The Alamance News has confirmed persistent rumors that Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is setting up a distribution center in Graham, in the Hawfields-area industrial park between Graham and Mebane.
The park is already home to two large distribution centers, for Walmart and Lidl, the German grocer that is entering many East Coast markets; it is also to be the home to a UPS distribution center on 165½ acres just down the road, on the Mebane side of the industrial park.
Under an agreement worked out a decade ago, Mebane, Graham, and county government jointly share in the property tax revenues, regardless of where a new company locates within the industrial park.
Amazon will occupy a spec building being built by Windsor Commercial, the commercial wing of Greensboro-based Windsor Homes, which has built many residential subdivisions across Alamance County.
There is now a sign at one entrance into the construction site that identifies Amazon as the future tenant, instructing that “visitors and associates” and “trucks” (identified with the company’s logo) should enter along Senator Ralph Scott Parkway.
The address listed on Amazon’s sign for its new facility is 3875 Senator Ralph Scott Parkway, although the main entrance into the front of the site is from Governor Scott Farm Road around the corner.
William “Buddy” Seymour, president and manager of Windsor Commercial, would not confirm the identity of the company that will occupy the spec building his company began building more than a year ago.
In a telephone interview with The Alamance News, he consistently referred to the future tenant as simply “an unnamed tenant.”
He did acknowledge that there are now two construction firms on site. His, Windsor Commercial, is now focused on the grading work, entrance, and outside of the building.
Another firm, hired by the “unnamed tenant,” is doing the “finishing” work within the shell building that Windsor had constructed.
Actually, at the site, there are two additional contractors shown: Choate and Willscot.
Graham municipal officials were not as reticent to acknowledge the obvious future tenant.
Interim city manager Aaron Holland said that calls to the city’s planning department as well as some of the paperwork associated with the construction – primarily for additional permits for specialized aspects of construction from contractors and subcontractors working on the site – frequently refer to the project as “the Amazon building.”
Holland said that, based on the permits obtained, he estimates that the building’s construction, inside and out, could be finished within 60 days, a timeframe which Seymour – when asked separately – termed “reasonable.”
“If [the occupant’s] a secret,” Holland added, “it’s probably one of the worst-kept secrets around.”
Holland said he has been given no reason to expect that the company will seek any sort of economic incentives from the city.
He said because there hasn’t been any incentives discussion, he has no idea what the employment impact will be; employment levels are a frequent consideration in putting together incentives offers.
Based on other announcements by Amazon, The Alamance News estimates that the employment impact could be in the range of 200 to 300 or more.
Site may be “delivery station,” a new format for package delivery: https://alamancenews.com/site-may-be-delivery-station-a-new-format-for-package-delivery/
Developer to start on another large spec building when this one complete: https://alamancenews.com/another-large-project-to-follow/