Well, you were right, Canby: It was Amazon.
The massive warehouse and distribution center proposed for a 47-acre lot in the Canby industrial park was widely believed to be destined for the internet retail giant — mainly because of its size and designation for “e-commerce use.”
And though developers maintained they were working with several potential tenants, and pointed out that virtually every company engages in some form of e-commerce nowadays, the rumor was so widely believed that some locals began referring to the project — officially known by the code name “Canby South” — as the “Amazon building.”
Amazon made the announcement Friday that the facility will serve as a new sorting center for the retail giant’s operations, opening in 2023. More than 500 new employees will help sort and ship packages at the 517,000-square-foot facility for final delivery to customers.
“I look toward a future of building a relationship with Amazon — just as I do with all of the businesses located within the Canby Pioneer Industrial Park,” Canby Mayor Brian Hodson said in a press release from the company.
“I look forward to this opportunity to work with an innovative company which will have long-term impacts on our community through new jobs, revenues, and growth that will help working families across our region.”
“With nearly 63,000 people still unemployed in our region, we were happy to play a role in recruiting Amazon to Canby,” said Monique Claiborne, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc, a regional economic development organization. “Jobs at all skill levels are key to moving the needle forward in our region’s economic prosperity.”
“Amazon is excited to expand our operations network to the Canby area in order to best serve customers in the region,” said Amazon spokeswoman Karen Riley Sawyer. “We are excited to create new jobs and economic investment and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnerships within this community.”
Amazon offers an average starting wage of $18 per hour along with comprehensive benefits for full-time employees from day one, worth an additional $3.50 per hour.
Benefits include health, vision, and dental insurance, 401(k) with 50% company match, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave, and Amazon’s Career Choice program, in which Amazon will pay full college tuition for its front-line employees as part of its $1.2 billion investment to expand education and skills training benefits for U.S. workers.
The company also touted its support for the more than 28,000 small and medium-sized businesses and independent authors in Oregon who have grown their businesses through working with Amazon.
In 2010-2020, Amazon invested over $7.5 billion in Oregon including infrastructure and compensation to our employees. As a result of Amazon’s investments in Oregon, more than $5 billion has been added into the state GDP, according to the company.
Amazon has created over 13,000 full-time and part-time jobs in Oregon. While the company is not yet hiring for the upcoming Canby location, Amazon continues to hire new full-time and part-time associates across the Portland and Salem-area region. Interested candidates can visit amazon.com/apply to learn more.
The Canby Planning Commission approved the project at a meeting in late June, following lengthy discussion that spanned more than two hours.
While both commission members and neighboring property owners expressed concerns about the size of the project and its impact on the community, particularly traffic and the primarily rural, unimproved roads that would serve it, only two commissioners ultimately voted against it.
Initially presented as a speculative project with no confirmed end-user, the original warehouse and distribution center would have been even larger, covering 683,000 square feet — with plans for a future expansion of 107,000 more.
The revised design puts it more on par with nearby Columbia Distributing, which opened its 530,000-square-foot beverage warehouse and distribution facility on South Mulino Road last year — previously the largest industrial project in Canby history, by far.
Because the design preferred by Amazon deviates significantly from the approved version, the project will have to be reviewed again by city staff and the Canby Planning Commission. The meeting date has not yet been announced.
Earlier this summer, Amazon announced plans for a five-story, 3.84 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Woodburn — one of the largest buildings in Oregon.
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