A corporate giant such as Amazon can move with agility and stealth belying its huge size.
Amazon has set up shop at 2906 Corporate Way, Palmetto, in the Gulfcoast Corporate Park. The business park also is home to Sysco, the Chicago Pickle Company, Manasota Flooring and Teletronics.
Visitor parking was identified with signage and Amazon’s smile logo, while a directional sign pointed the way to Amazon Flex.
Handbills on the front door read “Amazon Logistics management and DSP entrance only,” while another gave a phone number and direction for driver interviews.
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Amazon apparently made the move without the need for tax breaks or incentives. Not surprising, considering that the company earned $177.9 billion in 2017.
“First I’ve heard of it,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, the county commissioner who represents that part of Manatee County.
Sharon Hillstrom, the president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, knows as much about new and existing business in Manatee County as anyone.
“They flew under the radar,” Hillstrom said Thursday.
Karen Stewart, economic development official for Manatee County, said she was aware of Amazon’s presence north of Palmetto.
“I knew they had leased space, but we’re not working with them,” Stewart said.
The owner of the building where Amazon is operating is identified as FEDEQ DV011 LLC. The 53,040-square-foot building sits on a 6-acre parcel, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office.
FEDEQ DV011 LLC recently paid $6.5 million for lots one and two in Phase three of Gulfcoast Corporate Park, according to the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court’s Office. The seller was Haindl-Seefried VII LLLP, of Atlanta.
They flew under the radar.
Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation
FEDEQ DV011 LLC lists its address as 2906 Corporate Way, Palmetto.
Among Amazon job titles advertised online for the Palmetto location are full-time shift associates, logistics operations manager, terminal manager, seasonal material movers, stock clerks and more.
Amazon opened a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Ruskin in southern Hillsborough County in 2014.
Late last year, the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation and developer Carlos Beruff submitted applications seeking to land Amazon’s second planned headquarters. The EDC proposed The CORE campus at Lakewood Ranch, while Beruff offered 900 acres along Moccasin Wallow Road and Interstate 75. Also nominated was Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park.
Ultimately, Amazon received 238 proposals from across North America. The company announced in January that 20 were still in the running.
Calls and emails to Amazon over several days for comment on the Palmetto operation were not immediately answered.