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City staff says Amazon is opening fulfillment center on east side of Iowa City

A former distribution plant for Procter and Gamble at 2500 Heinz Rd. in Iowa City is gated with...
A former distribution plant for Procter and Gamble at 2500 Heinz Rd. in Iowa City is gated with the doors locked on November 21, 2019. City staff says Amazon will move into the space. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Nov. 21, 2019 at 3:38 PM CST
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The City of Iowa City says Amazon is coming to the east side of town. The online retailer will open a fulfillment center that could allow the company to make its own deliveries.

The fulfillment center, which will become part of the "Last Mile" program through Amazon, will move into 2500 Heinz Rd. in Iowa City, a site that was formerly run by Procter and Gamble prior to its move to West Virginia.

City staff said the move aligns with the goals the city has set for the east side of Iowa City- a part of the city that was designated an "opportunity zone" back in 2017. Opportunity zones were designed to provide tax breaks to developers and industry leaders to invest in certain areas that are low-income areas.

Wendy Ford, the economic development coordinator for the City of Iowa City, said it was Amazon that inquired about the space left behind by Procter and Gamble, but the online retailer has yet to formally announce the move.

The building, that still is under lock and key, marks a sign of potential with an investment from Amazon, according to Ford. She said the city has set its sights for years on bringing new development and re-development opportunities to the east side of Iowa City, and that this could be a sign of things to come for the area.

"When there are more people going to and from work and more business happening in one area of the community, then people who provide services and retail to our community look at where in the community the activity is," Ford said. "The more people, the more reason there is to locate a business out near all that activity."

Despite no official announcement, Amazon has already posted a number of jobs in Iowa City in preparation for the move.

According to the Amazon Jobs website,

, specifically in Iowa City- even posting as recently as two days ago.

Ford said Amazon has a plan to not only create those managerial jobs but fill the docking bays and parking spots with delivery trucks creating additional area jobs as well. Ford said Amazon will look for people to help deliver packages to people's homes.

"Besides the managerial positions, they'll have a number of driving-type positions that will allow for everything from full time to flexible, kind of on an as-needed basis or the economy type of driver," Ford said. "So there will be opportunities for all kinds of employment in this area."