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  • Development Services led coordination efforts for Amazon facility

    May 16, 2018 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Development Services Department worked closely with Amazon’s developer through the site and building review process for the company’s planned fulfillment center, resulting in approval in only five days.  Port of Tucson

    Amazon announced May 16 it would build an 857,000-square-foot fulfillment center on property within the Port of Tucson in unincorporated Pima County. The company estimates the facility would employ 1,500 employees once the fulfillment center is completed. 

    “I’m very pleased to see Amazon opening its distribution center in Tucson and adding to our growing logistics sector near the airport. Any day you have one of the world’s largest companies investing in your community and adding over 1,500 jobs is a good day. I welcome Amazon to Tucson and look forward to working with them to build a stronger, better Pima County,” said Richard Elías, chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

    Pima County was the first jurisdiction Amazon representatives and developers of the property contacted when the Port of Tucson was chosen as the ideal location for the fulfillment center early this year. Throughout those meetings, Pima County Development Services officials were able to assure Amazon and Port of Tucson of expedited plan review and approval processes. The Port of Tucson, owned by the Levin Family, had already invested in the site to make it shovel-ready.  

    “The general attitude Pima County Development Services had was ‘how do we get to yes’,” said Michael Levin, partner with Port of Tucson. “From the very first meeting we had with the developer, Pima County said we will do anything we can to make this happen and meet your deadline.” 

    Working with Pima County was a "seamless partnership," Levin added.

    Prior upgrades made to Development Service’s processes and systems contributed to being able to receive, review and approve plans electronically and in an expedited fashion. The County’s plan review software system allowed the company’s representatives to collaborate in real time with County staff to identify and make necessary changes to plans. 

    Pima County Development Services also consulted with site architects, coordinated meetings with local fire departments and fire consultants, coordinated floodway easement corrections and worked with civil engineers on site issues. 

    Through this collaborative process, electronic plan reviews for the 857,000-square-foot building was finalized in five days. 

    In addition, Pima County Development Services lead coordinating efforts with other agencies to acquire all the needed approvals. This included working with the City of Tucson Water and Fire Departments to confirm the planned annexation of the property would not negatively affect project approvals and to ensure any transportation impacts were properly mitigated to limit the impacts to Kolb and Valencia roads.

    The introduction of Amazon follows the goals set in Pima County’s Economic Development Plan to expand the growing logistics hub coalescing around Tucson International Airport. Port of Tucson is an important facet of the region’s logistics network as the only intermodal facility in Arizona certified for direct delivery and origination of international containers.

    Amazon already has more 7,000 full-time employees in Arizona working at its existing fulfillment centers.