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Thousands of jobs in the works for Big Bend

Economic development providing new opportunity
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 12:51:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Construction is coming along at what will be the new 630,000 square-foot Amazon robotic fulfillment center in Leon County. Securing that site was no easy task for economic developers in the Big Bend.

The project will lead to more than 1,300 hundred full-time jobs, $167.6 million in wages and $451 million in local economic output.

Cristina Paredes and her team at the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality worked for months on the deal to build the center between Mahan Drive and I-10.

Paredes said when she got the call the deal was going to happen, “It was, it was very exciting, to be honest.”

Dubbed “Project Mango” for months, Amazon made the project official in August.

The center will bring more than 1,000 full-time jobs to the area and pay a starting wage of at least $15 an hour with benefits starting on day one.

When asked how those jobs could be filled, Paredes explained, “Working with key talent partners, such as our local chambers, Tallahassee Community College, Lively Workforce and CareerSource Capital Region, we're pulling in a lot of partners represent human resources across the community to talk about how do we create a talent pipeline.”

Amazon is not the only company with opportunities to fill.

Danfoss Turbocor Compressors chose Tallahassee for a new manufacturing facility. OEV says it’ll bring in 950 total jobs and about $140 million in economic output in the years ahead.

One asset Tallahassee has attracting businesses like Amazon and Danfoss is the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory or Mag Lab.

“We are very confident that highlighting Tallahassee as the magnetic capital of the world and really promoting this asset is going to lead to more vertical integration, as far as building out a true cluster here and similar companies like DanFoss,” Paredes said.

That opportunity along with improvements in infrastructure have also helped put Tallahassee on the map. Eleven potential projects are in talks right now.

“Based on those key 11 projects, right now you're looking at just over 1,000 jobs represented about $151 million in capital investment. If that was to all come to fruition today,” Paredes explained.

With Interstate 10, a railroad running east to west and the planned airport gateway in the works, new connections to the rest of the world have Paredes even more excited for possibilities in the years ahead.

Property records confirm Amazon has also purchased land off Capital Circle Northwest. City of Tallahassee documents shows it's expected to be a 123,000 square foot warehouse facility. Neither the city nor OEV has confirmed that Amazon will be building there.