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St. Peters gets Missouri’s first Amazon fulfillment center

Amazon shipping center in Edwardsville
File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Peters will be the home of the first fulfillment center in Missouri. The company already has two large warehouses in Edwardsville, Illinois, one of which is pictured here.

Retail giant Amazon will build its first Missouri distribution center in the St. Charles County town of St. Peters.

Amazon announced its plan to build the the 800,000-square-foot warehouse in a news release Wednesday. The company expects to hire about 1,500 workers.

“We’re excited to continue growing our team with our first state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Missouri,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s vice president of North America Customer Fulfillment. “Our ability to expand in Missouri is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce. Amazon is committed to providing great opportunities for employment and creating a positive economic impact for the region.”

Employees at the 800,000-square-foot facility will pick, pack and ship small items to customers.

St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano said Amazon’s fulfillment center will create a domino effect in the area. He said restaurants and residential properties will follow the completion of the fulfillment center.

"I’m so excited, I’m busting at the seams," he said following a press conference about the new facility on Wednesday morning.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said the project’s location is near the economic center of the region.

"This is going to be very accessible to potential employees not only in St. Charles County, but in St. Louis County and St. Louis City; really the entire region," he said.

Ehlmann said the county is providing some additional lanes and traffic signals to help the 1,500 new employees move in and out of the new facility. He said the county will use money from a special tax for roads created decades ago.

The state is also offering tax incentives to the online retailer, including $100,000 from the Skilled Workforce Missouri program. Hazelwood offered tax breaks to the developer of a warehouse park that houses an Amazon sorting center, as did the developers of a park in Edwardsville, Illinois, where Amazon has two fulfillment centers.

Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Maggie Kost said Amazon will have a big impact on those who work at the facility, as well as create more construction jobs.

Officials said they expect the facility to be completed in fall of 2019.

Ashley Winters contributed to this report.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.