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Amazon Expanding Presence In Tulsa With Facility Near Airport

Amazon is building another large-scale facility in Tulsa.

The company chose a 40-acre site at Mingo Road and 36th Street North for a 270,000-square foot sortation facility, the point between fulfillment centers and Amazon’s last-mile delivery stations.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said the sortation center is a $32 million project, Amazon’s third large investment in Tulsa.

"We’ve gone in a five-year period of time from being a city with no Amazon presence other than the boxes that arrived at people’s homes to being a city where Amazon was our largest new employer in the history of the city when they came to town and they’ve built two other facilities. Or, at least they’ve built one other, and then the other is now going to be under construction," Bynum said.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced Tulsa would be one of 16 cities where it would test its electric delivery vehicles.

The new facility has a 40-year lease with two 10-year options for the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust–owned land, and Amazon will receive financing incentives through an airport special taxing district.

City Councilor Crista Patrick said the announcement about the sortation facility is welcome news for her district, which is already home to Amazon’s fulfillment center that opened in August. Patrick has heard the new sortation facility will hire as many as 300 workers at $15 an hour. She said she’s also not worried about any “Amazon Effect” on housing prices, suggesting any increase from the company’s additional presence could be a boon for existing residents whose homes are undervalued because of their location.

"And so, I hope that the more investment we get, the more quality housing and property values will go up, because it’s ridiculous that the same house 1 mile north of Admiral is valued way less than the same house 1 mile south of Admiral," Patrick said.

Patrick also said she believes local management can help prevent poor working conditions reported at other Amazon facilities from occurring in Tulsa. When asked about reports of poor working conditions in Amazon facilities, Bynum said he has not heard of any issues in Tulsa.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.
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