Is Amazon opening a warehouse or distribution center in the metro-east?
Signs point to ‘yes,’ despite Amazon and local officials keeping their lips mostly sealed.
Walter Williams, Edwardsville’s economic development director, said Tuesday that city officials “are aware” of Amazon’s interest in opening a facility in Edwardsville, but said he and others are under a nondisclosure agreement with Amazon and can’t discuss definite plans.
Williams also said Amazon has sought approval for city permits, which are public records. The News-Democrat filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city Tuesday to obtain the permits, but the city did not immediately provide them.
The Alton Telegraph reported that in a River Bend Growth Association meeting Monday evening, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan said Amazon would locate to the county, initially bringing 500 to 600 jobs to a single warehouse with two more warehouses “under contract.”
Dunstan refused to confirm those numbers to the News-Democrat on Tuesday, saying “any announcement would have to come from Amazon” and that “we would love to have them.”
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton was not available.
Other clues pointing to Amazon’s intentions include:
▪ Job postings on the company website advertising open positions in Edwardsville such as “Onsite Medical Representative,” “Regional Transportation Manager” and “Loss Prevention Specialist.”
▪ Previous mention by the St. Louis Regional Freightway website of Amazon as part of a planned distribution facility known as the Lakeview Commerce Center to be located at 3931 Lakeview Corporate Drive in Edwardsville. The Freightway was founded in 2014 to enhance the region’s standing as an international freight hub. The website has since been updated and no longer mentions Amazon.
Freightway’s executive director, Mary Lamie, did not comment Tuesday about the mention of Amazon.
In an email later Tuesday, Bi-State Development Agency spokeswoman Patti Beck wrote “The Belleville News-Democrat brought to our attention an error on the newly launched St. Louis Regional Freightway website. We corrected the mistake and apologize for any confusion.”
The Freightway is an enterprise of Bi-State.
More about the Lakeview Commerce Center can be found via the commercial real estate and investment firm JLL, though no specific mention of Amazon is made in renderings of warehouse space at the site.
Representatives at JLL were not immediately available for comment.
A voicemail and an email to Amazon’s media relations staff were not returned Tuesday.