Amazon confirms massive distribution plans for Pasco

Amazon Inc. confirmed Sept. 16 that it will open two distribution centers, each more than 1 million square feet, on South Road 40 East, north of Sacajawea State Park in Pasco.

The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business first reported the news of the massive projects in its August edition. At the time, Seattle-based Amazon did not respond to questions seeing to confirm that it was the tenant for at least one of the buildings.

Since then, Amazon announced it plans to occupy both properties and will employ more than 1,500 people. That is 300 more than the job figures outlined in documents for the two warehouses, which were submitted for review under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act this spring.

The city of Pasco has approved various permits for the first project worth more than $226 million, including $13 million for grading.

The two warehouses were referred to under the code names Project Oyster and Project Pearl, with Oyster to the east of South Road 40 East and Pearl on the west.

“We’re excited to open two new, state-of-the-art facilities in the city of Pasco,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s senior vice president of global customer fulfillment, in a press release. “Pasco offers a talented workforce, and we look forward to growing employment in the Tri-City region.”

Project Oyster will fulfill orders for household goods, books, toys and technology.

Project Pearl will fulfill orders for larger items such as paper goods, pet food and supplies, patio furniture, baby strollers and outdoor sports equipment, including kayaks, skis and fishing gear.

“The city of Pasco welcomes these new Amazon facilities to our diverse and growing business community,” said Pasco City Manager Dave Zabell, in the press release. “Amazon brings great jobs with attractive pay and benefit packages as well as pathways to longer-term careers. These facilities will provide opportunity and help working families across our region.”

Bellevue-based Ryan Development is the builder for the project. It began site work on the first warehouse, Project Oyster, earlier this summer. The second, Project Pearl, has not begun.

Amazon said it will begin hiring for the new distribution centers in 2022. Amazon said wages will start at $18 an hour.

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