others. The proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and convergence of interstates 77 and 85 have made the region a prime distribution site for decades.
The move would continue Amazon’s rapid growth in the Charlotte area. It is opening a 1-million square foot center in Kannapolis later this year, joining existing sites in Concord, Charlotte and Durham.
Amazon is also considering a 1-million-square-foot center in Kernersville, newspapers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem reported this week. In both Charlotte and the Triad, Amazon is working with Seefried Industrial Properties, an Atlanta-based firm that has developed many large projects, sources said.
Seattle-based Amazon has more than 100 sorting and fulfillment centers across the U.S. Surging demand for online retailing is prompting the company to build a massive network of sites that enable goods to be supplied promptly.
The company had revenue of $177 billion in 2017, a 66% increase from two years earlier. A Slice Intelligence report cited in the Wall Street Journal noted that Amazon accounted for 42 cents of every dollar spent online in 2017.
Amazon has not said when it will select from its 20 finalists vying for HQ2, a project the company says will eventually host up to 50,000 people. Its request for proposals asked for 500,000 square feet of office space initially, enough space for about 2,500 workers, the Seattle Times reported.
While the Triangle is among the 20 finalists, state officials have not disclosed the incentives being offered to attract Amazon.
Calls to Amazon and Charlotte airport officials were not immediately returned.