Amazon breaks ground on Findlay warehouse that will create 800 jobs in Pittsburgh region |

Amazon breaks ground on Findlay warehouse that will create 800 jobs in Pittsburgh region

Tom Davidson
Tom Davidson | Tribune-Review
State Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis M. Davin at a groundbreaking for an Amazon fulfillment center in Findlay, Oct. 23.
Tom Davidson | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at the groundbreaking for an Amazon fulfillment center, Oct. 23.
Tom Davidson | Tribune-Review
The site in Findlay where a 1 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center will be built.

Eight hundred jobs that each pay at least $15 per hour will be coming to Findlay thanks to Amazon, which broke ground Wednesday on a new fulfillment center that is expected to be open by the 2020 holiday shopping season.

Construction has already started at the site, adjacent to the Southern Beltway near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The $30 million project was celebrated during a sunny but blustery morning, hours before President Donald Trump was to land at the airport on his way to give the keynote speech at the Shale Insight conference in Downtown Pittsburgh.

State Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis M. Davin, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny Conference CEO Stefani Pashman were joined by township officials and Amazon executives for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

“Facilities like this one help strengthen our economy even further,” Davin said.

The Southern Beltway, the toll road that opened in 2006 to connect Route 22 and Interstate 376, was built in part to encourage projects like Amazon’s, Davin said.

The land, termed a grayfield because it’s not a former industrial site or unused land, was once a strip mine, Davin said.

Soon it will be what Amazon calls a fulfillment center, one of 11 in Pennsylvania where packages are stored. They’re then transported to an Amazon sortation center — it opened one last year in Aleppo — where packages are sorted by ZIP code for delivery, according to spokeswoman Rachael Lighty.

“We’re constantly looking to get closer and closer to our customers,” Lighty said.

The Pittsburgh area and Pennsylvania in general is in a good location for that, she said, calling it a “key to this region.”

For Amazon Fulfillment Operations Director Robert Long, it meant he was able to bring good news close to home.

He grew up in Elizabeth and is a 2006 graduate of Elizabeth Forward High.

“I’m proud to be here today representing Amazon. It feels great to be back in Pittsburgh,” Long said.

The Seattle-based company operates a technology hub on Pittsburgh’s South Side. In Amazon’s 2017-18 competition for a second headquarters, Pittsburgh was among the 20 finalists.

The state will award Amazon $1.6 million in tax credits once it creates the 800 jobs at the center, Davin said.

The project is part of $8.5 billion that Amazon has invested in Pennsylvania since 2010, he said.

“We at the state level are going to continue to invest in developments like this,” Davin said.

Allegheny County provides no direct financial incentives to lure Amazon to Findlay, but the area where the warehouse will be located has benefited from county Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) proceeds that helped to pay for work on the site and getting utilities like water, sewer, gas and electric to the site, according to county spokeswoman Amie Downs.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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