Quad Citians hoping to apply for one of the 1,000 new jobs promised at Amazon’s giant distribution center in Davenport may have to wait two years or more to put in their applications.
The world’s biggest retailer and cloud support company reported on Wednesday, May 25, that completion has been pushed to some time in 2024 for its four-story 2.9 million square foot Amazon Fulfillment Center. The company had anticipated finishing work and beginning hiring this year.
Caitlin Polochak, regional public relations manager for Amazon, declined to be more specific about when in 2024 the building – which boasts a 640,000-square-foot footprint – would be finished and hiring would begin. But she did stress in a statement that Amazon remains committed to the Quad Cities.
“We’re still excited to launch this new facility in Davenport, though we’ve had to adjust our timing,” Ms. Polochak told the QCBJ on Wednesday morning. “We know the Davenport community is excited about the opportunities we’ll be bringing to the area, and we look forward to sharing new timing along with information about the great jobs, pay – starting at $16/hour – and comprehensive benefits we’ll be offering just as soon as we can.”
Ms. Polochak also declined to say what is delaying completion.
But, according to Jennifer Walker, the Quad Cities Chamber’s vice president of marketing and sales: “It is common for developments of this size to have situations that impact their timeline along the way. It’s our understanding that Amazon is experiencing supply chain issues, just like many of our local employers are experiencing. We’re pleased that Amazon is committed to opening the facility, even if the project is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.”
In addition to supply chain challenges, multiple reports over the past year and Amazon’s own quarterly reports show worker shortages, inflation, work stoppages and increased trucking costs impacting both Amazon and its customers, including its 310 million active users and 200 million prime subscribers.
There also is no word on how the delay will affect Amazon’s local suppliers and their workforces. In January, the world’s largest retailer appeared to still be anticipating a 2022 opening of the new Davenport center. That’s when it sent out a call for businesses across the Quad Cities region to sign up as Amazon partners to service the massive facility in Davenport.
The company first announced its plans July 7, 2021, to build its second Iowa robotics fulfillment center in Davenport.
The project was announced during a news conference with representatives from the City of Davenport, Quad Cities Chamber and Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corporation (GDRC), a non-profit organization that owns the available sites in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center.
The Amazon warehouse deal got its start when a site selection firm contacted the Quad Cities Chamber in November 2020 seeking sites in the bi-state region for an unnamed client, Paul Rumler, then president and CEO of the chamber, said in July 2021. A number of factors led Amazon to choose the Quad Cities, the former QC leader said.
“They were attracted by the region’s central Midwest location, the easy access to their customers via our interstates, the availability of a large greenfield site ready for immediate construction and access to a laborshed of 743,000 individuals including a pipeline of workers with the skill sets needed for their operation,” Mr. Rumler said then.