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Amazon Opening Delivery Center In Rural Jackson County

white and blue building in front of an airfield
City of Marianna
The planned Amazon last-mile delivery center will occupy a parking lot about a mile from the Marianna Municipal Airport.

Amazon plans to create 10-15 new package-sorting and delivery jobs in rural Jackson County by the end of the month.

Local economic development leaders shared the news with county commissioners at their regular meeting on Tuesday.

They say the company has already placed a few shipping containers in a parking lot located at 3529 Russell Rd., about a mile from the Marianna Municipal Airport.

“With COVID and everything, the two-day delivery has not been as possible as it was before,” said Zach Gilmore, the county’s director of business development. “In certain areas, where they’re not close to a large distribution center, they put these out there to where it’s a quicker delivery.”

Overnight packages from the online retailer to residents in the area will first arrive at the new center, where they won’t stay very long, he said. “That next morning or that day when it’s delivered, there will be employees that deliver those to the houses.”

When asked about starting salaries, Gilmore explained to commissioners: “We know that starting out we can assume the managers will be making around fifteen dollars an hour.” But he’s not sure how much entry-level employees would earn, Gilmore said.

The last-mile delivery center is a small project, but county leaders say they hope it will lead to something much bigger, such as a warehouse-occupied sorting and distribution center.

The county’s Economic Development Committee is in talks with 10 prospective companies. And 31 additional projects are already underway, said the committee’s Executive Director Tiffany Garling. “Those projects mean that we know what their capital investment is, the size of the building, their employee count and the timeline.”

Garling says projects the county's pursuing cover a wide-range of industries including, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, along with aerospace and aviation. “We do have a couple of health care-related projects and a couple of value-added agricultural projects,” she said.

A drawing of Airport Commerce Park in Marianna shows the site's capacity for warehouse storage and distribution.
Florida First Sites
A drawing of Airport Commerce Park in Marianna shows the site's capacity for warehouse storage and distribution.

In addition to the 237-acre Airport Commerce Park, the county has heavily promoted a multi-use site called Endeavor Park. The sprawling 1,200-acre piece of public property could eventually house commercial, industrial and residential development in rural Jackson County, which Interstate-10 also intersects.

Some projects underway at the Endeavor site include: a training and support center for people with autism, a new convention center and a history museum.

The site has 213 acres of industrial space, where the Family Dollar distribution center is located.

Economic development leaders have been heavily marketing the property to potential investors over the last several months, Garling said. “We mailed 2,500 post cards marketing Endeavor Park to site selectors, manufacturing and logistics businesses located in high-tax states,” she said

As for the county’s partnership with Amazon, Garling told commissioners she hopes the delivery center would eventually lead to larger projects, such as a distribution center. “It is a small project, but it does open the door to allow us to expand the relationship in the future.”

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.