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Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

SMITHFIELD (AP) — Amazon is planning a $100 million distribution and fulfillment center, Johnston County officials announced Monday.

According to the officials, Amazon will build a 620,000-square-foot warehouse in Smithfield by 2022 that will create 500 jobs paying at least $15 an hour, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

“By welcoming Amazon here, we have embarked on a new era of growth with an immediate impact on job creation and a ripple effect on every aspect of our local economy,” Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore said when the project was announced at a public hearing in Johnston County.

Direct and ancillary job growth will bring an estimated $97 million in annual revenue to the town and county, according to an economic analysis by N.C. State University economist Michael Walden that was presented by county officials. The projected date for the full creation of 500 jobs is 2024.

Last week, Amazon announced a new delivery station facility was to be located in Fayetteville and bring hundreds of jobs. Delivery stations are also set to open in the next year in Raleigh and Garner, according to the newspaper.

Amazon will receive a local incentive package funded through taxes incrementally paid to the town and county that won’t be a cost to taxpayers. By 2024, Amazon will be the town’s largest taxpayer, officials said. No state incentives will be given to Amazon as part of the agreement.

Monday’s announcement comes after Fortune 500 company Berry Global announced in April that it would make a $70 million investment by expanding its facility in Benson, creating 63 new jobs for Johnson County.

Also in April, Apple announced it would invest $1 billion in North Carolina and its first East Coast campus in the Research Triangle Park, a move expected to bring at least 3,000 new jobs to the state in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering and other fields. The workers will have an average annual salary of about $185,000.

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