Amazon has finally made their long-awaited decision on where they would build their new headquarters. They have announced they would invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters, in New York City and Arlington, Virginia.
Nashville, who was on a short list to receive the new headquarters, found out the same day that Amazon plans to invest more than $230 million to establish a new Operations Center of Excellence in downtown Nashville.
As part of Amazon’s investment, the company will create 5,000 high-paying jobs in Davidson County, representing the single largest jobs commitment made by a company in Tennessee’s history.
“This is a game changer for Tennessee. The ripple effect of Amazon’s decision to invest $230 million in our state and create 5,000 high-paying jobs in downtown Nashville will be felt for years to come,” said Gov. Haslam at the announcement press conference. “Amazon has spent the past year searching the nation for the best possible locations to expand and it chose Tennessee because of our business-friendly policies, low taxes and skilled workforce. I thank Amazon for its continued investment in Tennessee.”
Standing with the governor was Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Mayor David Briley, and Holly Sullivan, an executive in Amazon’s public policy division.
“Amazon has been a valued partner in Tennessee for a number of years and is currently home to six facilities across our state employing more than 6,500 Tennesseans,” Rolfe said. “Today’s announcement is a tremendous win for Nashville, Davidson County and Middle Tennessee. We are incredibly grateful to Amazon for selecting Nashville for its Operations Center of Excellence, and I look forward to the considerable impact these jobs will have on the citizens of our state.”
“We are looking forward to joining the community and are excited to be creating high-paying jobs in Nashville. Our new Operations Center of Excellence will become the Eastern U.S. hub for our Retail Operations division,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon Public Policy.
Amazon has five fulfillment and sorting centers in Tennessee located in Charleston, Chattanooga, Lebanon, Murfreesboro and Nashville, as well as one Prime Now Hub in Nashville.
Amazon will build its Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville Yards, a 15-acre, mixed-use development in downtown Nashville. The one million square foot office space will house the tech and management functions of Amazon’s Retail Operations division, including customer fulfillment, customer service, transportation, and supply chain, amongst others.
“This is fantastic news for the city. Nashville continues to prove itself as a desirable destination for businesses and, in turn, as an economic leader in our country,” Nashville Mayor David Briley said.
“Amazon’s decision to put 5,000 high-paying jobs right in the heart of Nashville further underscores our city’s vibrancy and is a direct nod to our talented workforce and overall financial health. Today’s announcement is also a testament to the strong relationships we have with the state, TVA and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, who were all instrumental in this agreement.”
The project is the single largest jobs announcement in the state’s history and is projected to create more than 13,000 jobs for Tennessee’s workforce. In addition, for every one direct job created by the project, an additional 1.6 jobs will be created in the state.
From 2011 to 2017, Amazon has invested more than $5 billion in Tennessee, including customer fulfillment infrastructure and compensation to its employees. Along with the city of Nashville, the state of Tennessee also worked with key partners, including the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, to recruit the project to the state.
“TVA serves the valley by keeping rates as low as feasible, generating ever cleaner reliable power, and working with communities to bring jobs to the Valley. When those three are working well it results in announcements like we have today,” TVA President/CEO Bill Johnson said. “We are honored to be part of this endeavor, one of the largest initial new jobs commitments in the history of TVA Economic Development, and we look forward to working closely in partnership with Nashville Electric Service and Amazon for years to come.”
“It’s a testament to the vitality of the region’s economy that an industry leader such as Amazon has chosen Nashville for its new Operations Center of Excellence,” said Ralph Schulz, president/CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Nashville’s unique vibe, in-migration trends and strong business growth helped set us apart as a top 20 city for Amazon’s HQ2. Ultimately, being selected as a finalist opened the opportunity for Nashville to be chosen for this significant operation—a historic win for our region.”
Amazon’s new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville
- Downtown Nashville, along the Cumberland River, just north of the Gulch and is home to urban living, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, hospitality, open green spaces, and offices. The area is served by commuter rail, more than a dozen bus routes, and is a 15-minute drive to Nashville International Airport.
- As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.
- Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next seven years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next seven years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next seven years.