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Robbinsville lands coveted Amazon.com warehouse

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Amazon.com will open a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment distribution center in Robbinsville in early 2014, implementing the first phase of its promise to Gov. Chris Christie to build two warehouses and collect sales tax in the Garden State, the company announced today.

“We understand Amazon could have chosen anywhere in New Jersey to build its new distribution center, and we are fortunate to have the infrastructure and resources to meet their needs and consummate one of the most sought-after business partnerships in recent memory,” Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried said in a statement. “With hundreds of new jobs and the tax revenue for our township, we are obviously thrilled Amazon chose Robbinsville.”

Alongside the $30 million and $40 million in additional annual tax revenue the state will collect after the e-commerce giant begins charging a 7 percent sales tax on July 1, Christie said in a statement the first phase of Amazon’s development pledge “will spur growth and investment for the Garden State and our local economies while bringing meaningful job creation opportunities for New Jersey’s families.”

In May, Amazon forecasted it will split 1,500 new full-time hires this year between its two planned New Jersey warehouses, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said in a statement, “I’m confident they will find hardworking, desirable candidates for those jobs right here in Mercer County.”

Private equity firm KTR Capital Partners — which has previously worked with Amazon on warehouse developments in other states — is building the project on a site near New Jersey Turnpike Exit 7A that KTR purchased from Matrix Development for $20 million in December, according to public documents.

On Nov. 8, the Robbinsville council approved a fixed 20-year, $22 million payment in lieu of taxes agreement for KTR, of which the township will keep an estimated $14 million.

In May, Amazon committed to invest $130 million between its two planned warehouse projects on New Jersey soil, though total investment in the Robbinsville development will exceed $200 million.

NJBIZ Grapevine first reported Robbinsville as a possible site in October 2012, and reported details of the deal last month. Amazon has not yet announced the status or location of its second planned 1 million-square-foot warehouse, though NJBIZ Grapevine previously reported the company had been looking at Prologis-owned sites in Elizabeth and Carteret.

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