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Plans submitted for Amazon robotic sorting site in central Pasco

Conceptual plans for a new Amazon facility were delivered to the county this week.
 
This site at State Road 52 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard was announced two years ago to become a new Amazon fulfillment center featuring robotic sorting. Groundbreaking didn't happen as planned, but this week a conceptual plan for the site was submitted.
This site at State Road 52 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard was announced two years ago to become a new Amazon fulfillment center featuring robotic sorting. Groundbreaking didn't happen as planned, but this week a conceptual plan for the site was submitted. [ Pasco County Economic Development Council ]
Published March 22|Updated March 23

In January 2022, the Pasco Economic Development Council announced that Amazon was bringing a robotic sorting center to property on State Road 52 at Bellamy Brothers Boulevard.

The project was going to create 500 jobs in Central Pasco and groundbreaking was expected to start in just months. But after that announcement, there was little activity on the 69-acre site that Amazon had bought for $11.8 million.

That changed this week when a site plan was submitted to Pasco County showing a 517,220-square-foot distribution center located on the southwest corner of the intersection, the same site owned by Amazon.com Services LLC. The submission notes that after a preliminary plan was submitted to the county around the same time as the announcement “the project was placed on hold by the end user until recently.”

The robotic sorting center would bring jobs that required technical skills.

“Amazon’s new facility will be a win-win for both Pasco County’s workforce and the company. Our talent pipeline includes a robust group of robotics experts and students that will surely be an asset for the project’s success,” Pasco Economic Development Council President Bill Cronin told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday.

Bill Cronin of the Pasco Economic Development Council
Bill Cronin of the Pasco Economic Development Council

Amazon also confirmed the project is moving forward.

“This facility remains an important part of our plans for the Tampa area. We’ve kept close with our partners in Pasco County as we move forward with development, and we’re looking forward to this facility launching down the road,” said Amazon spokesperson Greg Rios.

A master list of Amazon properties notes that the site will open in 2024 as an “outbound cross-dock center for Tampa.”

That kind of facility is called a “middle mile sortation center” according to the Amazon Global Supply Chain and Fulfillment Center Network website. Formerly called “redistribution centers,” the cross-dock center is designed to streamline the flow of goods into the fulfillment center network, according to the website.

“These facilities are similar to import distribution centers in that they are used as inventory receiving, break bulk and storage buffers for overseas import containers incoming from foreign vendors,” the website says, but “may also be used to store and replenish domestic goods.”

A site plan for Project Bellamy was submitted to Pasco County on Wednesday. The site is where officials previously announced an Amazon robotic sorting center was planned. Amazon owns the site.
A site plan for Project Bellamy was submitted to Pasco County on Wednesday. The site is where officials previously announced an Amazon robotic sorting center was planned. Amazon owns the site. [ Pasco County ]

Some minor changes were made from the preliminary plan initially submitted, including adjusting some of the striping and lane configuration requested by the Florida Department of Transportation at S.R. 52 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard.

“Modifications to the building include the removal of the mezzanine and all associated stairs, elevators, & equipment” and other changes, according to the submission by applicant Kimley-Horne and Associates Inc. of Lakeland.

Economic development officials were also pleased with the project because it confirmed the value of having sites developed in advance that would provide for the needs of projects looking for a home.

Aerial view of a new Amazon robotic fulfillment center when it was  under construction on Oct. 3, 2021, in Temple Terrace.
Aerial view of a new Amazon robotic fulfillment center when it was under construction on Oct. 3, 2021, in Temple Terrace. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

“The Pasco Economic Development Council is thrilled to announce the sale of Eagle Industrial Park off State Road 52 in Pasco County. Eagle Industrial Park is a part of the Pasco Ready Sites Program, which assesses and evaluates large tracts of land for industrial development,” the agency said at the initial announcement.

This would be the second Amazon facility located in Pasco County. The company expects to invest $150 million in the property.