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E-commerce giant Amazon.com will increase its presence in Iowa, with plans to build a 2.9-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Davenport, creating more than 1,000 permanent jobs, city of Davenport and Quad Cities Chamber officials announced Wednesday.
The fulfillment center, to be built immediately north of Interstate 80 and west of the Davenport Municipal Airport, would mark Amazon's second and its largest in the state. It is expected to be operating next year.
The Seattle-based company opened a 640,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Bondurant, outside Des Moines, in December.
Amazon also signed a lease agreement in March to move into an Ankeny warehouse, according Polk County property records, as it has quickly scaled up its physical presence and operations across the country.
It has a significant portion of a former Procter and Gamble distribution center in southeast Iowa City for a last-mile delivery station.
Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance business retention and expansion strategist, noted city and airport officials have held discussions with Amazon and other e-commerce and distribution businesses over the years in hopes of attracting one of them to property near Eastern Iowa Airport or elsewhere in Cedar Rapids.
Davenport, to offset the cost of about $3.9 million in road improvements for the site, has applied to the Iowa Department of Transportation Revitalizing Iowa's Sound Economy grant program.
The grant would cover 60 percent of the cost, and the city will use general fund and bonds abated by a tax increment financing program to cover the other 40 percent.
"This is a really big opportunity for the city of Davenport and definitely for our job market," Alderman Kyle Gripp, at-large.
"The promise is more than 1,000 jobs, but, really, the hope is over 1,500. A lot of these jobs pay a pretty good wage, and we think that it will help make the job market more competitive."
The news comes amid soaring profits as consumers flocked to online retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon added 500,000 employees in 2020, bringing its global workforce to nearly 1.3 million by the end of 2020, according to its most recent financial report.