Amazon expects to open a 750,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lakeville next summer, following a unanimous City Council vote Monday to approve the tech giant's plans.
The center, which would be the second such Amazon facility to be built in Minnesota, is headed for a 72-acre parcel in south Lakeville, at the southwest corner of Dodd Boulevard and County Road 70 (also known as 217th Street).
It would be used to pack oversized items such as mattresses, grills and exercise equipment, which would be shipped to locations within a 30- to 45-minute drive, said Ryan Wilson, senior manager of economic development for Amazon.
"We're excited to be joining the community," Wilson said.
The new facility would join another Amazon fulfillment center in the south metro, an 885,000-square-foot facility in Shakopee that opened in 2016.
The company looks at the local workforce in an area and customer demand when choosing locations for fulfillment centers, according to an Amazon spokesperson, who added that the company has been able to find talented employees in the Twin Cities.
Mayor Doug Anderson said officials were pleased that Amazon chose Lakeville and noted that the center "means new opportunities for our citizens, increased tax base for our community and the addition of a great corporate partner."
The center promises to provide hundreds of new full-time jobs, all of which will pay at least $15 an hour and include benefits, according to Amazon.
Lakeville City Administrator Justin Miller said the city has been communicating with the online giant and working through the approval process since summer. He said he wasn't surprised that Amazon was interested in a spot in the city's industrial park, which also includes a Schneiderman's warehouse and FedEx Freight.
"We know that our industrial park is well-positioned to attract businesses such as this," because of its infrastructure and proximity to transportation corridors, Miller said.
About 50 feet tall, the Amazon center will be the largest building in the city's Interstate South Logistics Park, city officials said.
"We hope that [the center] continues to spur other development," Miller said.
To accommodate the extra traffic expected in the area due to increased development, Lakeville and Dakota County are working to expand County Road 70 from two to four lanes between Cedar Avenue and Interstate 35, Miller said. That project, which has been in the works for several years, will be complete next fall shortly after the Amazon center is slated to open.
Developer Scannell Properties of Indianapolis estimates the fulfillment center will be finished in August. Scannell is responsible for building the necessary public infrastructure for the project, which the city will inspect and own.
Unlike the Shakopee facility, which deals with smaller items, the Lakeville location won't use robotics to fetch products off shelves, an Amazon spokesperson said.
There are more than 175 Amazon fulfillment centers around the world, including 110 in North America.