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Opening of the Amazon warehouse postponed, construction still in progress | News

Originally slated to begin operations in May 2022, Blount County’s first Amazon warehouse in Alcoa, off South Singleton Station Road, is delaying its opening until June 2023.

However, the facility, commonly referred to as “Project Pearl”, will still be built on time.

Bryan Daniels, CEO of the Blount Partnership, said Amazon will move forward to complete construction as promised, “so that hasn’t changed at all.”

“It all depends on the supply chain,” Daniels continued. “It’s hard to bring in facilities when you can’t get all the product in to fill them. And we’re all going through that now in all of our industries, so we understand that.

Amazon applied for a building permit for the warehouse in January, with an estimated construction cost of $63,415,342.

For now, Daniels said construction of the warehouse would continue while Amazon and the country waited for supply chain stress to “ease down.” The only change to the plan is a one-year gap between the warehouse’s completion and when it will go live.

Based on his conversations with Amazon, Daniels said hiring would begin in the fall or winter, potentially bleeding into early 2023, instead of this summer.

According to previous Daily Times reports, this facility will be a “sortable distribution center,” which is one of the largest building types used by the company and could create 750 to 1,000 jobs.

Amazon communications manager for Tennessee and Mississippi, Divina Mims, confirmed the updated schedule, for what Amazon called “DNA6” – Project Pearl.

“We continue to plan to launch a new facility in Blount County, offering many great jobs in the area, starting at $15 per hour with full benefits from day one,” Mims said in a response by email to the Daily Times. “The only thing that has changed in our plans is the exact timing. We are a dynamic company and we have dozens of fulfillment centers, sorting centers and delivery stations that are evolving and under construction across the country. It is common for us to adjust release schedules based on capacity needs across the network. »

Rejection will have no effect on the Alcoa funded aspect of the project. Daniels said Alcoa is building access to Pellissippi Parkway until the Alcoa Freeway Bypass, a Tennessee Department of Transportation project, is complete.

TDOT Community Relations Manager for East Tennessee, Mark Nagi, told The Daily Times that TDOT will need to complete parts of the Alcoa Freeway move in a specific order to accommodate the warehouse during construction.

Nagi told The Daily Times in an email on Friday that TDOT had received no indication of any delay in Amazon’s plans.

“Our contractor has a completion date that matches Amazon’s original schedule, and we expect to meet that date,” Nagi said.

Two more warehouses are under construction for Blount County, both located in Maryville.

One called “Project Shamrock” will be a sorting facility, according to old Daily Times reports, which are facilities where customer orders are sorted and stacked into trucks for dispatch to their final destination.

Located in Maryville’s Partnership Park South, preliminary designs showed this facility would have 78 loading docks, 323 trailer truck parking spaces, and 459 car parking lots.

City of Maryville Public Information Officer Jane Groff said that project is underway.

Another Amazon project, “DNA8,” is a proposed 142,930 square foot warehouse with space for 926 people and more than 150 picking and loading spaces for vans and trucks.

The warehouse will be located in a 45-acre portion of Laurel Branch Park.

Groff said this project would not be launched for six to twelve months.