EL PASO, Texas -- Amazon officially announced its plans Wednesday to open its first distribution operation in El Paso, a facility that BorderPlex Alliance CEO Jon Barela described as "massive."
The new "fulfillment center," as Amazon calls it, is expected to open sometime next year.
“We’re excited to be growing our operations in West Texas and look forward to building out our network in El Paso,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment.
The online retail giant said it will create about 750 new full-time jobs with pay rates starting at $15 an hour along with medical and other benefits.
“The average wage is if you aggregate the 750 jobs, it comes out to $41,000 annually in compensation. That's tremendous for here," said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. "That is just a great win for this community. Especially in the middle of this pandemic when people have lost their jobs."
As ABC-7 has previously reported, construction is already underway at the east El Paso site for the Amazon facility, which is located between Rojas and Interstate 10 near Eastlake.
Once the 625,000 square-foot building is completed, Amazon said the hundreds of new employees it hires will work alongside robotics equipment to pack and ship items such as books, electronics and toys to customers.
The El Paso facility will sit midway between existing Amazon warehouses in San Antonio and Phoenix.
The BorderPlex Alliance, a regional economic development group, said Amazon had not sought any state or local tax breaks or other tax incentives prior to agreeing to build in El Paso.
Margo told ABC-7 that the distribution center deal stemmed from conversations he first had a couple years ago when unsuccessfully trying to lure Amazon's headquarters to El Paso.
Margo indicated that Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos was also familiar with the Borderland region, noting that Bezos' Blue Origin aerospace firm operates a rocket test launch site around Sierra Blanca that is staffed by a number of UTEP garduates.
In the video player below you can view the entire announcement about Amazon coming to El Paso.