A massive Amazon fulfillment center won't be in Woodward after all
Plans for what appeared to be an Amazon.com warehouse in Woodward are canceled.
The northern Dallas County city announced in a Facebook post Friday morning that the development agreement died because of "a legal agreement that failed to be reached in a timely manner."
Mayor Todd Folkerts and an Amazon spokesperson did not immediately return messages seeking comment Monday. The Woodward City Council approved site plans for the 1 million-square-foot warehouse dubbed Project Hawk on Oct. 11.
"Myself and the city council are very disappointed in this development," Folkerts wrote in Friday's announcement.
Citing confidentiality agreements, local economic development officials declined to confirm that Amazon employees would sort orders at the massive warehouse, as they do at buildings in Ankeny, Bondurant and Grimes. But in an application for a state grant to pay for new turn lanes around the warehouse, the Woodward City Council copied sentences from aboutamazon.com to describe the building's future occupant.
"(The company) strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work," the City Council wrote, echoing the language on the website of the business founded by Jeff Bezos, who sent himself to outer space in July.
According to the grant application, the city expected Amazon to employ 1,000 workers at the warehouse all year. The city also expected the company to hire 300 part-time workers around the holidays.
The warehouse was going to sit on 120 acres south of the city, at the interchange of Iowa Highways 141 and 210.
Taxes on the warehouse would have generated a total of $3.4 million a year for the city, Dallas County and the Woodward-Granger School District, according to the grant application. The city expected developers to start leveling the land this year, begin construction on the building by March and finish by next fall.
Outside experts said plans for the project matched 38 other "non-sortable facility" projects that Amazon is building around the country. Unlike at most of the company's warehouses, employees at these buildings ship big items like TVs and couches.
The building would have been the largest single-floor warehouse in the Des Moines metro, according to JLL Des Moines, which tracks the market. It also would have been Amazon's fifth warehouse in the metro, joining:
- A Bondurant fulfillment center.
- A Bondurant sortation center.
- An Ankeny delivery station.
- A Grimes delivery station.
The fulfillment centers are the company's storage warehouses, where employees package items once a customer has purchased them. At the sortation centers, employees sort packages based on delivery routes.
At the delivery station — the smallest of the three buildings — Amazon employees sort the packages by route even more.