This image, provided by Amazon, shows the e-commerce fulfillment center in the North Valley community of Patterson.

published on May 11, 2018 - 3:48 PM
Written by David Castellon

After years of efforts to persuade Amazon officials to build a fulfillment center in south Fresno, all that work could finally pay off next month.

That’s because construction on the massive fulfillment center is mostly complete, with only some painting, carpet laying and parking lot striping left to do, and the facility could be up and running in as few five weeks, said Jason Quintel, western region vice president of Seefried Industrial Properties.

The Atlanta-based industrial business developer is building the fulfillment center in Fresno, which Amazon will lease long-term after it’s done.

As for when that may happen, Quintel told and audience gathered this morning at the Craig School of Business at Fresno State that he expected in about a week-and-a-half a temporary certificate of occupancy will be issued by the city of Fresno for the building in 3500 block of Orange Avenue.

When asked when he expected operations to distribute online purchases will begin, Quintel — whose company has built 19 other Amazon Fulfillment centers around the country — said he expected after company officials train staff and load goods to distribute into the building within three to four weeks, and deliveries could begin five to six weeks from now.

Construction began in June of last year on the Amazon site, and it’s on schedule to be done in the one-year timeframe originally projected, Quihtel said.

The 855,000-square-foot Fresno facility follows the same design of Amazon’s largest fulfillment centers and could be fully operational by mid summer, with about 1,500 employees, Quintel said.

He said the Fresno building has been equipped with about five miles of conveyance to move around product and equipment to place and remove items from their storage areas, including robots.

Quintel made his comments as one of the invited speakers for this year’s Industrial Real Estate Symposium put on by the business school

He told the audience one of the reasons Amazon chose the 72 acres in south Fresno was that it needed a locale where it could find a workforce of 1,200 to 2,000, as well as have proximity to freeways and multiple nearby streets to accommodate all the truck to worker traffic.

“And ultimately, it’s utilities. You have to flush a lot of toilets when you have 1,200 people,” Quintel said.

City officials have noted that Amazon passed on Fresno in the past but the city gained the company’s interest after extending utilities out to the area where Amazon is building.

The area also attracted Ulta Beauty, which is building a 670,500-square-foot distribution center next door.

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