Richardson City Council approved a zoning permit for an Amazon distribution and fulfillment center at its Nov. 9 meeting.
The 141,360-square-foot center, which is planned for a 33-acre vacant lot at Shiloh Road and Breckinridge Boulevard, will include a shipping area as well as warehouse and office space. It will have 695 van parking spaces, 15 truck docks, 13 trailer storage areas and 444 associate parking spaces. It will provide 120-140 full-time jobs, according to Michael Spicer, the city’s director of development services.
The project is estimated to cost $45 million, and Amazon is not seeking any tax incentives or abatements from the city, according to the presentation.
The applicant and developer, Douglas R. Otte with Seefried Properties, requested approval for the building height to be 50 feet, which is 25 feet taller than what the zoning ordinance allows. They also requested to expand the definition of distribution center to allow for several more operations, such as office space use and product assembly.
Council members Ken Hutchenrider and Mark Solomon voted against approving the modifications. Hutchenrider said the zoning change allows for a bigger building footprint, which would cause more traffic in the area. Amazon has agreed to pay for a traffic light at the intersection of Shiloh and Breckinridge.
“To me, it looks like the site can be even more developed with more space, which would even cause more issues,” he said. “I just don’t think this is the right location for this.”
Mayor Paul Voelker was in support of the project but said a location closer to US 75 or in the city’s new Innovation Quarter may have been a better fit for Amazon.
“If you would have come to us before picking this space, we might have pushed you in other directions, quite honestly,” he said. “Quite candidly, we are looking in that area [the Innovation Quarter] at some exciting mobility and autonomous vehicle urban planning ... so I would put that in the back of your head to think about.”
Councilman Kyle Kepner spoke in favor of the center.
“I think the big news is that we are going to have 120-140 $15-an-hour-plus jobs on this location, not to mention countless other opportunities for contractors and part-time delivery drivers,” he said.
Amazon’s lease will be either 12 or 15 years. The company is currently analyzing bids from four general contractors, two of which are local to Richardson. An estimated construction time frame and opening date for the center have not yet been announced.