News Column

Amazon DC Comes to Tracy

Nov. 27, 2012

Patty Guerra


Amazon's announcement that it will build a distribution center in Tracy hasn't tempered enthusiasm for the project under way here.

"It wasn't a total surprise," City Manager Rod Butler said. "We're pleased for the region."

Butler and Mayor Luis Molina said they knew the online retail giant was looking for a third California site. Amazon recently opened a distribution center in the Southern California city of San Bernardino, and a 1 million-square-foot center is under construction here in the West Ridge Business Park off Interstate 5.

According to The Record of Stockton, the Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy is expected to employ 1,000 people and contribute roughly $1 million in tax revenue to the city each year. It's planned on 70 acres in the city's northeast industrial area.

Tracy Mayor Brent Ives told The Record that the Patterson center focuses on bulk distribution, while the one in Tracy will make use of advanced robotics and offer better-paying jobs.

Mum on number of jobs

Amazon won't say how many people will be employed at the Patterson center when it opens in the spring, putting the number only in the hundreds.

In information provided to Gov. Jerry Brown's office of business and economic development, the online retailer estimated 350 jobs at its Patterson site, although officials noted that Amazon often expands distribution centers once it opens them.

Representatives from Amazon did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

Butler said the city hasn't had any direct contact with Amazon, instead working through developer Seefried.

Some questions

"We don't really know the specifics of the facility or how the Tracy facility will differ from Patterson's," he said.

But the Patterson distribution center is moving full steam ahead, with building permits issued last week.

"There's a lot more equipment on scene, and signs have gone up from the contractor," Butler said. "They're gearing up to start working on the structure itself."

Molina said he was proud that Patterson managed to land Amazon, particularly when considering the retailer's choice of established distribution center hubs such as Tracy and San Bernardino.

"We're just happy to have the opportunity," he said. He pointed out that Tracy is within commuting distance for Stanislaus County residents.

"It would be nice to have the second one right in our back yard," he said. "But I'm sure there will be people in our area applying for jobs, as well as people there applying here."

Amazon is not yet hiring for its Northern California distribution centers, but when it does, information will be posted at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.)

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