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Amazon could be adding hundreds of distribution jobs at new Kenosha facility

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 22:07:08-05

KENOSHA — Amazon could be adding hundreds of jobs in southeastern Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Business Journal reports the company has applied to lease a massive distribution facility in Kenosha.

The brand new 750,000 square foot building right off I-94 is currently vacant. The Milwaukee Business Journal said it's where Amazon hopes to create 300 to 500 new distribution jobs just across the interstate from its huge fulfillment center.

The potential for more Amazon jobs in Kenosha comes as a welcome surprise to Amazon employee Cassandra Laycock.

"I think that's amazing, I think everyone needs a job," she said.

Laycock has worked at the Amazon Fulfillment Center for the past year. She said the company's benefits are hard to beat for entry-level positions.

"Everyone likes the pay, but I love the people," she said. "It's like a family business."

Wendy Denman lives just a couple miles from this large building. She doesn't like the idea of more road congestion.

"Between Uline and Amazon and then with Foxconn coming, that would be a lot of truck traffic so probably not in favor at this point," Denman said.

The Chicago-based company that owns the massive building applied to the city of Kenosha two weeks ago to lease it to an undisclosed company.

"The primary use will be a local distribution operation, wherein product would be brought to the site on semi-trailer trucks and then transferred within the facility to local delivery vans," the lease application states.

"It could be about 300 jobs regularly, but seasonal up to 500," said Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Sean Ryan.

Ryan said several sources in the real estate industry confirmed to him that Amazon is the prospective tenant. Ryan believes the lease would allow Amazon to make even faster deliveries.

"Looking at Amazon, they're using new technology for shipments and (have) newer goals to try to get things to the home faster and faster," he said.

The acquisition would bring Amazon's footprint in Wisconsin to nearly 7-million square feet of facilities, but the lease application indicates the jobs may not be long-term.

"From what we understand it'll be sort of relatively short-term for Amazon," Ryan said. "Speculating here, but you know, I'd put it in the ballpark about maybe a couple of years, three years."

TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to Amazon to ask if they are the prospective tenant, but we haven't heard back. The Kenosha City Administrator said the location is highly sought after by large businesses for its proximity to a major interstate between Chicago and Milwaukee.

Aaron Martell, Executive Vice President – Midwest Region at Logistics Property Company, LLC, says "The building is vacant and available for lease."

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