Online retailing giant Amazon announced Monday that it will open a sorting center in Kyle that will bring more than 200 jobs to the city south of Austin.
The jobs are on top of 1,000 planned for a facility in Pflugerville that Amazon recently announced will open next year, as well as hundreds more that the Seattle-based company intends to add in the Austin-Round Rock region as it continues expanding here.
Statewide, Amazon has more than 20,000 employees.
Its newest lease is for 307,840 square feet in the Kyle Crossing Business Park. The sorting center Amazon is planning for the business park is expected to open later this year.
Developed and owned by Majestic Realty Co., the 40-acre business park is one block west of Interstate 35 in Plum Creek, a 2,200-acre mixed-use master planned community about 20 miles south of downtown Austin.
Kyle, located between Austin and San Antonio, is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, with more than 50,000 residents.
“Demand for high-quality industrial space has surged along with online sales in the first half of this year,” said Brian Masterman, Majestic Realty’s senior vice president.
“Kyle Crossing offers brand new facilities in a highly accessible location that is perfectly situated to serve two of the nation’s fastest growing metro areas,” he said, referring to Austin and San Antonio.
At Amazon’s sorting centers, workers sort customer orders according to final destinations and them consolidate them onto trucks for fast delivery, the company says on its website.
Elsewhere in Central Texas, Amazon is expanding in nearby Buda, as well as in Pflugerville and Round Rock north of Austin.
In Pflugerville, Amazon is building a large distribution center east of the Texas 130 toll road. Amazon said the facility will open next year and employ 1,000 workers, at a starting pay of $15 an hour.
Last week, the Pflugerville City Council approved a $3.8 million incentives agreement for the project to pay for off-site road improvements in the area. If the facility eventually encompasses 3.8 million square feet, as Pflugerville city officials anticipate, it will be the largest industrial distribution center to be built in Central Texas in two decades, according to local real estate brokers.
In Round Rock, Amazon has signed a lease for all 442,000 square feet in the Chisholm Trail Trade Center. The three-building industrial development, off Interstate 35 and Old Settlers Boulevard, potentially could employ 700 to 900 people, Austin-area real estate brokers say.
And in Buda, north of Kyle, Amazon plans to open a distribution center that will have 305,000 square feet of leased space and is expected to bring hundreds of jobs.
“We’re excited to increase our investment in Texas with new delivery stations in Round Rock and Buda,” Daniel Martin, an Amazon spokesman, said in a written statement earlier this month. “The delivery stations will create hundreds of full- and part-time jobs, starting at $15 per hour, and offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their own business delivering packages on behalf of Amazon.”
Juan Arias, senior consultant with CoStar Advisory Services, the consulting arm of commercial real estate data company CoStar Group Inc., said Austin “is a major target for Amazon and is expected to see significant space taken up by Amazon — likely only Dallas will see more in Texas.”
Sam Tenenbaum, director of analytics with CoStar, said Austin is attractive to Amazon as the number of younger residents continues to grow in the region, where half of the population is under 35.
“They’re looking at cities with young populations that will be in the Amazon ecosystem for a very long time,” Tenenbaum said.
In Kyle, Mayor Travis Mitchell said the community is “excited to welcome Amazon.”
“More and more businesses are discovering that Kyle has everything they need from a great workforce and schools to affordable living options for their workers,” Mitchell said in a written statement.
ENF Technologies broke ground on its new U.S. headquarters in Plum Creek earlier this year.
In addition, plans call for a mixed-use town center, future housing of all types and more than 8 million square feet of commercial development.
“Commercial development in Plum Creek is accelerating at the same time that we’re adding more diverse housing, services and amenities,” said Momark Principal Terry Mitchell, who oversees development at Plum Creek. “The community has matured and now offers a true live-work-play environment that is attain-ably priced and appealing to companies and their employees.”