Amazon adds to Albuquerque footprint

An aerial view of construction on Amazon’s first fulfillment center in New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Amazon’s expansion on Albuquerque’s West Side is set to include more than just the originally planned fulfillment center.

The company announced on Thursday that, in addition to its five story, 2.5 million-square-foot fulfillment center, Amazon is also building a 270,000-square-foot sortation or sorting center at the same campus near Atrisco Vista Boulevard and Interstate 40.

An Amazon delivery station at Bluewater Road and Airport Drive NW also opened earlier this year, according to the company.

“Amazon is making a very large investment here, and that’s good,” Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley said. “That’s good for the community in terms of jobs.”

O’Malley said that the three sites have the potential to create thousands of jobs — all of which will start at $15 per hour.

“We have been talking about our jobs housing imbalance on the West Side, where we have lots of…housing developments going up,” she said. “But people have to cross the river to get, typically, to the jobs on this side, so that helps with that.”

Both the fulfillment center, which the e-commerce giant announced last year, and the sortation center are set to open later in 2021.

The three sites fulfill different parts of the Amazon ordering process.

Orders originate at fulfillment stations around the country and packages are then shipped to sortation centers, Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Guinn said. Sortation centers sort packages by zip code before shipping the packages to delivery stations, where the packages are sent directly to their destinations, Guinn said.

“So, ultimately, it makes the difference in how quickly we’re able to get orders to our customers,” she said.

The sortation center and the delivery station were not originally included in the plans when Amazon announced that it would be expanding into New Mexico last year.

O’Malley said that Amazon chose not to participate in any tax incentive programs, which allows tax revenue to benefit more communities rather than just benefiting communities near the Amazon campus.

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