Amazon announces delivery station development in Acworth

Monday, February 1st 2021

Representatives from Amazon Logistics officially announced the opening of a new delivery station in southern Bartow County on Friday morning.

The development will be constructed off Third Army Road in Acworth.

Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said that the delivery station is expected to bring “several hundred” new jobs to the community.

“Full-time and part-time,” she told The Daily Tribune News.

Factoring in contracted drivers, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the project ultimately produce 350-400 new jobs.

As for the facility itself, Lemmon said the project would consist of one building spanning 141,360 square feet.

“We anticipate that the ‘Last Mile’ delivery station will result in a $30 million to $40 million capital investment,” she added.

Taylor, however, said he anticipates the investment from Amazon to be closer to $50 million in Bartow County.

The long-discussed project, codenamed “Pony Express” in documents submitted to the Bartow County Department of Community Development, has been the subject of several local government hearings over the last year — albeit, without the word “Amazon” once being used to describe the development.

Last July, Taylor approved a request from Panattoni Development Co. Atlanta, LLC to rezone a 2.8-acre parcel along Third Army Road, which Panattoni representative Dayne Pryor said would be joined together with the larger 40-acre parcel to the south.

“This parcel will give us additional access to Highway 293 and kind of spread the traffic out between Third Army going north and south and then Highway 293, east and west,” he said at the public meeting last summer.

At that hearing, Pryor indicated the development would have multiple access points off Third Army Road.

“So it will split the traffic up between trucks — there’s going to be about 20 trucks a day that will come in — and there’s parking for about 260 employees,” he said. “And employees will be in delivery vans after that … we’ve got about 20 vans going out for about eight hours, each hour.”

Last November, Taylor also approved a development agreement with Third Army Industrial Holdings, LLC.

“They have an economic development project they’re working on, so as part of that deal they’re contributing $800,000 to a $1.8 million sewer project that the water department is going to do to make sewer available to that whole southeastern basin,” Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson said at a public meeting last fall. “That’ll involve a regional pump station, some gravity sewer and a force main that’ll take that sewer and have it delivered to the Emerson treatment plant.”

Lemmon touched upon the “incentives” for the project to land in Acworth.

“The special community assistance from this project is the grant application for that sewer line extension that Bartow County’s been working on,” she said. “The sewer line was the real request of a development this size … there are other alternatives, but the ideal scenario is to get the sewer grant awarded and installed.”

Taylor noted that the County did apply for a $600,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant for that particular infrastructure project.

Olson said how soon the development can begin operations hinges on how quickly the new sewer infrastructure in the area can be installed and functional.

“They want us to get it there by really the end of September, early October,” he said. “The project’s going to be a little bigger, because we’re also going to do some waterline upgrades — what we’re looking at is putting in a regional lift station that’ll serve the whole area down there, serve about 2,700 acres. So it’s not just for this project, it’ll just open up everything sort of south of Emerson to sewer development.”

Representatives from Amazon indicate the delivery station in Acworth will be operational by the end of 2021.

“The information in the release is all we’re sharing at this point,” stated Ashley Lansdale, a regional public relations specialist for Amazon, in a response to a request for comments from The Daily Tribune News. “Will have more info on site, exact number of associates, etc., once the building opens later this year.”

Taylor indicated that Amazon will lease the building from Panattoni Development Co.

Lemmon said that Panattoni has certainly been proactive with the site — even before Amazon signed a “build to suit” agreement for the development.

“They’ve already got a land disturbance permit and should start the site work, I would think, any day,” she said. “The building construction, I think, would take a little bit more time … but I can’t imagine it would be too much further behind.”

Lemmon said she considers Amazon’s investment in Acworth to be a “vote of confidence” in southern Bartow’s economic future, adding that she expects the investment to spur additional growth in the area, especially with plans for a new Third Army Road interchange project in the works.

“There have certainly been some redevelopment efforts in south Bartow that have been a priority of community leaders, so I think this enhances that initiative,” she said. “Certainly, anytime we have quality jobs, that’s a plus for the community.”

Taylor said he believes the southern portion of Bartow County will certainly benefit from the recently announced jobs and investment.

“It’s just another piece of that puzzle that we’re trying to get investments to flow towards the southern part of the county to improve that area, just like in other parts of Bartow County,” he said. “It’s an area that’s needed some investment for quite some time, and we feel happy about it landing there.”

The announcement from Amazon, Olson said, speaks volumes about the community’s overall economic outlook.

“It’s a nice endorsement for Bartow when you’ve got the biggest company in the world coming to invest in you,” he said.