MONEE – Amazon is building a new fulfillment center in Monee that could employ 2,500 workers in about a year, local officials said Tuesday.
The 850,000-square-foot fulfillment center will be the e-commerce company's fourth such facility in Will County.
Amazon on Monday announced its plans for Monee, but did not say when the center will open or how many people will work there. A company spokeswoman in an email would only say Tuesday that Amazon will hire "hundreds and hundreds" of people at the Monee facility.
"My understanding is that they're expecting 2,500 employees there," Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. said.
The county was involved in planning access for the fulfillment center, which is being built along Manhattan-Monee Road, a county road. The property itself is in the village of Monee.
Walsh noted that the building will be close to Interstate 57 at an interchange that "has been rebuilt and enlarged."
John Greuling, CEO for the Will County Center for Economic Development, said he believes the plan is to complete construction in about a year so that the Monee fulfillment center opens by fall 2017.
"This is a brand new building," Greuling said. "They just started construction a few weeks ago."
The fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship small items, including books, electronics and consumer goods, according to the Amazon news release.
"We place our fulfillment centers close to customers to provide the fastest possible delivery times, and the growth in Illinois is directly tied to our increasing customer demand," Akash Chauhan, vice president of Amazon's North America operations, said in the news release. "Illinois is a great state to do business, and we are happy to be expanding there to serve customers."
The company opened a fulfillment center in Joliet in October and is in the process of opening a second Joliet facility this fall. Amazon also is redeveloping a former Montgomery Ward distribution center in Romeoville for a fulfillment center expected to open in the fall.
Depending on how many people Amazon hires in Monee, the company could have more than 6,500 employees in Will County by the end of 2017.
"Last summer at this time, we had no employees at Amazon," Walsh noted.
He also pointed to the Amazon statement calling Illinois "a great state to do business."
"In this political season, all we hear is people saying Illinois is difficult and not business friendly," Walsh said. "[Amazon] evidently [was] satisfied with the operation and attention they got on what they are working on."
The company opened its first fulfillment center in Joliet with 1,000 workers. In March, Amazon announced it would add another 500 workers. In June, the company said it would hire 2,000 employees at its second Joliet fulfillment center.
Then a month ago, Amazon announced it would open a fulfillment center in Romeoville. Mayor John Noak has said that facility is expected to have 650 employees.
The number of facilities being located in Will County is due in part to the county's large size, Greuling said. But the transportation network is a factor, too, he said.
"We are a huge county, and we have such great transportation assets," Greuling said. "I think the big [facilities] opening up in Will County is more a matter of our size and transportation access than anything else."