AURORA, Colo. -- Amazon is making a huge investment in Aurora.
The online retailer is spending $130 million to build a “fulfillment center” on Smith Road near Picadilly. That center is nearing completion.
Amazon’s regional director of operations, Paul Pace, led Denver7 on a tour through the facility Friday morning. He said every item you can buy from Amazon online will be handled at the Aurora facility.
We store an item here at the fulfillment center,” Pace said. “Once you order it, we take care to package it up, put on a label, so it knows exactly where it’s going, and then we hand load it onto a truck for you to receive in a few days.”
Pace told Denver7 that the one-million square foot center will provide jobs for 1,000 people.Company spokeswoman Ashley Robinson said the positions will be fulltime and will pay competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.
“That includes health, medical and dental insurance, a 401-K with a 50 percent match, performance based bonuses and stock options,” she said. “So, all our employees are owners of the company and they benefit from the success of Amazon.”
Robinson said the company also has a career-choice program that they are very proud of.
“We pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition costs for associates to go back to school,” she said. “They (classes) don’t necessarily have to be connected, with what they’re doing here at Amazon.”
“It’s exciting on a number of levels,” said Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. “It’s more jobs for our citizens. It’s a Fortune 500 company, and it’s the first of its kind in Colorado.”
Hogan said the Amazon center is a strong example of what the region can do related to airport-connected development.
“There’s an old economic development saying in the metro area – Just get them to Colorado. Once you get them here, you can fight amongst yourselves as to where they settle. Just get them to Colorado. Well, that’s true here.”
Aurora Economic Development Council Vice President Yuriy Gorlov said most of the jobs at the fulfillment center will pay in the low 30s. He said a few managerial and human resource positions will pay more.
“The payroll will average about $30 to $35 million annually,” he said.
Hogan said Aurora worked hard to land Amazon.
“As a city, we do everything we can do to be that business-friendly entity that everybody wants,” the Mayor said. “This building went up in near record time and that’s because we tried to make it easy for development to happen in Aurora.”
Hogan said the Amazon jobs will provide an opportunity for people to not only live in Aurora, but to work there as well.
“There’s no doubt,” he said, “that this facility will help spur other kinds of development.”
“We’re a growing region. We’re excited about the future here in this region and Aurora is just happy to be the epicenter today.”
Pace said the center will begin operation in late summer.
He said people who want to apply for one of the positions can do so online.