Construction delayed for $290M Amazon warehouse in Johnston

MAYOR JOSEPH M. POLISENA says the Amazon fulfillment center under construction at 2120 Hartford Ave. in Johnston will be completed several months later than expected due to supply chain problems. / COURTESY NEW ENGLAND AERIAL SERVICES/ TREVOR BRYAN

JOHNSTON – The construction of a six-story, 3.8 million-square-foot fulfillment center in the town is being delayed by supply chain problems, according to Mayor Joseph M. Polisena.

While the initial target day for completion of the building was April 2023, the Amazon.com Services LLC facility will likely not be finished until late summer next year.

Polisena recently said the project fell a few months behind, a delay that was first reported by WJAR-TV NBC 10. Polisena said Amazon told him the holdup was due to supply chain issues, although the e-commerce company did not publicly comment on the situation.

In late 2021, Amazon.com Services LLC bought up 196 acres of private land in Johnston valued at nearly $13 million as a final step before it began construction on its $290 million fulfillment center off Route 6 close to Interstate 195.

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“The sooner, the better,” Polisena said at the time of the construction timeline.

The Amazon fulfillment center is being constructed at 2120 Hartford Ave. after the town negotiated a 20-year tax stabilization agreement with the company, providing the community with an average of $7.2 million in annual tax revenue over the course of the agreement.

The tax deal starts with a $5.7 million payment by Amazon to the town during the first year of operations there, ending at $9.1 million 20 years later, for a total of $145.6 million throughout the course of the tax stabilization agreement.

The tax stabilization agreement also obligates Amazon to provide additional funding for the town for traffic improvements, transportation aid, employment training opportunities and public safety, including $1 million for post-construction traffic mitigation and $5.4 million over the course of 10 years toward the cost of public safety operations.

Polisena said the tax deal is a much better alternative than the $60,000 in annual tax revenue that the town pulled in each year from the former owners of the mostly undeveloped land.

The deal was publicly supported by Gov. Daniel J. McKee, who touted the economic impact and job creation that would come with the development. Amazon said the new fulfillment center would create 1,500 new permanent jobs, along with 1,500 construction jobs.

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer. 

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