Construction is underway at the Union Park Way site where Amazon wants to open a distribution center. 

Amazon, Inc. plans to open an 111,500 square-foot distribution center in Elk Grove later this year.

The city of Elk Grove’s Office of Economic Development announced the project on May 15, and they anticipate that Amazon will employ hundreds of jobs there.

Plans are to open the distribution center at 9501 Union Park Way on a 17-acre industrial site. The facility’s structure is currently under construction.

That property site was sold by Fite Development Company, of Sacramento, to Panattoni, a developer from Irvine, last December. The general contractor for this project is the Sacramento-based Alston Construction.

The Elk Grove Planning Commission approved the Panattoni development in November 2019, and construction on the site began two months later.

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly referred to the project a “real win for Elk Grove.”

“Amazon and Panattoni are great companies, and we are excited to have them doing business in our city,” he said. “This is especially good news during these trying economic times.”

Angela Perry, president/CEO of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, also expressed excitement for Elk Grove’s Amazon project.

“This is exciting news for our community and it is encouraging to know that more jobs will be available in Elk Grove as we recover from this (novel coronavirus, COVID-19) crisis,” she said. “Amazon coming to Elk Grove could and hopefully will bring a spotlight to other large businesses that are looking for a place to land. That’s what we’ve been trying to attain for a long time: a large company coming into town.”

Darrell Doan, the city’s economic development director, told the Citizen that Amazon’s interest in Elk Grove stems back to the middle of last year, when the company was conducting a regional search for a delivery station.

“Because of relationships that the city had built with developer Panattoni and Fite Development, we were approached to see if we would support that project,” he said. “Of course, we said we would.”

Doan added that the city did not provide any incentives or subsidies for the project.

However, Doan noted that his department did assist Panattoni with zoning and design review to expedite the process of becoming prepared to present the project to the Planning Commission.

Doan mentioned that the city benefited through working with Panattoni in that manner.

“We were able to secure the project, because we were able to get the city’s approvals faster than some of the other locations that were being considered,” he said. “So, that was really good work by our city. (It was) a total team effort.”

The project was also benefited through a previously approved industrial park, which eliminated a lengthy rezoning process, and allowed the project to move directly to design review.

Panattoni was able to pursue its building permits in parallel with design review, thus removing several more months off the project schedule, notes a press release.

As a continuously growing city, Elk Grove is an emerging destination for warehouse and distribution projects, Doan noted.

“Elk Grove has worked hard in recent years to articulate our strong value proposition as a business location,” he said. “Having a developer like Panattoni and a brand like Amazon select our city for their project is proof that it’s working.

“(This project provides evidence that Elk Grove is a) more than viable business location, that we can compete and win projects.

“We’re building a brand for business that is resonating with the development and business community. We’re just super excited.”

Doan told the Citizen that Pannatoni had not performed work in Elk Grove for a decade, and that it is “fantastic to have them back.”

He also further praised Amazon.

“Obviously, Amazon is a great brand that we’re happy to be affiliated with,” he said.

In addition to his excitement for Amazon’s project, Doan also recognized the struggles of many businesses in the community.

“These are very trying economic times and we’re not trying to celebrate victories too much, because a lot of businesses are struggling,” he said. “And I am acutely aware of that and highly sympathetic to that.

“We have to keep doing our job attracting business to the city, and so, this is just the timing of it worked out like this.”

He additionally stressed the importance of adding new warehouses in Elk Grove.

“I think an important area of growth for Elk Grove is going to be warehouse and distribution, which we’ve never been the center of,” Doan said.

“But as logistics and e-commerce starts to spread out, as a result of COVID(-19), I think these companies that do that work are going to be looking at a more granular level for where they can place these sort of last-mile distribution facilities. For south Sacramento County and northern San Joaquin County, we can be the heart of that.”