Plans for an Amazon-like distribution facility in Spokane Valley are rapidly progressing through the city’s planning department as the unnamed company behind the project recently applied for a building permit valued at $101 million.
The permit, filed Friday, is under review by the city, which in recent weeks has approved grading and foundation-only permits for the 1.3-million-square-foot structure, referred to as “Project Fireball-GEG2” at 18007 E. Garland Ave. in the city’s northeast industrial area.
Amazon’s name is not attached to the building permit and a spokeswoman told The Spokesman-Review in October the company “is constantly exploring and weighing a variety of factors when deciding where to develop sites to best serve customers, but doesn’t provide information on its future roadmap.”
However, Amazon’s tendency to use code names in early project design phases has created some speculation about its involvement with Project Fireball. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s fulfillment center on the West Plains – known as GEG1 – was listed as Project Rose in its initial building permit application with Spokane County.
Project Fireball also has ties to companies that have worked with Amazon to develop fulfillment centers in the past.
Chicago-based Clayco Inc., the contractor listed in Spokane Valley city documents for Project Fireball, has partnered with Amazon to build 17 e-commerce centers nationwide, ranging in size from 500,000 to 1 million square feet, according to Clayco’s website.
Last month, the Spokane Valley City Council entered a licensing agreement with Irvine, California-based Panattoni Development Co. Inc. to redo a portion of Garland Avenue. A public hearing for the street vacation is set for Nov. 17, but city staff did not specify what would be built beside the relocated road and city documents did not include details on plans for the vacated space.
Panattoni is an international real estate firm specializing in industrial, office and built-to-suit development with 28 offices in the U.S., Europe and Canada. It’s linked to multiple Amazon projects nationwide, including a fulfillment center anticipated to open this year in Nampa, Idaho, and a “last mile” fulfillment center in Bremerton. Amazon’s last mile fulfillment centers receive packages from the company’s larger warehouses and deliver them to customers.
Amazon posted a job listing last month for warehouse team members based in Spokane Valley to work in a delivery station, which are the company’s “final stop” for large items, such as televisions, furniture and refrigerators before they are delivered to customers. The job listing indicated positions starting at $15 an hour in which employees will “sort heavier and bulkier packages into delivery routes.”
Project Fireball will be built on nearly 80 acres of land owned by Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which also publishes The Spokesman-Review.
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