Business

Amazon Kent Fulfillment Center reaches construction milestone

Construction crews hoist the first of many 24-by-60-foot wall panels for the new 800,000-square-foot Amazon Kent Fulfillment Center on Tuesday.  - Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter
Construction crews hoist the first of many 24-by-60-foot wall panels for the new 800,000-square-foot Amazon Kent Fulfillment Center on Tuesday.
— image credit: Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter

The first section of walling for Amazon's new 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center was erected and set in place on Tuesday.

The concrete slab represents a construction milestone, said David Graybeal, an Amazon general manager. Approximately 999 more slabs will follow it.

Kent is Amazon's fourth fulfillment center in the state, and promises to bring hundreds of full-time jobs to the area.

The shipping center – in the Stryker Business Center at the corner of South 208th Street and 59th Place South – will store more than one million units of various small products, from books and games electronics and accessories.

There are 40 such centers in the United States, and more than 96 across the globe.

With a center in Kent, the company hopes to streamline its order fulfillment process in the Seattle area to one- and two-day shipping.

According to Graybeal, partnering with USPS also will allow Sunday delivery. But don't expect to see drones just yet, as FAA regulations still have them outlawed, although Amazon is "working aggressively" to change that.

Graybeal said that the center will employ "several hundred" employees, working in various positions, although the largest will likely be "warehouse associates."

Company spokeswoman Ashley Robinson said that the average wage for warehouse associates is 30-percent higher than that of retail workers.

According to Glassdoor.com, a wage aggregation website, the average wage of a warehouse worker is $12.63 per hour, coming out to $26,270 a year. If the company hired 200 such workers, it would be investing roughly $5.2 million into employees the Kent area. The company also provides a "comprehensive benefits" package.

Graybeal expects the building to be finished by 2015, but doesn't have a concrete timeline on when exactly it will launch.

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