By Dennis Grubaugh, Illinois Business Journal
EDWARDSVILLE — Amazon, the Internet retail giant, is planning an announcement about major distribution facilities in Edwardsville, officials say.
Details are sparse, but Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan said the company is set to make an announcement, almost any day.
For weeks, officials have been privately talking about the company’s plans to locate in new warehousing space in Lakeview Commerce Center and in Gateway Commerce Center, two neighboring logistical parks located respectively along Illinois Route 255 and New Poag Road.
Although nothing is confirmed by the company, Amazon has posted three job openings in Edwardsville. Those include a medical representative and regional manager.
City officials have declined to comment in recent weeks. Amazon did not return a phone call seeking comment.
However, during at least two recent meetings, Dunstan has stated that Amazon is planning an announcement. On Monday, he mentioned it while speaking to an audience at a business luncheon sponsored by RiverBend Growth Association in Alton.
“I am expecting an announcement, Amazon is coming to Madison County,” he said. “They are going to start out with one new warehouse, with about five or six hundred people. They’ve already got two more warehouses under contract.”
While he wouldn’t be more specific, he did talk extensively about the growth of the warehousing area.
“We’re looking at a lot of things going on at Gateway Commerce Center and Lakeview Commerce Center,” Dunstan said. “There are 5,000 jobs there that weren’t there 10 years ago, and we look at that doubling (some day). I think the future of Madison County itself is logistics.”
Any information they’ve got, Edwardsville officials have kept to themselves. However, during a mayors’ breakfast in early April, Mayor Hal Patton talked about the potential for a “Fortune 5” company planning to locate in the warehouse area.
“It’s a national tenant, a name everyone will recognize,” Patton told the breakfast audience.
Earlier this year, Panattoni Development Co. Inc. was cited as one of the city’s businesses of the year, primarily for its decision to build a 769,500-square-foot speculative industrial building in the Lakeview Commerce Center.
Amazon is based in Seattle, Wash. Its only other Illinois operation is a center in Chicago.