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Amazon building massive fulfillment center in Lafayette Parish

Amazon will build a new 1-million-square-foot, fulfillment center in Lafayette Parish, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday, a move that could bring about 500 jobs to the north side of the parish.

The $100 million facility, which will be in Carencro, will be the first Amazon fulfillment center in Louisiana.

Edwards called it a "tremendous project win for the State of Louisiana."

"This facility signals a new milestone for Carencro, which has seen significant growth over the past few years," Edwards said.

The project is anticipated to add 982 indirect jobs, bringing a total of more than 1,400 jobs to the Acadiana region. Edwards said he's anticipating the site will be operating in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Hiring will begin about three months before the facility begins operations, LEDA said.

The 500 jobs will have an annual payroll of more than $16 million, according to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. Once the facility begins operations, the economic impact in its first year is estimated at $271 million. The employees hired for the project could generate $2 million in sales and income tax revenues for the state, more than $547,000 for Lafayette Parish and $689,000 for Carencro.

The facility will be built on the former Evangeline Downs site, which provides access to Interstate 10 and I-49.

"I think the most important and the most exciting thing about this whole project is the impact it's going to have on Carencro's job market," said Carencro City Manager Don Chauvin. "The creation of those 1,000-plus jobs filled by people of all walks in the area is going to be a tremendous boon to our... median income and the well-being of the people here as we struggle through this pandemic."

The fulfillment center builds on more than $250 million in investments Amazon has made in Louisiana in the last decade. The state has seven Whole Foods Market locations, and Amazon-operated delivery stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Amazon also has an Amazon Air logistics gateway at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Statewide, Amazon currently employs more than 1,500 full-time and part-time workers.

"We look forward to the continued impact we'll have on the local economy, both with the direct hires and the indirect job creations in construction and infrastructure development," said Amazon Director of Operations Mark Marzano.

Formal discussions between Louisiana Economic Development and Amazon began in July. To get the project, LED offered Amazon an incentive project that included access to the state's workforce program and a performance-based grant of $3 million, payable over two years, to offset infrastructure costs.

Tuesday's announcement was the third major economic win for Lafayette Parish in recent months. In July, school software company SchoolMint announced it was relocating its San Francisco headquarters to Lafayette, bringing approximately 400 jobs to the area.

In September, Westfield Fluid Controls, which makes valves and fluid controls for aerospace and defense applications, announced it was relocating a facility in San Fernando, California, to Lafayette, creating about 173 jobs for the region.

"Amazon's decision to locate Louisiana's first fulfillment center here validates that our community is attractive to companies across sectors because of our work ethic, our creativity, and our pro-business attitude," said Gregg Gothreaux, the president and CEO of LEDA. 

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