Amazon is coming to Ottawa

Amazon has announced plans to build a new “fulfillment centre” in Ottawa.

As CTV News first reported in May, Amazon will be the tenant of the giant new facility at Boundary Road and Hwy. 417.

The facility will pick, package, and ship large items – from couches to kayaks – said Alyssa Tran, a spokesperson with the company.

The online retailer says the new distribution centre in the east-end will create more than 600 full-time jobs with benefits starting day one.

“We are hiring for a range of positions from operations managers to engineers, HR, and IT roles, and of course our associates who will be fulfilling our customer orders by picking, packing and shipping customer orders out,” Tran said.

Full-time employees will receive ‘competitive hourly wages’ and medical, vision, and dental coverage.

Tran says wages will vary depending on the job, but confirmed Amazon typically pays 30 per cent more than retail jobs.

In a statement, Mayor Jim Watson said, “after working closely with Amazon to grow its presence in our city, I’m very pleased they have chosen Ottawa to establish its new fulfillment centre.”

The one-million-square-foot facility will include 1,000 parking spaces and nearly 100 truck loading bays.

To accommodate the increase in traffic, the councillor for the area says road modifications will be done.

“In additional to the interchange, there’s some left-hand turns, and other roadway modifications for trucks,” said councillor Stephen Blais.

The new facility is expected to open in 2019. Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA’s News and Views that construction is expected to take 18 months.

Amazon currently employs more than 2,000 full-time associates at its existing facilities in Brampton, Mississauga and Milton.

It will cost $8.4- to $9.1-million to connect services like gas, hydro, and the Carlsbad water system to the area, and to do the road modifications. The developer, Broccolini Construction, has requested the deferral of payment of the City’s portion of development charges until next year, when project is complete.

Broccolini has also requested a waiver of the interest, estimated at $803,416 (for a 12-month deferral).

Some councillors are not on-board with waiving the interest charge. Councillor Jeff Leiper says that money should go back into other developments.

Council will meet Wednesday.

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