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Amazon building new distribution center in south Sarasota County

Updated: Jan. 17, 2020 at 1:38 PM EST
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VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - There’s big news - and a big warehouse - coming to the Suncoast.

Land is currently being cleared in Venice on commerce drive off of I-75 and Jacaranda Boulevard where the future Amazon Distribution Center will be located.

“I knew Venice was awesome, but this just proves that we are prime – no pun intended – prime location,” Kathy Lehner, the CEO of the Venice Chamber Of Commerce, expressed.

This prime location on commerce drive sits empty now, but will soon have a distribution center for Amazon.

Permits were first filed with Sarasota County back in November, but today officials tell us it has been approved.

“Its’s where it should be. It’s close to the interstate. It’s a commercial and industrial park. That’s what was planned to be there,” said Lehner.

The plans call for a 120,000 square-foot facility.

“I think this center is rather small. I think they’re typically between half a million to a million square feet, so I’m not sure how many employees they’re going to have there, but any employment to me is good employment. Especially high paying jobs that pay above minimum wage,” City of Venice’s Mayor, Ron Feinsod, explained.

According to Amazon’s website, their starting pay is $15 dollars an hour. This could create competition for other companies in Sarasota county, but local business owners say, this growth will only make the area stronger.

“Any time someone opens a business in the proximity of our business, it’s exciting. It drives traffic. You know, that build it and they will come kind of thing. Business gets business,” Michael Bacon, the owner of Brews Burgers, tells us.

Construction is expected to cost about $16 million dollars, but the economic impact will possibly be even greater.

“It’s better for our tax base to have light industries like that. It creates jobs that create spin off jobs that creates spin off jobs, so it expands for more than just the base of employment,” Mayor Feinsod said.

We reached out to Amazon, but have not heard back yet with more details about the plan for this center and just how many jobs will be opening.

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