MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Just three short months after finalizing a deal with Amazon, officials broke ground on the new state-of-the-art facility in Raleigh Monday morning.
The 855,000 square foot facility is the first of its kind in Tennessee using robotics technology to pick, pack and ship smaller items to customers.
The facility will create 1,000 new full-time jobs with benefits at a $15 an hour minimum.
"When a job is created and a good-paying job is created a family’s life is changed,” said Governor Bill Lee.
The facility along New Allen and Hawkins Mill roads is the sixth fulfillment center in the state. Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than $6 million in the Volunteer State.
"They already have 2500 employees in Memphis making at least $15 an hour so this is another 1,000 on top of that. They like Memphis and they like our work force,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
Local leaders say the location of the project is important. Giving people living in the Raleigh/Frayser area the opportunity to find jobs.
"Out here people can literally walk to work or it’s a close commute,” said Strickland.
After the deal was finalized in October, Amazon execs say they wanted to get to work quickly. As they continue to move towards 1-day shipping, expanding to meet customer needs was necessary.
"Memphis is a fantastic location here in the central United States, but also good for the southeastern United States so it'll allow us to have a central location to fulfill our customer orders not only in this region, but all over the US,” Amazon Regional Director of Operations Robert Packett.
There is a bus stop nearby for those that may need to commute, but officials say they’re working to improve public transit in that area.
The fulfillment center is expected to open in late 2020.