Mayor: Amazon.com to touch down in Tracy
by Jon Mendelson
Nov 23, 2012 | 11563 views | 24 24 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Tracy Mayor Brent Ives told the Tracy Press that Amazon.com is on the verge of finalizing an agreement to establish a major distribution center within city limits.

Ives said the City Council and city staff have worked for “over a year” with representatives of Amazon.com Inc. and industrial developer Prologis to bring the Seattle-based Internet retailer to Tracy.

“We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said.

Though he did not have a firm timeline for groundbreaking,

Ives estimated that within a year Amazon would bring 1,000 jobs to the city’s Northeast Industrial Area, a section of northeastern Tracy specifically dedicated to industrial development. Ives said the planned facility would likely be an automated distribution center with a robotics element.

“The pay scale is higher than at a standard distribution center,” he said.

Ives also said the city would benefit from a boost in sales tax.

Amazon has estimated a “low end” of $100 million in point-of-sales business annually at the proposed Tracy center, according to Ives.

Though he did not specifically mention Amazon, Tracy Finance Director Zane Johnston said Wednesday, Nov. 21, that Tracy would see about $1 million in sales taxes from a company with $100 million in sales.

However, he said the city’s half-cent Measure E sales tax would not apply to purchases through a fulfillment center such as those Amazon operates — except for purchases made by people within Tracy city limits.

Johnston noted that the city’s initial tax share from such a company could be lower, because of a policy passed in December that allows Tracy to offer a temporary sales tax rebate as a financial incentive to new employers that create more than 1,000 jobs.

“The exact dollar amount remains to be seen, and that’s talking about any entity … based on the policy we have,” Johnston said.

Ives said sales tax money from a potential Amazon fulfillment center would be funneled into the city’s deficit-saddled general fund and could help the city provide services to residents, such as police and fire protection.

Though the agreement with Tracy was not confirmed by Amazon officials, who did not respond to a Wednesday, Nov. 21, request for comment as of press time, Ives said an announcement could be made as early as Monday, Nov. 26.

Ives said he had not signed a nondisclosure agreement regarding the negotiations, although City Manager Leon Churchill, Development and Engineering Services Director Andrew Malik and other staff members did so. Churchill refused to make any comment regarding the matter.

Ives said he and others at the city had been careful to not leak information that might damage the project’s prospects.

But while City Hall remained silent concerning Amazon, Ives insisted city staff members were not inactive.

At least two council decisions in the past 12 months, he confirmed, are linked to the anticipated Amazon center.

On May 4, the City Council gave Prologis the unanimous go-ahead to construct three new buildings totaling about 1 million square feet south of Grant Line Road off Paradise Road.

On Dec. 21, 2011, the council called a special meeting to unanimously approve giving companies with local gross annual sales of $100 million or more a temporary break on sales tax. At the time, Malik said the council decision would help Tracy create more local jobs.

In May, Amazon announced it would place a separate distribution and fulfillment center in Patterson, about 20 miles southeast of Tracy. That outpost, like the anticipated center in Tracy, will take up about 1 million square feet of building space and will employ about 1,500 people, according to city of Patterson estimates.

• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or jmendelson@tracypress.com.
Comments
(24)
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ChocolateThunder
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December 01, 2012
I am currently living and working in Sacramento. I would love to relocate to Tracy and work at Amazon could you please sent me any additional information regarding hiring process for the new positions available at Amazon
debbdaves
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November 29, 2012
Typical of Republican types to create more minimum wage jobs and claim social service while they have fat bank accounts. I hear you about the educated having to commute to the Bay Area for professional jobs. Professionals have no place in Tracy.
monsterdad3k
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November 28, 2012
More low to mid-level jobs but nothing for the 90% of us who commute into the Bay every day for our jobs. I fail to see the benefits of the increased truck traffic this will bring to our highways. Roads are already bad in the am and pm. Already way too much truck traffic going to/from the auto auctions and other warehouses in town.

Unfortunately good paying jobs in tech/biotech/software/engineering etc. will never locate here. Too far from the center of the universe.

dcose
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November 29, 2012
1. What is your point ?

2. Are you doing something to bring the kind of jobs you want to locate in Tracy ?

3. The people electing our state and federal politicians voted for less business. Take your comments to them.

Taxes, regulation, population, available workforce, and education have a direct relationship with business willing to come to an area.
ChrisRoberts
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November 28, 2012
More low wage warehouse jobs. Hey look another MC Donalds!
whoareyoukidding
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November 28, 2012
They have to have businesses where you are qualified to work Chris. Or is McDonald's above your aid grade?
Seek_the_Truth
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November 27, 2012
This is a WIN for the City of Tracy and the current City Council! Great job....now go get some more jobs!
I<3Tracy
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November 26, 2012
Great job, Mayor Ives! We're growing
tracy-ed
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November 24, 2012
Jon Mendleson wrote that the sales tax revenue "would be funneled into the city’s deficit-saddled general fund".

By law, cities are not allowed to carry a deficit....neither are States. (Only the Federal Government is allowed to get away with that.)

whoareyoukidding
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November 25, 2012
Tracy-Ed - The City has used money from their reserves to fill the deficit. They have not done anything illegal.
LuckyInTracyNot
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November 24, 2012
Outstanding! Nice score for Tracy, Mr. Mayor.
MrSycamore
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November 23, 2012
Great Job, Mr. Mayor! Keep up the good work! Bring in more big businesses!!!
tracyresdnt
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November 23, 2012
Nice job Mayor! Get some more
rayderfan
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November 23, 2012
The Amazon Distrubution Center will open at the same time the Gateway Project, the swim center, the Ellis development and the college campus open in Tracy.

Remember, Ives has been promising to deliver these projects for the past ten years.

Golfinfool
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November 23, 2012
Just gotta love the nay sayers who's entitlement payments may be threatened........ Jobs not welfare is the only answer...work more bitch less

Sneaky
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November 23, 2012
I fail to see what folks lack of excitement about the distribution center has to do with entitlements or welfare. Like most people who dont see the value in the distribution center I have a stable career and have never used welfare. My first thought reading about it is that we are going to lose open space to an ugly industrial building that will supply a handful of low wage, dead-end jobs for which the city is giving out massive tax breaks. How does this benefit me or the majority of folks, who are in a similar position? What would be beneficial is if I and most other people in town did not have to commute 40 miles for jobs appropriate to our skill levels. I will get excited if the city starts bringing in biotech, pharma, software development, web development, etc.. Another warehouse has more negatives (loss of open space, more delivery truck traffic and pollution) than it does benefits (probably one or two dozen $10/hr jobs).
victor_jm
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November 26, 2012
Sneaky,

Does a "low-wage, dead-end job" exist with your line of work? What exactly are you offering the community? What is its social value? We have been losing open space because of the unabated propagation of our species and others we have decided to over-propagate (e.g., cats and dogs).

Perhaps we ought to examine the low-wage job. Perhaps we ought to ask ourselves whether it ought to be judged as a low-wage job. Perhaps we ought to ask whether the low-wage job ought to command more compensation. From my perspective, your comment is prejudicial and ambiguous. What are you really saying?
Sneaky
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November 29, 2012
victor,

the answer to the first question depends on how inclusive you are when you say "...your line of work...". The company I work for designs and develops medical devices such as PTA/PTCA balloon catheters, stents, aortic stent grafts, guidewires, guide catheters, etc.. While there are what I would consider dead-end jobs related to the work they are in the support functions rather than part of the actual business. In other words the contractors who provide janitorial services, IT (India), cafeteria staff, etc.. Those jobs also have value too and I have am glad they are available but at least there is a balance in the available types of positions.

As far as "social value" that is a personal judgement but I doubt most folks would argue against the notion that developing and manufacturing products that save lives provides more value than a warehouse that distributes the latest consumer goods and gizmos.

I agree that many folks in relatively low wage jobs deserve to make considerably more but for better or worse I dont get to determine the pay for different jobs. The free market decides that.

While I may not have put it most tactfully in my initial response, all I am saying is that there is a serious imbalance in Tracy's job landscape that is only exacerbated by bringing in yet another warehouse. There are endless warehouse and retail jobs here but almost nothing for anyone else. It would be nice to see the city leaders work to make the job landscape a bit more balanced.
dcose
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November 23, 2012
The Tracy and Patterson distribution centers handle different products
walkingtall
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November 23, 2012
April Fools! Oh wait, it isn't April. This makes no sense that you would build two DC's 20 miles apart. I'll believe it when I see it, but I certainly hope this is true!
mthouseman
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November 23, 2012
With no timeline for construction, I'll believe it, when I see them open the warehouse doors.

Maybe they can have a grand opening to coincide with the opening of the spirit amusement park
Sneaky
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November 23, 2012
“The pay scale is higher than at a standard distribution center,” he said.

So, $8.05/hour instead of $8.00?

Rd_runner
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November 25, 2012
Sneaky, local news coverage reports the majority of these 1000 jobs will have starting wages between 16 and 20 bucks. An hour. Maybe that's not a lot to you, I think it's a fantastic opportunity for many people.


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