Kettering hearing offers public chance to talk about Amazon plan

A plan to bring an Amazon distribution center and several hundreds of jobs to Kettering Business Park faces an important step with a 7 p.m. Monday public hearing.

Efforts to bring the Amazon distribution center to the park on Wilmington Pike are on such a fast track that the giant e-commerce retailer could start operations there late this summer, according to city officials.

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Jim McCarthy of TW Development Group, said Monday’s public hearing is one of the final steps moving forward to allow the project to come to fruition.

“Monday’s meeting is just really another step in the process, but an important one,” McCarthy said. “As we have developed the plan and have things moving forward much quicker than anticipated, this is a chance to hear any opposition from anyone in the business park. The city has been reaching out, and I understand that nothing negative has been said.”

The Kettering Business Park is home to nearly 2,500 employees for companies such as Synchrony Financial, Alternate Solutions Health and the Kettering Health Network’s command center, which opened in January. There are still 14 acres available for development.

Kettering Economic Development Manager Gregg Gorsuch said, “TW Development is currently in negotiations with Amazon for a long-term lease that will bring a last-mile distribution center and several hundred new jobs to Kettering.”

City Manager Mark Schwieterman and Gorsuch have met face to face with all of the business park tenants and “everyone is very supportive,” according to Community Information Manager Stacy Schweikhart.

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“It’s procedural,” she said when asked about Monday’s meeting.

The land sale agreement between the city of Kettering and TW Development says the developer agrees to bring a minimum of 300 “full-time equivalent jobs” to the company’s property by the end of 2021. That can include a calculation where, for example 100 part-time jobs could be counted as 30 or 50 or 70 “full-time equivalents” based on the number of hours worked.

McCarthy said there are no exact estimates on the number of jobs, but he said there is no reason to believe anything negative could manifest itself to cause the project to fail.

“I have no reason to believe anything negative about this,” he said. “But it’s not done until it’s done is our attitude. We will continue to work with (the city) and Amazon on a daily basis to get this across the finish line.”

Those interested in commenting at Monday’s public hearing may appear and voice their opinion with respect to the proposed application. The application is available for review in the Planning and Development Department.

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