Oak Creek Common Council approves plans for $200 million Amazon project

Facility will have 1,500 jobs by end of 2021

Amazon's fulfillment center in Kenosha.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:49 pm

The Oak Creek Common Council on Tuesday approved Seattle-based Amazon’s plans to build a $200 million, 2.6 million-square-foot fulfillment center, including a $16.9 million tax increment financing (TIF) deal with the city.

Aerial view of the Ryan Business Park site in Oak Creek, near I-94 and Ryan Road.

The four-story structure will be built in the Ryan Business Park, south of Ryan Road and east of South 13th Street, near the I-94/Highway 100 (Ryan Road) interchange.

Ryan Business Park is being developed by Waukesha-based Capstone Quadrangle and Fox Point-based General Capital Group. It will consist of the 75-acre Amazon site and sites for additional business development. The Amazon site will be developed and owned by an affiliate of Dallas-based Hillwood Development Company, LLC, and leased to Amazon.

As part of a tax increment financing (TIF) package, Hillwood will initially fund infrastructure costs, estimated at $13.4 million, mostly related to rebuilding South 13th Street and improvements to Ryan Road. The city will then refund Hillwood for the roadway and utility costs, and provide up to $3.5 million of reimbursable costs to ready the site for development, through new property taxes collected from the development. So, the total value of the TIF incentive that the city is providing to Amazon for the development is $16.9 million.

“Traffic was the number one concern for our residents, and the developers are committed to
implementing and financing road improvements necessary to avoid traffic congestion, as dictated in a
comprehensive traffic impact analysis required by city, county, and state transportation authorities,”
said Oak Creek city administrator, Andrew Vickers. “From the city’s perspective, being in a position where we did not have to borrow for these infrastructure upgrades was the most important factor in the Council’s decision to move forward. The deal structure is a reimbursement model, with the infrastructure costs being reimbursed only through taxes generated by the Amazon site, not the general taxpayers of the city.”

In the agreement between the city and Amazon, the company is committed to an investment
of at least $200 million, consisting of $100 million of real property improvements and $100 million of personal property installed in the facility. In addition, Amazon committed to create a minimum of 1,500 full-time jobs with annual gross wages of $40 million by the end of 2021.

“Amazon has selected a great location close to I-94 that makes perfect sense for our community from a
land use planning standpoint,” said Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz. “Amazon will become the city’s largest employer and contribute significantly to our tax base, helping the city to continue to keep taxes low and services high for our residents. I am especially proud of the excellent higher education incentives Amazon will offer area employees through their Career Choice program. Whether you want to be a nurse, engineer, school teacher, or something else, Career Choice offers a pathway forward to meet those professional ambitions.”

Earthwork on the construction site has already commenced, with anticipated completion and building
occupancy projected for the first quarter of 2020.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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