Amazon has purchased the site of the demolished Pontiac Silverdome with the intent to build a new fulfilment and distribution center.
The company is in the process of getting the plans approved with the city. If the deal is approved, the center could bring 1,500 full-time jobs to the area, with the potential for part-time work during the holiday season.
This would be Amazon’s first time putting a distribution center and a fulfillment center on the same property. The site offers about 800,000 square feet for both of these facilities.
Deirdre Waterman is the mayor of Pontiac. She says the city offered no financial incentives of any kind to Amazon, but Pontiac has enough inherent incentives to make it worth it.
“We're not bringing any financial incentives, nor have they asked for any. What we are offering is a city that is developable, that has a ready workforce, that is centrally located, and has the amenities that they were looking for including location, location, location.” She adds, “we’re in the center of Oakland County, and we are surrounded by the confluence of a number of major highways, which makes Pontiac a very accessible place.”
Waterman says there are four Opportunity Zones in Pontiac, which are designed to incentivize investments in low-income areas that are experiencing a lack of business growth. She says there are tax incentives at the federal level that come with Opportunity Zones, but none of that money would come from the city or its general fund.
Waterman says Amazon’s involvement with the building of the center has already contributed to the city’s economy.
“When they come to Pontiac for the construction, they're using a number of Pontiac-based businesses, which we're happy for, including civil engineers, and of course our planning, building and safety department, as well as a number of local consultants such as traffic engineers and such things.”
You can hear Waterman’s interview with Stateside in the audio found at the top of this article.