City discusses Amazon incentives - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

City discusses Amazon incentives

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By Gordon Boyd
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) --While it's not a done deal yet, state leaders say they are in negotiations with Amazon and the project is on the fast track.

Enterprise South's paving and landscaping crews have been going at all deliberate speed for days, but getting Amazon the site itself, has meant getting help from VW.

"We will be swapping some land off to the other side of Enterprise South to get the 80 acres that Amazon will be using," says Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Amazon is asking Chattanooga, Hamilton and Bradley counties, and Tennessee for 11 years worth of tax breaks on real estate and equipment and help with training and site work. We don't have dollar values on all that yet.

"What we're about is creating quality jobs and this is an opportunity to do so," says J. Ed Martson with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

Amazon's 164 million dollar plus investment includes building two one million square foot warehouses at Enterprise South and in Bradley County. Creating 1250 full time jobs at Enterprise South, the average pay 32 thousand dollars but who does what isn't specified yet.

"This is an aggregate, the average, where they take the total payroll and divide it by the number of jobs," says Martson.

Bradley County would get 250 full time jobs, much fewer because its crews would handle larger products.

What Amazon has made clear: everybody involved needs to move fast, to start digging at both sites, within weeks.

"It's critical that we get the votes taken care of so that we can get underway with the construction," says Littlefield.

"They're investing a huge sum of money so clearly they're making a commitment. They wouldn't invest over a hundred million dollars if they though they were going to fail," says Martson, "Certainly if we are not able to move forward with our process that's gonna send a strong signal that we do not want to send at this stage of the project."

The site work is covered under a 4 million state fast track grant.

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