Just in time for the gift-giving holidays.
Amazon.com launched operations at its new sortation center west of Doral and has been hiring seasonal workers for the peak holiday season.
The new facility, at 1900 NW 132nd Pl., in the far western reaches of Miami-Dade County, opened Oct. 31 and has about 300 employees with a goal of expediting deliveries in densely populated South Florida.
Amazon customers’ orders arriving from fulfillment centers — or giant warehouses — in places such as Tampa are sorted and consolidated by ZIP code for final delivery, according to Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey. Packages then are delivered to the U.S. Postal Service, which makes the deliveries to customers seven days a week.
“Amazon’s sort center network is powering our ability to provide customers with everyday delivery and is the key element enabling Sunday delivery,” Lindsey said.
By year’s end, Amazon expects to have more than 15 sortation centers operating around the country as it implements the new delivery network, she said.
The Beacon Council and others have been working on bringing the company to Miami-Dade for some time. Amazon applied confidentially for up to $150,000 in tax refunds under a Qualified Target Industry program, with 20 percent coming from Miami-Dade and 80 percent from the state, based on job creation and capital investment.
There is a downside for consumers to Amazon’s physical presence in Florida: Since May, amid its plans to open giant warehouses in Tampa and Lakeland, the Internet giant has been required under Florida law to collect state sales tax on customer purchases. Both those facilities are now operating.
The Doral center was built in a fast-growing warehouse area on the fringes of development within 1.5 miles of the Florida Turnpike and the Dolphin Expressway.
KTR Capital Partners built the 335,841-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility on spec and then signed a lease with the Seattle-based e-commerce giant for the entire facility.
KTR is a New York-based real estate private equity fund manager that focuses on industrial property with offices in Miami, among other places.
The new warehouse feature ceilings soaring 36 feet, a sophisticated fire-suppression system, energy-efficient lighting with motion sensors, and an expansive dock.
“It’s a high-tech building,” said Jose I. Juncadella, president of Fairchild Partners Commercial Real Estate Services in Coral Gables, which had the listing. Juncadella, who said a confidentiality agreement barred him from discussing the tenant, said the center has all the latest bells and whistles. High ceilings provide space to stack goods seven or eight racks high, he said.
Amazon has been pouring huge sums into expanding its operations and has stepped up the opening of warehouse and distribution centers both in the United States and internationally. For the third quarter, Amazon posted a bigger than expected net loss of $437million or 95 cents a share.
Amazon said those interested in working at the center can apply online at www.workatamazonfulfillment.com.