Amazon could be coming to Bessemer. This isn’t the coveted second headquarters that more than 200 cities competed to lure. It’s a fulfillment center, and if it happens, it would mean quite a few jobs, according to The Birmingham Business Journal, which broke the story.
“At this point we know this site’s being strongly considered for it,” says Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West. “We know it’s not a done deal.”
West says the site under consideration is property owned by U.S. Steel along I-20/59 near Bessemer City High School and Alabama Splash Adventure. The fulfillment center would employ 1,500 people but that number would likely grow based on trends at similar facilities.
Amazon has expanded its network of fulfillment centers, where packages are sorted and distributed. Last year, the BBJ found Birmingham was the largest market in the U.S. without an existing center or one in the works. The potential Bessemer center would include opportunities for job training for high school students. Amazon would also run buses through Bessemer neighborhoods to pick up employees without reliable transportation.
“It would give a lot of people in Bessemer who have no access to an automobile an opportunity to work at a leading global company,” says West.
West says incentive packages from the state, Jefferson County and Bessemer are still being developed, but he expects them to come before public boards in the coming weeks. He says public documents indicate construction could start as early as this summer with a goal of opening the fulfillment center by the 2019 holiday season.