Steller Friday notebook: Did the cactus bring Amazon after all?

Steller Friday notebook: Did the cactus bring Amazon after all?

Amazon Second Headquarters

Dave Hutchens, chairman of Sun Corridor Inc. and president and CEO of UNS Energy Corp., and Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., are sending a 21-foot saguaro cactus to Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Wash. The pair are trying to get Jeff Bezos' attention in a bid to bring Amazon's planned second headquarters to Tucson and Southern Arizona. September 13, 2017.

This is a portion of Tim Steller's Friday notebook column. To read the full column, head here

Many people had the same question I did after Amazon announced this week it will build a huge new warehouse on Tucson’s southeast side, for fulfilling orders made in this region.

Did the saguaro do it?

You may recall that back in September, when Amazon announced it is seeking to build a massive new headquarters, Tucson-area officials planned to send the company a saguaro as part of its bid for the project. In the end, Amazon asked that it be kept in Tucson, and officials promised to plant it at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

The gimmick did get noticed around the country and was even featured in the New York Times, but I panned it, as many other locals did. So, did it work after all by bringing us this new facility? Sadly, no, company spokeswoman Lauren Lynch told me.

“The saguaro didn’t have anything to do with the location of the fulfillment center,” she said.

More on Amazon's new facility 

Amazon has chosen Tucson for a new fulfillment center with plans to hire more than 1,500 full-time employees.

The warehouse will handle customer returns, light assembly, 3-D printing and direct product pickup by customers from automated kiosks on the city’s southeast side.

“Throughout most of the year, the project is projected to have a maximum of approximately 1,500 employees working on-site at one time. During the peak shopping season (i.e., November through December) the project will have a maximum of 1,900 employees working on-site at one time,” project filings with the city of Tucson show.

Luring the company here began eight months ago and land at the Port of Tucson, 6701 S. Kolb Road, was identified as ideal, said Joe Snell, CEO of Sun Corridor Inc.

The 855,000-square-foot facility will sit on several Port of Tucson parcels, a family-owned facility in the city’s Ward 4 and on county property.

Read more here


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