Amazon fulfillment center could be ‘boom’ for Whiteland, Johnson County

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WHITELAND — An Amazon Fulfillment center opening in Whiteland will offer “hundreds” of full-time jobs, according to a company spokesperson.

Whiteland town officials Monday announced the 530,000 square foot facility will anchor the Whiteland Exchange Business Park, located just off I-65 on Whiteland Road.  

“I think it’s a part of a recovery and a shot in the arm,” said Whiteland Town Manager, Norman Gabehart.  “And a positive for all of us to look to positives right now.”

Developers began construction of the Whiteland Exchange with two speculative buildings in the spring of 2019. The larger of the two buildings was expected to be about 430,000 square feet before Amazon requested a larger building, according to Whiteland officials.

Officials say construction to expand the building another 100,000 square feet is almost complete, and Amazon is expected to move into their building over the next couple of weeks.

While specific numbers are not yet available, an Amazon company spokesperson said the facility will offer hundreds of full-time jobs when it’s up and running.

“Employees at the site will work alongside innovative technologies to pick, pack and ship larger customer items such as mattresses, kayaks, grills and exercise equipment,” said Amazon spokesperson, Andre Woodson. “In addition, Amazon will hire for roles in human resources, operations management, safety, security, finance and information technology.”

Woodson said the jobs will also come with full benefits, including the company’s $15 per hour minimum wage.

This is the second time in less than a year that Amazon has looked to the I-65 corridor through Johnson County for a new facility. A 615,000 square foot facility in Greenwood opened last year and was set to employe 1,250 people by the end of 2020.

University of Indianapolis Finance Professor, Matt Will, was not surprised to hear about another Amazon facility in the area, since he considers Indiana to be the Silicon Valley of logistics.

“If you’re going to put a warehouse or distribution center anywhere in this country, Indiana is the place,” Will said. “We can reach 70 percent of the country within 36 hours.”

“It solidifies what we believe is going on broadly in the county and in Whiteland,” Gabehart said.  “We are a location, a destination for opportunity.”

Will was also not surprised that Amazon is continuing with development and expansion projects through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re handling a lot more packages,” Will said. “With the COVID situation going on, Amazon is the delivery method of choice.”

“It’s going to be a boom to the local economy,” Will said. “You’re probably going to see people moving there, and you’re also going to see people commuting there from other parts of Johnson and Marion County to work there.”

Woodson could not offer a specific date for when hiring will begin or when the facility will begin operating.  However, Gabehart is hopeful that will happen within the next several weeks.

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