What is RI doing to entice a new Amazon.com warehouse here?July 13th, 2012 at 2:37 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Perhaps the time has come for a détente. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is embarking on a building spree and putting up warehouses all over the country to compete with brick-and-mortar retailers by cutting shipping times, Farhad Manjoo reports for Slate:
Some of these facilities are very close to huge swaths of the population. Amazon is investing $130 million in new facilities in New Jersey that will bring it into the backyard of New York City; another $135 million to build two centers in Virginia that will allow it to service much of the mid-Atlantic; $200 million in Texas; and more than $150 million in Tennessee and $150 million in Indiana to serve the middle of the country. … Amazon will open two huge distribution centers near Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and over the next three years it might open as many as 10 more in the state. In total, Amazon will spend $500 million and hire 10,000 people at its new California warehouses.
The Providence metropolitan area is home to 1.6 million people, and the I-95 corridor between Boston and New York cuts right through Rhode Island. The state has more than 60,000 unemployed workers and plenty of communities desperate for economic development. Amazon could build one of its warehouses here and have easy distribution access to consumers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, not to mention inexpensive labor. And if it did open a facility here, it would start collecting sales taxes and paying property taxes, too.
Governor Chafee recently hosted site-selection consultants - is anyone in Rhode Island doing anything to reach out to Amazon.com and see if the company would consider building a warehouse here? Is anyone even aware that they should be, considering what a distraction 38 Studios has become?
(On a somewhat related note, The Washington Post reports growing momentum for e-sales taxes.)