- Construction is about to begin on a $150 million Amazon fulfillment center in Gaines Charter Township, Michigan near Grand Rapids, according to the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, an ironworker-contractor partnership.
- General contractor Ryan Construction Co. has subcontracted the structural steel fabrication and installation to St. Louis-Missouri-based Ben Hur Construction, which has partnered with Detroit-area Ideal Contracting to complete its scope of work as part of a 22-week, expedited schedule beginning in September. The 850,000-square-foot warehouse portion of the project will have 8,100 tons of structural steel and 2,900 tons of joists.
- There will be 70 ironworkers manning the project at any one time, all sourced from Iron Workers Local 25, which has a new $1 million training center in Hudsonville, Michigan. The Iron Workers receive approximately 50,000 apprentice applications annually for programs that the organization runs out of almost 160 training centers in the U.S. and Canada.
Amazon, according to the Grand Rapids News, will lease the property and receive $4 million in state incentives in exchange for choosing the Gaines Charter Township site over others in Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The state money reportedly is meant to offset Amazon's costs of recruitment and to entice the company to select Michigan.
The state will disburse the money during a three-year period as long as Amazon hits the promised employment projections. In the first year, Amazon will receive up to $1.9 million if it creates 475 jobs. The next year, the company must create 50 jobs for which it will receive up to $200,000. In the third year, Amazon must again create 475 jobs to receive up to $1.9 million. The township is also offering the company a 50% property tax abatement.
When complete, the fulfillment center is expected to generate 1,000 jobs with benefits, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, including a 95% reimbursement of college tuition. This will be the fourth Amazon fulfillment center in Michigan, and with the Gaines Charter Township project, the company's private investment in the state stands at $420 million.
Michigan has managed to capture Amazon investment dollars for several developments, but the state did not make the short list of candidates for Amazon's $5 billion second North American headquarters. Amazon expects to create 50,000 jobs in the winning city and, based on its Seattle headquarters figures, estimates that every dollar of investment will generate $1.40 for the overall economy.