ROBBINSVILLE – Amazon, one of the businesses whose online presence sometimes irks New Jersey-based bricks-and-mortar retailers because of instances of non-collection of sales taxes, announced it will open its million-square-foot facility here early next year.
The state and Amazon.com reached agreement in May on a contentious issue: collection of sales tax by the out-of-state, internet-based retailer.
The administration said then that Amazon will begin collecting sales tax in July of this year, addressing what bricks-and-mortar retailers say is an unfair advantage that so-called e-retailers have over traditional businesses.
As part of that deal, Amazon agreed to establish a presence in the state. The new distribution center will lead to approximately 700 jobs, and generate an estimated $22.1 million in tax revenues for the township, schools and Mercer County, according to Amazon and Robbinsville.
In a release, Gov. Chris Christie applauded the news.
“Amazon’s multimillion-dollar investment in this one facility alone is expected to result in the creation of hundreds of full-time jobs in addition to temporary, seasonal and construction jobs,” he said. “Today’s announcement represents the strength of our successful partnership with Amazon and I want to express our sincere thanks for their continued commitment to investing in our state and bringing these job opportunities to our residents.”
Mayor Dave Fried said that “We understand Amazon could have chosen anywhere in New Jersey to build its new distribution center, and we are fortunate to have the infrastructure and resources to meet their needs.”
Amazon had come under fire in the past for working conditions at such centers, but last May the company said in reports it would spend $52 million to retrofit warehouses with air conditioners.
When this deal was announced last May, the company said this would be a state-of-the-art project.
“We are excited to open our first fulfillment center in New Jersey, bringing jobs and investment to Robbinsville Township,” said Mike Roth, vice president of Amazon’s North American Operations, in the release announcing the Robbinsville site. “We appreciate the support of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Business Action Team, and other state and local leaders who have worked with us to find this site.”
KTR Capital Partners, a private equity firm, is building the project with Amazon planning to take occupancy in early 2014. The expected investment in the project will exceed $200 million, according to Amazon and Robbinsville.